The search is on for the 2020 Maitland Showgirl.
Entries in the annual quest have opened and showgirl coordinator Margaret Enright is urging the city's young women to come forward and take part.
She emphasised the competition would help boost each entrant's confidence and was definitely not a beauty pageant.
"The winner becomes Maitland Showgirl and then she becomes Miss Maitland for 12 months which is a great experience for a young woman. She gets to attend functions during the year with the mayor and mix with all the businesses," she said.
Judging will take place on Sunday, February 2. That will involve an interview with a panel of judges and a meal afterwards.
Entrants will be asked about their experience and life goals, their community and current affairs.
"As part of the judging we all sit down and have a meal and they are judged on how they pick up and knife and fork, and how they eat in public," Ms Enright said.
"I've had a couple of girls look at me and say 'which side is my bread knife on?'. Some girls don't know how to sit down and eat properly, they are so used to eating takeaway that they don't often sit down and have a meal."
The entrants will also attend a Gala Ball at Maitland Showground on Saturday, February 8 where they will be interviewed on stage. That event gives the community a chance to meet and greet the entrants and learn how about them.
The winner will be announced during the show's official opening on Friday, February 14.
Any young woman between 18 and 24 can enter the quest.
"It gives the girls a great experience and actually some of them have got jobs out of it," Ms Enright said.
"They always say afterwards how much they have grown from the experience. I had one girl one year that had never ever worn a dress and she thought she would never walk on stage and make a speech, but she did it.
"They get a lot of confidence out of it because by the time they go through having a meeting with me and a get together with all of them they all become great friends and they support each other."
The 2020 Maitland Showgirl will attend a deportment class at Dubbo over a weekend, which is paid for by the show.
Ms Enright said it would help them prepare for their leadership role and for the zone finals in 2021.
"It teaches them how to walk and speak on stage, where to put their napkins and how to eat at a table in public," she said.
2019 Maitland Showgirl Tamieka Lupinski will compete at the zone finals in Gresford in February. If she wins she will represent Maitland at the state final of The Land Sydney Royal Showgirl Competition.
To request an entry form phone 4933 5052 or phone Margaret Enright on 0422 769 053.