A panel of judges—including local parliament representatives, the headmaster of a local school, and a local cucumber farmer—gathered in the Lithuanian village of Ramygala on Sunday, June 26, to assess contestants as they walked down the red carpet at the village’s annual pageant. The contestants at this event were not people sporting swimsuits or ballroom attire—they were goats, decorated in hats, crowns, shawls, and ornaments.
According to event organizer, Loreta Kubiliuniene, this is the seventh year the pageant has been organized in the village. “The goat with the nicest skin,” she told BBC, “will be crowned with a crown that’s worth more than mine.”
Reuters reports the winner at this year’s event was Demyte, or “Little Spot,” a 16-month-old female goat owned by 74-year-old retired veterinarian Ferdinandas Petkevicius. This was Petkevicius’s sixth entry into the annual competition. He and Demyte won cakes, honey, books, and coupons for a haircut.
Over 500 villagers came out to see this year’s beauty contest and its marching band, dancers, and “king” and “queen” who conduct the ceremonies. The event honors the goat as Ramygala’s village symbol, which Lonely Planet reports was adopted in the 16th century.
“It’s very nice,” one attendee told BBC News. “When you have free time, it’s very pleasant to take part in such ceremonies. It’s as if we’re in a fairytale.”
This quaint village in northern Lithuania isn’t the only place where goats have become popular attractions. A herd of endangered goats in Iceland have become popular among tourists thanks to Game of Thrones. The Irish crown a mountain goat king at Puck Fair, one of the country’s oldest remaining festivals.
Check out a video report by BBC’s News Update on YouTube below: