Six distinct eras comprise the history of the Hampton Beach Carnival Queen contest, which spans the period 1915-1940, and the Miss Hampton Beach beauty pageant and its precursor Miss Cover Girl, which together span the period 1946-2015 – in addition to the WWII period 1941-1945 when contests were not held. The Miss Hampton Beach pageant was canceled twice, in 1990 and in 1996.
The eras/periods are:
Carnival Week 1915-1940
Gala & Victory Week 1941-1945
Cover Girl Years 1946-1947
Bandstand Era 1948-1958
Ballroom Era 1959-1976
Seashell Stage Era 1977-2015
There were 26 Carnival Queen winners, 2 Miss Cover Girl winners, and 66 Miss Hampton Beach winners. In total, there were 94 winners—48 from New Hampshire, 39 from Massachusetts, 2 from Quebec, 2 from Rhode Island, 1 from Maine, and 1 from Connecticut, and 1 from Colorado.
CARNIVAL WEEK ERA 1915-1940
New Hampshire 17
Hampton (12), Exeter (2), North Hampton (1), Portsmouth (1), Manchester (1)
Haverhill (3), Lawrence (2), Brighton (1), Salisbury (1), Orange (1), Medford (1)
1915 Blanche Thompson, Haverhill MA
1916 Mrs. Clara Dudley, Hampton NH
1917 Madeline Higgins, Haverhill MA
1918 Adeline Stevens, Hampton NH
1919 May Ash, Lawrence MA
1920 Lulu M. Roberts, Exeter NH
1921 Frances Fay Ford, Brighton MA
1922 Constance Block, North Hampton NH
1923 Bertha Dupleissis, Manchester NH
1924 Mildred Dudley, Hampton NH
1925 Bobbie Rowell, Hampton NH (won again in 1939)
1926 Marian Gilmore, Exeter NH
1927 Charlotte Bristol, Hampton NH
1928 Mae Fountain, Lawrence MA
1929 Doris Spackman, Portsmouth NH
1930 Dorothy Dudley, Hampton NH
1931 Edith Webster, Hampton NH
1932 Mabel Fitzgerald, Salisbury MA
1933 Phyllis Tucker, Hampton NH
1934 Blanche Hamilton, Orange MA
1935 Catherine Sargent, Hampton NH
1936 Pauline Whitehouse, Haverhill MA
1937 Delores Gauron, Hampton NH
1938 Dorothy Mitchell, Hampton NH
1939 Mrs. Bobbie Rowell Cann, Hampton NH
1940 Kathryn Sullivan, Medford MA
GALA WEEK & VICTORY WEEK 1941-1945
1941 Carnival Week was renamed Gala Week, the winner was Doris Bragg, Hampton NH. Doris won the ticket-selling contest, but as there was no Carnival Queen named this year, she is not counted in the total number of winners. 1942-1945 Carnival Week was renamed Victory Week and there was no queen contest.
