Parnell named Junior Miss Central Alabama Fair

Published 11:32 pm Monday, October 1, 2012

Anna Grace Parnell, left, was crowned the 2012 Junior Miss Central Alabama Fair Monday evening. -- Andrew Swindle / Andrew Swindle Photography

The four words the participants of the Junior Miss Central Alabama Fair had been waiting to hear were finally spoken Monday during the Central Alabama Fair’s opening night. The words, “And the winner is …” came as an exciting surprise for Anna Grace Parnell, a tenth grader at Autauga Academy in Prattville.

When the announcer read Parnell’s name she wasn’t sure they were talking about her, she said.

“That’s me. I’m number 20,” she had to remind herself. “I just wasn’t really sure, but I was excited. I’ve never won a crown this big.”

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Hannah Creech won first runner-up as well as most photogenic, the only contestant to win two titles.

“This was my first pageant. I didn’t really know what to expect,” she said. “I was doing it for the fun of it.”

Creech said she was both surprised and thankful with the outcome.

The second runner up, MacKenzie Smitherman is no stranger to pageants and currently holds a number of other titles. Even though she has participated in other pageants she said, “There’s 21 beautiful girls here. It’s hard not to get nervous.”

Smitherman added the Junior Miss pageant is a great experience.

“I would encourage girls from here and all over Alabama to come and do it, it’s so much fun. Everybody’s so sweet. I just really enjoy it, and can’t wait to do it again next year,” she said.

Camilla Tutt of Demopolis Middle School won best interview.

The Junior Miss Central Alabama Fair pageant was open to girls, ages 13 to 16 years old. The girls were judged on a number of things including an on-stage interview question, which is something associate director of the pageant Melissa Vardaman said she looks forward to.

“I love to see their dresses and hear their answers on stage. Those are my two favorite things,” she said.

The crowd watching the pageant seemed to agree as they cheered the girls on.

Each of the 21 contestants received “swag bags,” Vardaman said, and the top three winners each received a cash prize.