Bladenboro pageant set for Saturday

Staff report

BLADENBORO — Ten young women will take the stage at Bladenboro Middle School auditorium on Saturday to compete for the titles of Princess of Bladenboro and Miss Bladenboro, which are festival preliminaries to the Miss North Carolina and Miss North Carolina’s Outstanding Teen Pageants.

Executive Directors Karen and John Ruffin say they are looking forward to making Bladen County history for a second year in as many years as the new Princess of Bladenboro will be the first young woman to represent Bladenboro, or Bladen County, at the Miss North Carolina’s Outstanding Teen competition next June. Lindsey Sue Herring made history this past summer as the first Miss Bladenboro to compete for the title of Miss North Carolina.

Contestants for the title of Princess of Bladenboro will compete in five phases of competition: private interview, physical fitness, talent, evening gown and on-stage question. Private interview and talent are the heaviest weighted categories in the overall judging.

Competing for the title of Princess of Bladenboro are five young ladies — Bailey Elizabeth Deans, 16, daughter of William Tracy and Leigh Watson Deans and a sophomore at Southern Nash High School; Caroline Hodges, the daughter of Ana and Michael Hodges and a freshman at Village Christian Academy; Kiersten Lanette Hopkins, 13, the daughter of Shawn and Kathryn Harrell who attends Mac Williams Middle School; Hailey Elizabeth Hudson, a freshman at Terry Sanford High School and the daughter of Amy and Shannon Hudson; and Anna Grace Allen, 14, the daughter of Jason and Teresa Allen who is a freshman at Gray’s Creek High School.

At the Miss level, contestants will compete in interview, lifestyle and fitness-known as swimsuit, talent, on-stage question, and evening gown. Interview and talent carry the most weight in overall points.

Miss Bladenboro contestants include: Megan Nicole Atkinson,20, and a sophomore at East Carolina University, the daughter of Joan and Dale Brennan of White Lake and James Atkinson; Bryanna Carrington, 18, the daughter of Jacquelynn and Ronnie Gibson of Fayetteville who attends The University of North Carolina at Pembroke; Rachel Cole, 18, the daughter of Lt. Col. Michael and Laura Cole of Fayetteville, a freshman at Meredith College; Kaitlyn Gause, a West Bladen senior and the daughter of Jeff and Tammy Gause of Bladenboro; and Haven Cashwell, 20, the daughter of David and Alice Cashwell of Wade and freshman at North Carolina State University.

The pageant will begin at 5 p.m. with doors opening at 4:30. Tickets are $15 at the door. Visiting preliminary queens will be admitted at no charge with crown and sash. All others visiting queens and executive directors will be admitted at half price.


Special emcee


Beth Stovall, Miss North Carolina 2014, will be in Bladenboro on Saturday to emcee the annual pageant.

Beth Stovall, 22, is the daughter of Dan and Patti Stovall from Goldsboro. Before winning the title of Miss North Carolina 2014, she was a student at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington majoring in vocal performance. While at UNCW Stovall received the People Helping People Scholarship, was a Dean’s List student, a member of the Honors College, Chamber Choir, Concert Choir, and served as a mentor. Currently, she is a vocal performance major at East Carolina University, where she is a member of the nationally renowned Chamber Singers Ensemble.

Stovall was honored to receive the Miss North Carolina Overall Talent award as well as a Preliminary Talent award during the 2014 Miss North Carolina competition. Beth was awarded a Most Talented Non-Finalist Award at the 2015 Miss America Pageant.

In May, Stovall partnered with Arts North Carolina and was escorted onto the North Carolina House of Representatives floor to speak in support of arts education and further promote arts advocacy. Having collaborated with local arts councils and schools, she plans to continue to partner with schools statewide to help foster and promote education, funding, and support for the arts in public schools.


Special performance


Miss North Carolina Outstanding Teen Kenzie Hansley will be a guest performer at the Miss Bladenboro pageant.

Hansley competed at the Miss America Outstanding Teen competition and is a student at Topsail High School.

Staff report

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