COVER GIRL YEARS 1946-1947
New Hampshire 2
Durham (1), Hampton (1)
1946 Marilyn Eaton, Durham NH
1947 Lois Yell, Hampton NH
THE BANDSTAND ERA 1948-1958
New Hampshire 0
Amesbury (1), Arlington (1), Ipswich (1), North Chelmsford (1), Haverhill (1), Waltham (1), Brighton (1), Peabody (1)
1948 Lorraine Doucette, Amesbury MA
1949 Caryle Cadario, Arlington MA
1950 Sally Atkinson, Ipswich MA
1951 Sonya-Bunty Romer, Montreal QB
1952 Gaynor Jenkins, Montreal QB
1953 Joan Ahearn, North Chelmsford MA
1954 Priscilla McNally, Haverhill MA
1955 Barbara Ann Curran, Waltham MA
1956 Cynthia Fuller, Brighton MA
1957 Sally Ann Freedman, Peabody MA
1958 Carolyn Komant, Kittery ME
BALLROOM ERA 1959-1976
New Hampshire 7
Hampton (2), Manchester (2), Plaistow (1), Durham (1), Epping (1)
Dracut (1), Worcester (1), West Newbury (1), Lynnfield (1), Lynn (1), Bradford (1), Groton (1), Greenfield (1), Springfield (1)
Rhode Island 1
1959 Dianne Lipson, Cranston, RI
1960 Diane Jesak, Dracut, MA
1961 Sandie Kay, Plaistow NH
1962 Jonnye McLeod, Hampton NH
1963 Beverly Ann Hebert, Manchester NH
1964 Sheila Scott, Hampton NH
1965 Judy Reynolds, Manchester NH
1966 Marylee Houle, Worcester MA
1967 Sally Ann Gaines, Durham NH
1968 Gretchen Wood, West Newbury MA
1969 Eileen O’Connor, Lynnfield MA
1970 Janice Janes, Lynn MA
1971 Jane Floren, Bradford MA
1972 Peggy Ann Jacobson, Simsbury CT
1973 Pamela Chaffee, Epping NH
1974 Temple Bruner, Groton, MA
1975 Mara Zwemke, Greenfield MA
1976 Debra Maurice, Springfield MA
THE CLUB CASINO ERA 1977-1996
New Hampshire 11
Manchester (3), Dover (1), Exeter (1), Hampton (1), Hampton Falls (1), Newton (1), Seabrook (1), Portsmouth (1), West Swanzey (1)
Boston (1), Holliston (1), North Andover (1), Worcester (1), Woburn (2)
1977 Tara Donnelly, North Andover, MA
1978 Kim Fontaine, Worcester MA
1979 Louise McDevitt, Lakewood CO
1980 Kathleen Rogers, Seabrook NH
1981 Diane McGarry, Manchester NH
1982 Debbie Peltonovich, Newton, NH
1983 Caron Leslie Caetano, Woburn MA
1984 Adriana Molinari, Hampton NH (orig. Uruguay)
1985 Maryanne Montagano, Dover NH
1986 Darla Beth Jelley, Manchester NH
1987 Heather Cholewa, Exeter NH
1988 Lisa Parnpichate, Thailand and West Swanzey NH
1989-90 Sabrina Dennison, Portsmouth NH
1990 Pageant canceled
1991 Maribeth Brown, Holliston MA
1992 Jennifer DiDomenico, Hampton Falls NH
1993 Julene Britt, Woburn MA
1994 Lori Greene, Boston MA
1995-96 Stephanie Lussier, Manchester NH
1996 Pageant canceled
THE SEASHELL STAGE ERA 1997-2015
New Hampshire 11
Auburn (1), Bedford (1), Farmington (1), Hampton (1), Manchester (2), Nashua (1), Pittsfield (1), Plaistow (1), Rye (1), Seabrook (1)
Haverhill (1), Lawrence (1), Medway (1), Merrimac (1), Saugus (1), Scituate (1), Woburn (1)
Rhode Island 1
1997 Julie Russell, Woburn MA
1998 Shana Jones, Warwick RI
1999 Shanna Clarke, Plaistow NH
2000 Meredith Barnett, Manchester NH
2001 Katie Widen, Rye NH
2002 Breanne Silvi, Nashua NH
2003 Theresa Black, Lawrence MA
2004 Melissa Theriault, Manchester NH
2005 Alexandria Harrington, Saugus MA
2006 Allison Blais, Pittsfield NH
2007 Leah Grondin, Hampton NH
2008 Lacy Jane Folger, Farmington NH
2009 Kristin Crossland, Seabrook NH
2010 Megan Cooley, Auburn NH
2011 Kayla Layton, Bedford NH
2012 Christina Del Rosso, Haverhill MA
2013 Gina Brazao, Scituate MA
2014 Alexandra Barros, Medway MA
2015 Victoria Soucy, Merrimac MA
Timeline of Major Events
1915 The Hampton Beach Board of Trade is formed. Its members organize the first annual Carnival Week, at which the first Carnival Queen “popularity vote” contest is held. The first queen is crowned on an improvised stage near the bandstand.
1917 US enters WWI.
1918 Carnival Queen contestants solicit funds for the Red Cross. Armistice signed November 11, 1918.
1927 The Board of Trade becomes the Chamber of Commerce.
1929 The Chamber of Commerce erects a “Singing Tower” at their beachfront building to broadcast announcements and concerts. They later add a live amateur talent contest broadcast.
