More than 200 girls and their American Girl dolls hit the runway at Towson Town Center on Saturday, Jan. 28.
The walk was short and the line was long, but there were smiles all around.
"I got to tell the guy what I liked," said Savannah Shafer, 7, of Lutherville, with her look-alike American Girl doll after walking the runway.
"I wasn't nervous," she said, smiling."I like playing with my American Girl online."
All of the girls participating had a chance of being selected for the American Girl Fashion Show, to be held March 24 and 25 at the Hippodrome Theater. Those selected will be notified Feb. 3.
As a benefit for the University of Maryland Children's Hospital and the Cool Kids Campaign — a program that helps families of children dealing with cancer treatments — the fashion show will feature the American Girl fashions along with music, party favors and food, said Kristian Sekse, director of development for Cool Kids Campaign.
American Girls is popular a line of dolls that portray girls, usually ages 9 and 10, living in various times throughout American history. The dolls are associated with a book series that depict stories about the characters' lives in history.
Sekse said that about 90 percent of the young girls in attendance for the Towson auditions were not professional models.
"There is a laid back atmosphere," Sekse said of the event. "It's really fun. Everyone has a great time."
"The Hippodrome (event) is a much more elaborate version of this," Sekse said, pointing to the runway, where each girl walked before a panel of judges.
"They're judged on their attitude, confidence, how well they fit their clothes and their likeness to the dolls."
For many, the day was just about fun.
"I think it is great," said Ellen Tambor, whose daughter Rachel participated. "Dressing up and walking down the runway … it's fun for them just to do that."
Ryley Young, 12, of Owings Mills, didn't bring an American Girls doll — though she has eight.
"I got my first Bitty Baby when I was 3," Young said. "I just got Cecile for Christmas."
She and her mother, Renee Staneil, both are fans of the dolls.
"We have taken the trip to the New York City store every year since she was five," Staneil said.
The Towson event was the last of three auditions held before the March fashion show. At one of the auditions in White Marsh, 179 girls auditioned to be chosen — a mark that was broken by the Towson event, where 206 tried out.
On Saturday, standing at the end of the line, Sierra Fox, 6, and her twin doll, Nicole, were waiting for their chance, along with Sierra's mother, Miranda, and little brother, Jackson, 5.
"We have never done anything like this before and thought it would be fun to do," Miranda Fox, of Parkton, said, adding that she had told Jackson to bring his twin doll, too.
"He didn't," Miranda said, as Jackson frowned.
Tickets are now on sale for the American Girls fashion show in March. For details, go to http://www.ummsfoundation.org/americangirlCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun