In the staircase leading down to the Hotel Galvez & Spa’s Hall of History guests are greeted with a framed enlarged photo of three bathing beauties posing for the camera. This photograph and many others capture the fun and glamour of Galveston’s “Pageant of Pulchritude” held in the 1920s and early 1930s and predecessor of the Miss Universe Pageant. Hotel Galvez & Spa®, A Wyndham Grand® Hotel, once the backdrop of the “Pageant of Pulchritude” has resumed its position as the hotel takes a role as Presenting Sponsor for the Eighth Annual Galveston Island Beach Revue on May 20 and 21, 2016.
Galveston’s bathing beauty pageants began in the summer of 1920 and marked the beginning of the tourist season. By 1928, the “bathing girl revue” is said to have tripled that island’s popularity during the event weekend. Pageants were held on the beach in front of Hotel Galvez, but came to an end in 1932 due to the Great Depression.
Islander By Choice, LLC resurrected the event in 2009 as the Galveston Island Beach Revue celebrating the history of the popular event and expanding it to a weekend of vintage fun. The eighth annual event features a Friday night concert and official introduction of the 2016 “Bathing Beauties.” On Saturday, guests can expect live music, a vintage car show, vendor and craft beer booths and “Bathing Beauties Contest” when 40 contestants compete in vintage and vintage-inspired swimwear for cash prizes. Beach Revue events will take place adjacent to the hotel at Beach Central, 2102 Seawall Blvd., and events are free to the public.
“This tribute to Galveston’s history is a fun way to celebrate our past and honor tradition in the present,” says General Manager Steve Cunningham. “Plus, Hotel Galvez & Spa makes a great backdrop for this nod to Galveston’s Pageant of Pulchritude.”
Galveston Island Beach Revue Schedule of Events:
Friday, May 20, 2016: 6-10 pm,
Friday Night Bands & Bombshells Concert and Best Vintage Dressed Party
6 pm: Beer Garden and Vendors open at Beach Central
6:30 pm: Free Limited Beer Tasting by Southern Star Brewing Company
6:45 pm: Bathing Beauty Contestant Introduction
7-9 pm: Live performance by Harbors Over Highway from Galveston
8:15 pm: Award for best vintage dressed on Main Stage
Saturday, May 21, 2016: 12-8 pm
12 pm: Gates open, Free admission
12-4 pm: Tom Schwenk Realtor Hot Rod + Classic Car and Vintage Trailer Show
12-4 pm: Parasol Decorating (Free for Children)
1 pm: Beer Tasting #1 by Southern Star Brewing Company
3 pm: Beer Tasting #2 by Southern Star Brewing Company
3:30-3:45 pm: Car Show & Parasol Awards on Main Stage
3:45-4 pm: Pie Eating Contest for Children
4-4:15 pm: HealthMatters Demonstration on Main Stage
4:15-5 pm: Live Performance by Dandy Wellington Band from New York City
5 pm: 2016 Galveston Island Bathing Beauty Contest Begins
6:30 pm: Bathing Beauty Winners Announced
7:00 pm: Dandy Wellington Band Performance
For more information on the Eighth Annual Galveston Island Beach Revue presented by Hotel Galvez & Spa®, please contact Event Coordinator Adrienne at 409-770-7360 or visit www.galvestonbeachrevue.com.
Where to Stay:
If you want to stay right across the street from the festivities at Beach Central, stay at Hotel Galvez & Spa. The hotel provides a courtesy shuttle to transport hotel guests downtown.
For a stay in The Historic Strand District, book your stay at The Tremont House.
Or if you want to enjoy of view of the harbor, consider Harbor House Hotel & Marina at Pier 21.