Wilson becomes first Miss Carter County crowned in 46 years

Published 9:52 am Tuesday, September 5, 2017

For the first time in more than 45 years a new Miss Carter County was crowned on Saturday evening.

After the judges’ scores were tallied Saturday evening, Peyton Kirby Wilson, 21, was named Miss Carter County 2018. She is a 2015 graduate of Elizabethton High School and currently attends East Tennessee State University.

Wilson received a $1,500 scholarship from the family of Jim and Edna Potter, who founded the Miss Watauga Valley Pageant in 1985.

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The judges named Kortney Bailey, of Unicoi, as the first runner up to the Miss Carter County title. Bailey received a $200 scholarship from the Potter family.

Contestants for the Miss Carter County title competed in a private interview with the judges, an on-stage single question interview, swimsuit, evening gown, and talent events. A panel of five judges scored each contestant on each phase of the competition. The high and low scores were thrown out to calculate each contestant’s score.

For the talent competition, Wilson sang “I Dreamed a Dream,” from the theatrical musical Les Misérables. Bailey danced to the song “Somebody I Used To Know.”

Prior to Saturday’s pageant, Wilson was the reigning Miss Watauga Valley. Her win on Saturday marks her third victory in a Miss Tennessee preliminary pageant.

During her tenure as Miss Watauga Valley, Wilson garnered national recognition for her work to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network as part of a competition for Miss America Serves Day. She placed third in the nation in the competition and will be honored on stage this coming weekend during the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City.

In June 2018, Wilson will travel to Jackson, Tennessee, to compete for the Miss Tennessee title.

Wilson joins 11 other women in being able to claim the title of Miss Carter County.

The directors of the Miss Watauga Valley Scholarship Pageant — Linda Adams and Becky Simerly — decided to bring back the Miss Carter County title, which is a preliminary to the Miss Tennessee Scholarship Pageant.

The scholarship pageant was formed in 1961 and continued each year until 1971, when the last Miss Carter County was named before Adams and Simerly revived the title.

The most notable previous Miss Carter County was Vicki Lynn Hurd, who went on to capture the Miss Tennessee title and placed as the second runner-up to Miss America that year.

Previous Miss Carter County title holders:

  • 1961 Becky Bacon
  • 1962 Bobbie Ruth Johnson
  • 1963 Eleanor Yoakum
  • 1964 Judy Curtis
  • 1965 Mary Kathryn Wilson
  • 1966 Vicki Lynn Hurd
  • 1967 Fredda Renee Lindsey
  • 1968 Mary Barbara Fenn
  • 1969 Kathy Diann Olterman
  • 1970 Jane Ann Bryant
  • 1971 Nancy Carol Luntsford