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Lincoln Herald | Lincolnton, NC

home : news : e-news April 10, 2020

8/4/2017 6:03:00 AM
BPW Apple Queen Pageant Happens Saturday
(L-R) Erica Miller and Bryce Carey(Photos Courtesy Lincolnton BPW)
(L-R) Erica Miller and Bryce Carey

(Photos Courtesy Lincolnton BPW)

+ view more photos
These are the contestants for 2017.  
You can see the individual photos in
the Lincoln Herald gallery 
2017 LC Apple Queen Contestants.

(Photos Courtesy Lincolnton BPW)

You can see the gallery of the
other 10 contestants at
More About the 2017
Apple Queen Contestants (part one).

Wayne Howard
Staff Writer

The Apple Queen Scholarship Pageant kicks off the activities related to the Lincoln County Apple Festival.  It happens this Saturday evening starting at 6 PM at the James W. Warren Citizens Center.  

This is the 39th Apple Queen pageant, all of them presented by the Lincolnton Business & Professional Women's Club.

Cheryl Burgess, who chairs the BPW Pageant Committee told us:

"The Lincolnton BPW was chartered in 1957. Several of the charter members are still in the Lincolnton area and one, Shirley Smith, is still an active member of today’s Club. Shirley has received her Lifetime Membership award from NC BPW for her service and time of membership.  BPW is an organization with a mission to provide personal and professional growth opportunities and promote equality for women in the workplace.  Lincolnton BPW has two large project each year – the Apple Queen Scholarship Pageant and selecting the Lincoln County Woman of the Year.  The Club meets the first Tuesday of each month at Court Street Grille at 6 PM. All women are invited and encouraged to visit and find out more about BPW. 

"BPW sponsored the first Apple Queen Scholarship Pageant in 1978 when Billie Watts was crowned. Over the years, some Queens went on to compete in the Miss NC pageant. Today, the pageant is not a preliminary to Miss NC but there are other NC pageants in which the Queen is eligible to compete. Though many assume it’s a “beauty pageant,” it is and will forever be a scholarship pageant. Over $7,000 in scholarships and prizes are awarded to deserving young ladies.  This tradition for Lincoln County is more than just a pageant though. This opens up opportunity for young ladies from all of our county high to get to know each other, work together, support each other and grow in confidence.

"To many Lincoln County children, the Apple Queen is a real princess when she visits their classrooms. She has a community platform that she is passionate about and able to share with the public; and she reigns over the Apple Festival as well as participates in other Lincoln County non-profit organization events.

"This year, 21 young ladies are vying for the title. We have representation from Lincolnton, East Lincoln, North Lincoln, West Lincoln, Lincoln Charter School and Long Shoals Wesleyan Academy. The contestants will vote for Miss Congeniality. The judges will select the Queen and her court. A new feature has been added this year: those who attend the pageant will have the opportunity to select an  'Apple of My Eye' recipient.  Contestants will have bags in the lobby of the Citizens Center and the public is invited to vote for their favorite by donating money - $1 for 1 vote. You can vote as many times as you like through the intermission of the pageant.

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"This scholarship pageant would not be possible without the generous support of the business community of Lincoln County. Each contestant is asked to sell program ads for her personal signature pages. In addition to ads, we also have pageant sponsors. We are pleased to have Chris Rhyne Financial Management sponsor the Business Wear and On-Stage question segment, Lincolnton Animal Hospital sponsor the Swim Wear Revue and Dr. Steve Austin/Austin Orthodontics sponsor the Evening Gown segment. Jeff Crotts of Knob Creek Orchards is sponsoring the Apple Queen’s Crown and Little Miss Lincoln County sponsors the Queen’s Sash. Odyssey All-Star Cheer & Tumble is hosting the concession stand this year and will have drinks, water, snacks, candy and pizza slices."

The work of putting on the big show at the Citizens Center begins months in advance. Cheryl tells us they're already working on next year's 40th Apple Queen pageant. For many years, Shirley Smith was in charge of the pageant. She also maintained Apple Queen memorabilia which has since been donated to the Historical Association. Amy Chapman Cable directed the pageant for many years.

This year's pageant is being directed and choreographed by one of the most popular former Queens, Erica Miller. Erica is a lifetime resident of Lincoln County. She was a competitive dancer for over 10 years at Alternative Steps Dance Studio. After winning the title of 2013 Miss Lincoln County Apple Queen, she began assisting in the production of the pageant, and has acted as director since 2015.

Erica is actively pursuing her modeling career, and has appeared on the New York Fashion Week runway and will head to Paris in September of this year. Erica is a full time student at Davidson, majoring in political science concentrating in religion, with plans to attend Law School to pursue a career of first amendment protection advocacy in Washington.

Tara West Reich is the Assistant Director. She is an honors graduate of Gardner-Webb University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and she works as a Senior Pharmaceutical Engineer at G&W Labs in Lincolnton. Tara began playing the violin at age four and has performed throughout the Southeast. She became involved in pageants by competing in the Miss Tennessee Pageant where she won the State Community Service Award for her work with Special Olympics. In addition, she was crowned the first Miss Gardner-Webb University. Tara currently lives in Lincolnton with her husband and six-year-old daughter.
Bryce Carey is again the Master of Ceremonies for the event.

Bryce is a freelance makeup artist and hairstylist working mostly in TV, Film and Web Production. He is a graduate of Paul Mitchell School and was recently named one of Paul Mitchell’s most successful top 10 graduates. He is the resident beauty expert for FOX "Good Day Charlotte," and can be seen weekly on-air sharing beauty insights, pro tips and tricks and new products. Bryce's work has been featured in Vanity Fair, Seventeen, Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, Southern Living, Hunger Games, the Hallmark Channel, MSNBC, NBC, ABC, Disney Channel, the SEC Network and ESPN. Bryce is a graduate of Lincolnton High School and recently moved back to Lincolnton with his mini schnauzer rescue, Tallulah.
Tickets will be available at the door which will open at 5:30 PM. The pageant begins at 6. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for children 12 and under and senior citizens.

The photo gallery attached to this article has photos of eleven of the contestants.  Another photo gallery was attached to an earlier article with individual photos and comments from the other 10.

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Related Stories:
• Apple Queen Pageant Saturday Night
• Keely Stempien Looks Back
• 39th Apple Queen Pageant With 21 Contestants This Saturday

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