Riverboat floozies flirt, flaunt their way back to Natchez

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 15, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; Women of the American Queen and Mississippi Queen flaunted lots of rouge, short low-cut dresses, boas and sexy attitudes for the Natchez Floozie Contest held Tuesday at the city auditorium.

The crew members of both boats acted as cheerleaders for the crowd in prelude to the contest, while a brass band played 1920s tunes.

Passengers of both boats chose six passengers and two crewmembers from each to participate in the contest and show their floozy side to win the title of Miss Natchez Under the Hill.

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Some of the judges who got a front-row seat for the voluptuous ladies were singer Chip Saporiti, radio show host William Sackett and honorary judge Steven Guido of Natchez.

Darlene Wilson &045; who was introduced as &uot;Madam&uot; Wilson &045; introduced each of the contestants who gave themselves names like Kitty Catfish, Azalea Swampwater and Magnolia Blossom.

Some of the contestants involved the crowd, especially the men who turned a bright shade of red when the ladies sat on their laps and gave them pecks on the cheek.

Wilmington, Del., resident and American Queen passenger Kathleen Deutz was crowned this year’s winner.

&uot;I’m just too flabbergasted for words. Š My daddy would be so proud of me now after sending me to Catholic school,&uot; Deutz said with a wry smile.

A first for the contest was the location where it was held. Natchez Under the Hill has been the location of the contest for many years.

Connie Taunton of the Natchez Convention and Visitors Bureau said the location was changed make passengers more comfortable in a temperature-controlled setting

Kathleen Cade, an administrator of the event, said the auditorium made it easier for the contestants to perform but had an effect on the attendance.

Cade said when the contest is held closer to the boats, more people seem to attend.

The floozy contest is being held this year as part of the Southern Steamboat Scramble in which the paddle-wheel boats race each other.

The Mississippi Queen was the winner of the first leg of the race against the American Queen. That leg started at the Mississippi River Bridge in Baton Rouge and raced for five miles.

Taunton said that since the contest was not held last year due to a change in ownership of the Delta Queen Steamboat Co., the scramble is a way of reintroducing it.

The contest will return in June, its regular time.