Crowns passed to new local pageant winners

Tony Casey • Nov 24, 2013 at 7:38 AM

Just days after the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, 2013 Miss Historic Jonesborough, Emilee Ketron paid homage to the fallen public servant in her speech before handing down the crown to her successor.

“It’s not what the crown can do for you, but what you can do for people,” Ketron said.

And when the reign of Ketron and 2013’s Miss Johnson City Lily Crouch came to end, the new winners took the spotlight at the 66th Annual Miss Johnson City, Miss Historic Jonesborough Scholarship Pageant at the D.P. Culp Auditorium at East Tennessee State University Saturday evening.

Lexi White, the contestant to perform last in each of the competitions, was crowned the new Miss Historic Jonesborough for the next year. Contestant No. 4, Blakely Bays, was named Miss Johnson City for the next 365 days.

White, who was wearing her white, form-fitting dress, crouched down in front of Ketron, who helped pin the crown on the new winner’s hair. For the swimsuit portion of the competition, White sported a yellow, two-piece suit for the judges and audience.

Having recently traveled to Africa on a mission trip, she called her experience a life-changing, eye-opening event. She’s a Baylor High School graduate who is enrolled at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, where she majors in psychology.

In her performance for the talent section of the pageant, White sang “Never Alone” in a red dress with impressive silver earrings.

White’s runner-up was Cumberland Gap High School graduate Courtney Walker, who is majoring agri-business at Tennessee Technological University.

Johnson City’s new top lady, Bays, shed tears when her victory was announced, as she found the center of the stage to booming applause from her cheering section. Her runner-up was Science Hill High School’s Hannah Hausman, who intends to pursue broadcast journalism in college.

Bays, a graduate of Tennessee High School, Bristol who attend ETSU, where she is pursuing a major in communications, wowed judges a shining, sparkling dress, with a slit down the left leg in the evening wear portion. The bathing suit Bays wore was a bright purple two-piece bikini.

She chose Internet safety as a cause to get behind, and advocates for common sense precautions, such as blocking unwanted followers on social media sites, saying that you can never be too careful.

In her talent display, she did a dance number to the song “History Repeating.”

For the winners, they received a $500 Sandy Rieger Scholarship, a Miss America crown and sash, one-year memberships to the Wellness Center and Beautiful Tans, and about $1,500 in services from Choices Medical Spa.

A few hundred people, including past pageant winners filled audience seats at the competition. The band Daisi Rain peformed for the crowd, as well as performances from the Encore Dancers and Savannah Finley Beals and Matthew Hartgrove. Former Miss Historic Jonesborough winner Julia Hale Mitchell emceed the occasion.

Hale, Ketron and Crouch all made a point to say that winners and participants of the pageant all have a duty to service. Ketron said it was a life-changing experience for her to win and touch so many peoples’ lives, especially one occasion at the local Mountain Home Veterans Affairs Medical Center, when a conversation between her and a veteran who lost his legs in combat brought the man to tears.

Ketron implied experiences like hers could be expected, and that was what the respective titles were all about.

As Crouch said just before the new victors were announced, they shouldn’t take any of their time on top for granted because they only have the next 365 days to make an impact.

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