2-year-old retires his crown as `King'

PICTURE THIS

August 15, 2007|By Melissa Harris | Melissa Harris,Sun reporter

Standing 2 feet tall and weighing 20 pounds, three-time pretty-baby contest champion Alex Wilmeth retired Saturday after a knockout performance as Elvis at the Howard County Fair.

His father, Michael Wilmeth, offered this statement on his son's victory in his final year of eligibility: "He is the Michael Jordan of baby parades."

In 2005, the Cooksville native debuted in the nonwalking division as Harry Potter. At the age of 1, he steered his "Black Pearl" wagon as Pirates of the Caribbean character Jack Sparrow. And at the ripe old age of 2, he swiveled his hips in front of a classic red Radio Flyer full of screaming and clapping cardboard fans.

"He has conquered literature, movies and now pop culture," said Michael Wilmeth, 38. "I just feel sleeplessness and delirium."

Actually, Alex's parents, Michael and Susan Wilmeth, stayed up until the wee hours for several days working on the project. Susan sewed the King's famous white jumpsuit. Michael, who illustrates as a hobby, cut the stage and crazed-crowd members out of cardboard and affixed the faux teenagers to springs.They bounced around like bobblehead dolls as Alex pulled the wagon around the stage.

"I didn't become an illustrator because I didn't want to be poor," said Michael Wilmeth, who works as a marketing director for a Baltimore County private school. "So I get the glory at baby parades."

He also designed the cover of the fair's brochure and guidebook.

In honor of his son's three-peat, "the sequins that fell off of his jumpsuit will be for sale on eBay," he joked.

melissa.harris@baltsun.com

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