Gerbils Strut Their Stuff at New England Pageant

Rodrique Ngowi/AP

updated 05/04/2013 AT 9:00 AM ET

originally published 05/04/2013 AT 10:10 AM ET

Ever think your gerbil could do more in life than its cage in your living room will allow?

Dozens of gerbils are scurrying to New England this weekend in the hopes of squeaking out a victory in an annual pageant held by the American Gerbil Society.

The competition in Bedford, Mass., will feature agility demonstrations where the gerbils must overcome various obstacles and race to the end of a course. The small rodents also vie for coveted ribbons based on body type.

The show draws gerbil enthusiasts from around the country.

Sarah Kaden, 14, from Bordentown, N.J., thinks gerbils have great personalities. She says, “Even though they are so little, they are very different from each other and they smell a lot less than my brother’s hamsters.”

Rodrique Ngowi/AP