For registration start time, please see the detailed schedule available on the info-portal. We kindly ask that you do not arrive prior to the registration opening time.

Please bring the following at check-in:

  • 5 cans of food (the only cost to participate)
  • Snacks (for those with specific dietary needs)
  • Photo release form
  • Evening wear clothing, accessories, and shoes for the final show.
    • Please place accessories, shoes, etc. in a grocery bag or a small, lightweight bag labeled with the participant’s name and age group. Please try to avoid large bulky bags as we will be transporting them throughout the day.
    • Dresses can be placed on a dress rack near the registration table (along with the labeled bag containing shoes, accessories, etc). After registration is complete, we will place the dress rack in the changing room. Participants will be able to change into their evening wear clothing later in the day.

You will receive a gift bag and your t-shirt (if you didn’t get it Friday evening) to wear that day. Please feel free to change into the t-shirt in the lobby restroom, just behind the registration tables. Please wear jeans or comfortable pants and comfortable shoes for the day. Participants will change into their evening wear clothes later in the afternoon.


overview of the day

We will go over the schedule during orientation. It is important that at least one parent/guardian be present, especially if any last minute announcements need to be made. Participants will meet their buddy during this time.

At the end of orientation, parents will leave the auditorium to give the participants the opportunity to build confidence with their buddy. Of course, parents/guardians that need to stay with their participant the entire day due to toileting, feeding, etc. are welcome to stay. For all others, you are free to leave or join other parents in our parent room! More information is available below.

Immediately following orientation, we will begin interview practice and stage practice.

We will then move to the gym, nearby the auditorium. There, we will enjoy lunch together and interviews will begin at 1 pm. Small groups of participants will go to the basement level of the Yellow Box (elevator is available for those needing it) in a rotation. We will rotate by age divisions.

They will go to each of the following:

  • Interview
    • Interviews with up to 3 judges
    • Each interview will last 3 minutes or less
  • Hair and makeup (Mooseheart Cosmetology )
  • Wardrobe
  • After they are dressed for the final event, they can:
    • Have their photo taken by the photorgraphers at the photo backdrop
    • Create cards to be sent to military troops overseas as part of a service project
    • and/or watch a movie in the quiet room (a separate quiet room will also be available for those needing a few minutes of complete silence)



Lunch will be provided at no charge to participants. We will have lunch in the gym. If that is the case for you, please email the director at least 4 weeks prior to the event so we can plan accordingly.

Since it is a long day, we will have snacks, water, and juice available for the participants. If there are specific dietary needs, please have them bring their own snacks, and place them in their accessories bag turned in at check in. If your participant has certain health/dietary needs, please make sure to note that in the medical form.



Each participant will have 3 interviews, each lasting 3 minutes or less. Each interview will be conducted by a different judge. The complete interview process will take about 10 minutes. Some questions will be based on responses from the overview form and others will be basic questions. For example:

  • Do you have any pets at home? If yes, tell me about them.
  • What are some of your favorite things to do with your friends?
  • Tell me what your favorite color is. Why is it your favorite color?
  • What is your favorite part of being at school or work?
  • If you could visit any place, where would you visit and why?

We want the interview to be a fun and relaxing experience to help the girls gain confidence and social skills. There will not be any trick questions or surprises. If the participant is non-verbal or uses a communication device, they are welcome to participate and we can discuss their specific needs. Buddies are allowed (and encouraged) to join the participant during the interview, which may increase the participant's comfort.



We are excited that Mooseheart Cosmetology School has volunteered to do hair and makeup. For sanitary reasons, we ask you to please bring your own makeup and makeup brushes. Please put any makeup in your bag of accessories to be turned in during registration. You may want to label your makeup bag with your name. The changing room with everyone’s belongings will be across the hall from hair and makeup, so it will be very easy to access.


Introductions on Stage

Each participant will introduce themselves on stage during the final show. Participants will be paired with a buddy who can help them if they freeze onstage. If the participant is nonverbal they will be able to have their buddy speak for them. Contestants should include basic information about themselves. For example:

“Hi, my name is Gail. I am 14 years old and I am from Chicago. I love to dance, sing, and I love One Direction.”

Auditorium stage where participants will introduce themselves


We know that for various reasons, some of you would prefer not to return home after the end of orientation and before the start of the final show. We have arranged to have a parent room on-site at the venue. It is on the second level in the rooms marked "13" in the image below. From the main lobby, take the stairs up to the 2nd floor. Once you get to the top of the stairs, the room will be immediately behind you. You are also welcome to sit in the 2nd floor lobby/sitting area just to the left of the stairs or purchase merchandise from the table at the bottom of the stairs on the first floor.

There is also access to the auditorium's 2nd level balcony directly from one of the parent rooms and also from the lobby area as shown in the floor plan below. If you are interested to watch practice, this is a great place to watch discreetly and still allow participants the opportunity to build self-confidence and develop their relationship with their buddy without a parent/guardian around.


2nd Floor parent room and lobby/sitting area


Parent rooms - blue room has direct access to auditorium balcony


Panoramic view of 2nd floor with parent rooms on left and lobby/sitting area on right.

Lunch will not be provided, but there will be light snacks. You are welcome to bring your own lunch or head out to one of the many restaurants in the area. There are many fast food and sit-down restaurants near the Fox Valley Mall, about 5 minutes away.

If you are looking for other activities in the area, check out the riverwalk, children's museum, or downtown naperville. For those interested in shopping, you can visit Fox Valley Mall, or Chicago Premium Outlets. You may also want to check out TripAdvisor's list of top 10 things to do in Naperville.