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Miss North Carolina pageant turns 75

Posted June 20, 2012
Updated June 21, 2012

— The Miss North Carolina scholarship pageant is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year with an exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh.

The styles, the swimsuits, the gowns and the crowning accomplishments – chronicled through the years – will go on display at 9 a.m. Friday. The 2012 pageant is at 8 p.m. Saturday in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium.

The winner will go on to compete in the Miss America Pageant in 2013. 

McNeil Chestnut has been involved with both pageants for the last four decades. In fact, his expertise dates back to high school, when he became musical director for the Miss Roanoke Rapids pageant.

"I sure knew where the pretty girls were," he said. "They were a part of the dance school and they became part of the pageant."

Chestnut said the competitions are about more than just beauty.

"Some think this is just a pageant," he said. "Look into the substance of the young women competing now, and what they're doing for themselves." 

The pageants rest their crowns on four ideals: service, style, success and scholarship, Chestnut said. He hopes the museum exhibit will educate people about the important work pageant winners do after the gowns and makeup come off.

Raleigh museum showcases history of Miss NC pageant Raleigh museum showcases history of Miss NC pageant

"Last night, Ms. Fayetteville got an award. She had raised approximately $20,000 for Children's Miracle Network," Chestnut said. "It's incredible. It's a real inspiration."


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  • chattycat Jun 21, 2012

    Now this folks is news!

  • moppie Jun 21, 2012

    Let me show you an example from the other side: I was a slightly chubby, introverted, shy girl who didn't have a lot of self-esteem. My mother entered me in my first pageant when I was 6. I eventually was in 4 total pageants. Over the course of those two years, I learned how to walk with my spine straight, shoulders back, and head high. I learned how to project my voice to fill an auditorium. I learned how to speak comfortably with interviewers and to not say "um" every other word. In other words, I got a huge dose of confidence. Those skills I learned in beauty pageants I have taken with me well into my adult life. One of my favorite coordinators used to constantly say ," A smile and positive demeanor will get you far in life".

  • Sumo Vita Jun 21, 2012

    I'm sorry, but that's too old for a pageant. It's time to bring in some fresh blood.

  • davidgnews Jun 21, 2012

    What's the point anymore? Was there ever one?

    IMO most pageant moms are trying to live some fairy tale life through their contestant-daughters. It's really sick when they get them into this stuff at 5 or 6 years of age. No wonder they have development issues.

  • pooodaddy Jun 21, 2012

    Pageants are dumb.

  • oceancandle Jun 21, 2012

    One would think in 75 years they would be able to teach these girls and their moms who were probably princesses to and anyone else affiliated with the organization how to be held to a higher standard of ethics, manners and etiquette! These people are staying at local Raleigh hotels this week, eating at local restaurants, bars and hotel bars and restaurants and they are servers worst nightmares. They're rude, obnoxious, snooty, spoiled and the list goes on. They walk out on tabs, they don't tip, they run the servers to death to the point of exhaustion and tears for some, they treat their servers less than human and worse than stray dogs and all these people get is the $2.13 an hour they initially get paid, they bust their behinds catering to these snot queens and everyone affiliated with them. I'm glad I taught my daughter to work hard for what she wanted and not think she's better than everyone else and not to be fake like these barbaric people do.

  • bigal02282 Jun 21, 2012

    I'm sorry, but I prefer my contestants a bit younger than 75. More power to gam-gam though!