50th Miss Heritage crowned


Grade Level queens and Miss Heritage (Contributed by: homewoodcityschools Instagram)

Ruby Raines, Intrigue Editor

Homewood High School crowned its 50th Miss Heritage at the annual pageant this past Saturday. Charlotte Lee, one of the 69 participants, won the title of Miss Heritage and a $2,000 scholarship. 

The pageant is divided into four different sections: the interview portion which accounts for 40% of a contestant’s overall score, the opening number, the evening gown portion and, for Top 20 participants, the onstage question.

Before the Miss Heritage pageant can begin, the participants go through a lot of preparations. About three weeks before the pageant, hair and makeup appointments are booked, and dresses are purchased. Some participants even practice for the interview, the most important part of the pageant. 

Junior and Top 20 finalist Mary Molloy Strickland participated in the pageant for the second time and encourages other students to participate. 

“I would recommend [Heritage] to anyone,” Strickland said. “You don’t have to be a pageant queen to participate.” She also said the pageant gives contestants great interview experience.

The pageant begins with the opening number where contestants wear more casual dresses and will strut the catwalk after being announced. The opening number was added in 2013 when Scott Thorne was given the responsibility of running the pageant. He added this number to allow the girls to show off their personalities. It is also a favorite among a lot of the pageant’s contestants.

“In the opening number, it’s important to choose a dress that you are comfortable with and truly radiate in,” Strickland said.

Another big aspect of the pageant is the escorts. Any senior boy can volunteer to participate. The escorts accompany the girls on stage during the evening gown portion, help disassemble the runway and even participate in a dance to entertain the crowd as they wait for the Top 20 to be announced.  

“They add a lot of legitimacy to the idea of the beauty pageant and are also a big drawing point, the dance in particular,” escort Hugh Nickson said.

The senior escorts and the Star Spangled Girls (Photo contributed by: homewoodcityschools).

The escorts donned black tank tops and bow ties for their difficult dance. They were then joined by the senior members of the Star Spangled Girls and executed multiple stunts. Escorts practiced every day after school, starting the first week after Thanksgiving break. The audience’s cheers met the escorts as they left the stage, suggesting their practice paid off. 

However, Thorne plays the largest role in the event as the main organizer. Thorne has a long history of judging pageants and coaching Miss Alabama winners, including Chandler Champion, former Miss Alabama winner, and emcee for this year’s pageant. 

Thorne’s nine years of running Miss Heritage have proven to be very important to him. He’s proud that Miss Heritage isn’t just about winning. 

“My favorite thing is watching the girls have this power that they have,” Thorne said. “One of my best memories is going backstage before the crowning and all the girls are dancing to Dancing Queen… they’re all just here having fun.” 

However, winning is still a huge accomplishment for the girls and is valuable for their collegiate futures. Lee previously won Freshman Queen in 2019 and is honored that she was given the opportunity that the pageant provides.

“This pageant is such an amazing atmosphere and experience for all of the beautiful participants to grow,” Lee said. 

Junior queen Libby Dudgeon feels the same way. 

“I didn’t really do Heritage to win, I just did it for fun, so it was all really unexpected,” Dudgeon said.