Miss Watauga Valley Pageant set for Saturday

Published 10:04 am Wednesday, August 30, 2017

On Saturday, the reign of the current Miss Watauga Valley will come to an end and she will pass on the torch to not one but two new title holders.

The Miss Watauga Valley Scholarship Pageant will take place on Saturday, Sept. 2, at 5 p.m. in the auditorium at T.A. Dugger Junior High School. In addition to crowning a new Miss Watauga Valley, the pageant directors — Linda Adams and Becky Simerly — are bringing back the Miss Carter County title.

“They are both preliminaries for the Miss Tennessee Scholarship Pageant,” Adams said.

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The Miss Carter County Pageant was held from 1961 through 1971 as a preliminary for the state title. In 1966 Vicki Lynn Hurd was named Miss Carter County, and she went on to not only win the Miss Tennessee title but also place as the second runner-up in the Miss America Pageant that year.

The Miss Watauga Valley Scholarship Pageant was formed in the 1980s. The first ever Miss Watauga Valley Sonya Pleasant went on to win the Miss Tennessee title in 1985.

After running for several years, the pageant went dormant for a while before Adams and Simerly took up the reins and revived it.

In addition to crowning a Miss Watauga Valley and Miss Tennessee on Saturday, the judges will also select a Miss Watauga Valley Iris Teen and a Miss Watauga Valley’s Outstanding Teen.

Each year, the pageant committee selects a young girl between the ages of 6 and 10 to serve as the Miss Watauga Valley Iris Princess. Kaylyn Simerly will once again serve in that role for the upcoming year.

The Iris Princess program allows young girls ages 6-10 to be mentored by Miss Tennessee contestants. Participants attend the Miss Tennessee Pageant and enjoy a week of fun-filled activities as they learn grace, poise, and confidence.

Miss contestants are judged in the interview, evening gown, talent, and swimsuit categories. Teen contestants compete in interview, evening gown, and fitness and lifestyles.

The reigning Miss Watauga Valley Iris Teen Peyton Jones went on to capture the state title and be named Miss Tennessee Iris Teen. Jones will return to the pageant this year to assist with the ceremonies. She will be joined by the reigning Miss Tennessee’s Outstanding Teen Autumn Arsenault.

Brittany Kyte Whitson, a former two-time Miss Watauga Valley, will once again serve as the Master of Ceremonies for this year’s pageant. In addition to her duties as host, Whitson will also perform as part of the evening’s entertainment.

“She is currently with the Jonesborough Repertory Theatre, which is performing Beauty and the Beast,” Adams said. “She is cast as Belle, and she will be singing a song from that play.”

Joining Whitson in the entertainment lineup will be two of her Miss Watauga Valley alumni — Elizabeth Painter and Maddie Hubbard. Arsenault will also perform during the evening.

The pageant will begin at 5 p.m. on Saturday with doors opening at 4:30. Tickets are $10 at the door for ages 13 and up, $5 for children age 6-12, and children 5 and under are admitted free.

Adams said the pageant is inviting any former Miss Carter County title holders as well as former Miss Watauga Valley title holders to join them on Saturday evening.