10/02/11 — Fair queen follows in her mother's footsteps

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Fair queen follows in her mother's footsteps

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on October 2, 2011 1:50 AM

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Stacie Dawson, left, 2010 Queen of the Fair, crowns Charlotte Kornegay as the 2011 queen at the end of Friday night's pageant. In winning the title, Ms. Kornegay is following in the footsteps of her mother, Susan Westbrook Kornegay, who won in 1974.

Belting out the lyrics to "Don't Rain on My Parade," Charlotte Kornegay ignored the torrential downpour outside the entertainment arena Friday night as she claimed the title of 2011 Queen of the Fair.

Clutching her crown to her head, the 16-year-old Rosewood High School student said she had entered the pageant to follow in the footsteps of her mother, Susan Westbrook Kornegay, who was the 1974 Queen of the Fair.

"I thought it would mean a lot to her if I did it and hopefully won, which I did," Miss Kornegay said. "I thought my chances of winning were slim. All the girls here did such a good job and I was really surprised."

She said she noticed her mom in the audience when her name was called as the queen and her mother had a look of "Oh my Lord, I can't believe it."

Miss Kornegay has never been in a pageant before in her life.

For her talent, she sang a song from the Broadway play "Funny Girl."

During her interview question, Miss Kornegay was asked about her favorite part of mission week with her church.

"I said it was going to the Soup Kitchen and the joy of seeing the people's faces that they had a hot meal and knowing that you're lucky to have what you have," she said.

Michaela Denton, an 18-year-old student at Wayne Early Middle College High School, was first runner-up.

"I was pretty excited," she said. "I love beauty pageants. It's fun. I like working with all the other girls. It's amazing."

But the most amazing part, she said, is that she'd been a tomboy growing up.

"I was like 'No, it's not my thing,'" she said. "Then one day I heard about the Queen of the Fair pageant and I decided it looked like it was going to be a lot of fun and I thought I'm going to try that. I was a junior in high school at the time."

Miss Denton sang a lighthearted song about a male cashier at a coffee house who barely notices her, but whom she decides she's in love with. It's called "Taylor the Latte Boy."

For her interview question, she was asked how being a coach for Special Olympics had changed her.

She answered, "It was really amazing because you see these special people that you think can't do anything and you teach them to ride a horse and they prove you wrong and then blow you away."

Second runner-up was Mackenzie Malham, a 15-year-old student at Wayne School of Engineering.

She participated in the pageant last year and had wonderful experience while making a ton of good friends, she said.

"I love pageants," Miss Malham said. "It's a great way to vocalize yourself."

For her talent, she sang "On My Own" from the Broadway musical Les Miserables.

Her answer to a question about being an ambassador in her school was to focus on how it allows her to represent her school.

Kimber Pender was third runner-up. She's a 16-year-old student at Charles B. Aycock High School.

She also did the Queen of the Fair pageant last year and really liked it.

"I had a wonderful experience and just wanted to do it again," she said.

She sang "Proud Mary" for her talent.

Her interview question was what she learned from being class president her freshman and sophomore years.

"My answer was you learn how to be there for your fellow peers and to be that person that they want to talk to."

She was really excited when they called her name as third runner-up because she didn't place last year.

"I'm just thrilled to have this experience," Miss Pender said.

Also attending the Queen of the Fair pageant was the reigning Miss North Carolina, Goldsboro's own Hailey Best.

"I just happened to be in town that night and decided to make this a first," she said of being the first Miss North Carolina to attend the pageant.

"It was great," the 20-year-old said. "I was blown away by the talent.

"This is a great opportunity and a good learning tool for the Miss America system. I think a lot of these girls are going to be recruited to do the Miss Goldsboro and Miss Goldsboro Outstanding Teen pageants."