AGAWAM — The Agawam St. Patrick’s Committee is once again encouraging eligible young women of Irish descent to enter its annual pageant to select the 2024 colleen and her court.

The first step in this process is to complete and submit the online application, along with a resume and a wallet-sized portrait photo. The deadline has been extended to Dec. 15. Applications can be found at bit.ly/rp24ek.

Applicants will be contacted once their application has been received. For more information, email Abaigeal “Abbie” Malouin, president of the committee and “colleen mom,” at agawamstpatricks317@gmail.com.

Each applicant will become a contestant in the annual pageant. They will be invited to an informational meeting at the Agawam Public Library at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 6, 2024, to learn more about the colleen selection process. A panel of independent judges — not members of the Agawam committee — will select the colleen and her court at the coronation event. An applicant’s commitment to her Irish heritage is an important factor in the section process.

Agawam’s 22nd colleen coronation will take place at Oak Ridge Country Club in Feeding Hills on the evening of Feb. 3. The coronation will mark the start of “Irish Season,” the six-week period filled with Irish events and celebrations that ends in March with the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade, where the colleen and her court will represent Agawam.

“It’s a fun and exciting experience, as well as a great honor to be selected as colleen or a member of her court,” said Malouin. The colleen will be required to attend numerous events and functions throughout the year, including the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade and the Agawam Memorial Day Parade.

The Agawam St. Patick’s Committee was founded more than 20 years ago when its founders “mustered their collective Irish pride” to borrow from the city of Holyoke to produce their own “Irish Season,” said Malouin. Agawam is one of several cities in the region that contributes its own division to the Holyoke parade.

“We love being Irish in Agawam! We now have a history of colleens, floats and awards that honor our town, history and our people,” she said. “We truly have an Irish pride and culture to call our own.”

As the COVID-19 pandemic canceled parades, the committee didn’t crown a colleen for three years.

This past February, Hope Clark became Agawam’s first colleen to be named since 2020. Clark was crowned during the committee’s 21st crowning ceremony. The 2023 colleen was chosen from among eight contestants.

In addition to Malouin, other members of the committee include Douglas Reed, past president; Catherine Benson, vice president; Frank Benson, treasurer; Nikolas Fiore, clerk; and Tim McGrew and Todd Arsalanian, directors.