By Nita Johnson
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
A Laurel County Homecoming Queen can once again vie for the Miss Kentucky crown.
For the first time in more than 40 years, the Miss Laurel County Homecoming Pageant and Teen Miss Laurel County Homecoming Pageant will send their winners to represent Laurel County at the Miss Kentucky Pageant and Miss Kentucky’s Outstanding Teen Pageant in June 2014. If the Miss Laurel County Homecoming Pageant winner is crowned as Miss Kentucky, she will represent the state at the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City. The Teen winner, if crowned, will try for the title for Miss America’s Outstanding Teen pageant in Orlando.
Joining the pageant committee this year is Chelsea Philpot, a former Miss Laurel County Homecoming Pageant winner who can provide expert advice to the contestants vying for the local crown. Also coming aboard this year’s event are Susan and Darrell Weaver, who hosts the Miss Southeast Kentucky/Miss Cumberland Falls Scholarship Pageant, which is also a preliminary to the Miss Kentucky Scholarship Pageant. This pageant is held at the North Laurel High School auditorium each November.
“This is a great opportunity for local girls to stand proudly on stage representing our town. We know we will have the support of our community and hope there are several girls in this area who are interested in competing,” said Susan Weaver.
Although the competition has been expanded to include talent, the Homecoming pageant is set for Saturday, August 17 at the amphitheater in Levi Jackson W.R. State Park.
“Contestants from age 13 to 24 fall into the two categories — Outstanding Teen and Miss,” Weaver continued. “The competitions will be different than before but we know our town will embrace these changes and we will have a fantastic contestant turnout.”
London has already witnessed two local young woman win the Miss Kentucky crown — Chera-Lyn Cook-Kennedy in 1998 and Mackenzie Mayes Walter in 2003. In 1998, Cook-Kennedy was fourth runner-up in the Miss America pageant.
“We think it is time another hometown girl was crowned,” Weaver added.
Star Robbins, coordinator of the annual Homecoming event, is excited about this year’s changes to the pageant and entertainment.
“This is our community and our festival,” Robbins said. “It is one time each year where we can come together and visit and celebrate what a great place we call home.”
Anyone interested in competing for the pageant can contact Susan Weaver at (606) 309-1496 or Chelsea Philpot at (606) 682-4736, or by e-mail at LaurelCoHomecomingPageant@yahoo.com.