The Trail to Dogwood


Hannah Beall, Hali Everette, Molly Walding, Anna Claire Kinsey, Sheridan Middleton, Lila Camille Knizley

Josie Conway , Reporter

The annual Dogwood Trail Maid pageant is tomorrow (January 16), and I got the pleasure to speak to Molly Walding about her experience this past year and her advice for the competitors this year. Molly is the 2020 Peach Dogwood Trail Maid and is currently a senior at Fairhope High.

What advice do you have for the girls competing this year?

“The best advice I can give is to simply be yourself! Be confident in your interview and on stage and also have fun with everything you do! The pageant is so much fun! I wish I could do it again! Soak up every moment and enjoy the memories you’re making!”

Molly Walding (12). 2020 Peach Dogwood Trail Maid

What have you guys done with the limited traveling due to COVID? Few appearances?

“We have had fewer appearances than in the past but we have made the most of it! We started by doing window visits as local Nursing Homes over quarantine. This has never been done before! We absolutely loved seeing their faces light up when they saw our dresses. Many of them still weren’t allowed to have visitors, so having us stop by to talk made their day! We haven’t traveled much but we did get to go to Montgomery this past month for the Governors Candlelight Tour! Courts in the past have loved this appearance and we were so glad the governor wanted us to attend this year! It was so beautiful. We greeted guests as they entered the mansion tour and passed out brochures!”

What opportunities does the Dogwood Trail Program provide?

“The Dogwood Trail Program provides many things for young girls. Since it is a scholarship program, the six girls that are selected to be on the court are rewarded a $1,200 scholarship. There are also category winners and each of them receives a $500 scholarship as well. The Dogwood Program gives you the opportunity to represent your community through acts of service that you may not know about otherwise!”

When and where is the pageant this year?

“This year the pageant is at the same place, The Fairhope Civic Center, but due to COVID, we have capacity changes. Tickets will not be sold to the public. Each contestant and the current members got a set number of tickets and their friends and family will sit in pods to reduce mixing and mingling. Luckily, this year we were able to reach out to Pirate Nation Live and the pageant will be live-streamed! Anyone is welcome to watch and it will begin at 6:45 pm on January 16th (this Saturday night)! There will be a link to join the stream posted on the Dogwood Trail Instagram and Facebook pages! Everyone be sure to tune in!”  and – to all the FHS girls participating this year- Good luck and GO PIRATES!