By Emily Williams
The Vestavia Belles are celebrating their 40th anniversary this year.
As hostesses of the city, Vestavia Belles are required to don Civil War-era gowns frequently at city events, complete with hoops under the skirt, white gloves and a hat.
Nance had hers made in the style of Scarlett O’Hara from the opening scene of “Gone With the Wind.” She was able to pass on the dress she wore to her own daughter when she became a second-generation Vestavia Belle.
Being a Belle isn’t solely about the dress, according to Vestavia Belle chairwoman Rita Greene. Sophomore, junior and senior girls have to apply and go through a formal interview.
“I always tell the new Belles that being a Belle is also a job,” said Greene. Belles are required to log eight hours of volunteer service during the summer at the Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest, helping out with summer reading programming.