1936 The bandstand is improved with a stage and loudspeakers.
1940 The last year of the Carnival Queen.
1941-45 US fights in WWII. Carnival Week and the queen contest are put on hold. Women raise funds for charity programs and help sell war bonds instead.
1946-47 The Beachcomber Miss Cover Girl beauty pageant is held at the bandstand. Carnival Week is restarted.
1948 Miss Cover Girl is renamed Miss Hampton Beach.
1948-1958 Miss Hampton Beach is held at the beach bandstand with free admission.
1951-1967 Coronation Balls are held at the Casino Ballroom. The ball was eliminated starting with the 1968 season.
1954 Carnival Week is replaced with a month-long August Festival.
1954-1956 Weekly August beauty contests are held at the bandstand: Miss Sea Nymph, Miss Mermaid, Miss Glamour, Miss August Festival, Miss Sunshine, and Miss Personality.
1956 Inaugural Miss New Hampshire (for Miss Universe) pageant is held at Hampton Beach. Point scoring replaces the winner-by-applause system of judging. Miss Hampton Beach winners are eligible to compete in Miss Universe prep pageants; when this affiliation ended is unclear. The date of Miss Hampton Beach pageant moves from the end to the beginning of August. The crowning of the winner is combined with the coronation ball at the end of August. Contestants now required to be between the ages of 16-24 and never married.
1957-1965 Miss New England pageant is held at Hampton Beach.
1959-1995 Miss Hampton Beach is held in the Casino Ballroom with paid admission.
1962 The beach bandstand is demolished and replaced with the Seashell complex.
1966-67 Miss Hampton Beach pageants are held at the Seashell Stage.
1968 Miss Hampton Beach contest and crowning are combined into a single one-night event in the Casino Ballroom.
1969 First evening gown competition. Winner is eligible to compete in the Miss USA-World pageant in Baltimore.
1976-77 Fred Shaake and others buy the Casino. They renovate the Ballroom and rename in Club Casino.
1978 An all-time ticketed audience and contestant record is set with 1,400 spectators and 61 contestants in the Club Casino.
1983 The Miss Hampton Beach pageant is videotaped and shown on the local cable channel for the first time.
1985-86 Miss Hampton Beach is a qualifying pageant for the Miss New Hampshire Scholarship, a Miss America pageant affiliate. Consequently, a talent competition is added to the pageant.
1987 Miss Hampton Beach switches affiliation to Miss New Hampshire-Miss USA pageant, eliminating the talent requirement. When this affiliation ended is unclear; the last newspaper mention was in 1991.
1989 The first deaf contestant, Sabrina Dennison, wins the title.
1990 Miss Hampton Beach is canceled. Reigning queen Sabrina Dennison represents the beach for a second year. US enters Gulf War.
1991 Pageant is dedicated to troops of Operation Desert Storm.
1996 Miss Hampton Beach is canceled again; the Chamber of Commerce ends its primary sponsorship of the pageant. Reigning queen Stephanie Lussier represents the beach for a second year. The First Annual Little and Junior Miss Hampton Beach pageants are held.
1997 Stephanie Lussier takes over management of the pageant, moving it from the Casino Ballroom to the Seashell Stage. The pageant is restarted as a free community event held outdoors on a Sunday afternoon in late July. The Little and Junior Miss pageants are suspended indefinitely.
2007 In February, 2006 Miss Hampton Beach Allison Blais is the first queen to don a bikini and take the Penguin Plunge for charity.
2009 Little and Junior Miss Hampton Beach pageants are re-introduced, held on the Saturday before the main pageant.
2011-12 The Seashell is demolished and replaced by the Seashell Pavilion. The 2011 Miss Hampton Beach pageant is held on a temporary stage nearby.
c. 2013 The Hampton Beach Village District becomes a pageant sponsor.
2016 Hampton Historical Society volunteers produce “100 Years At The Beach,” a 50-minute video documenting the 100-year history of the Carnival Queens and Miss Hampton Beach beauty pageant. The Society votes to fund the current and future winners’ official photograph.