Fire Princess contestants

2018 Fire Princess contestants are pictured with the 2017 Wayne County Fire Princess, top, Abigail Allen, a senior at Charles B. Aycock High School who represented Northeast Volunteer Fire Department. On the front row from left are Emma Williams of Thoroughfare Fire Department; Macie Cuddington from Nahunta; Kennedy Odom from Pikeville-Pleasant Grove; Hailey Turbeville from Patetown; Rebecca Lanier from Indian Springs; and Ashley Hall from Arrington. On the back row are Madison Batton from Mar Mac; Katlyn Ellis from New Hope; Macy Parkhurst from Northeast; Kristen Nichols from Little River; Layla Balance from Fremont; and Mackenzie Hinson from Dudley.

The 44th annual Wayne County Fire Princess Pageant will be held Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre.

Sponsored by the Wayne County Firefighters Association, this year’s event has 12 contestants, representing fire districts around the county.

In addition to the typical pageant format — which includes evening gowns and on-stage questions — contestants incorporate an educational component into their talent segment.

“The criteria is it must relate to fire prevention and fire safety,” said director Stephanie Lack. “The girls perform a skit, which can include a song and dance.”

The annual event coincides with Fire Prevention Week. Proceeds from ticket sales benefit a scholarship fund for the winners.

Contestants for the 2018 crown include Layla Balance from Fremont Fire Department; Madison Batton from Mar Mac; Macie Cuddington from Nahunta; Katlyn Ellis from New Hope; Ashley Hall from Arrington; Mackenzie Hinson from Dudley; Rebecca Lanier from Indian Springs; Kristen Nichols from Little River; Kennedy Odom from Pikeville-Pleasant Grove; Macy Parkhurst from Northeast; Hailey Turbeville from Patetown; and Emma Williams, Thoroughfare.

Tickets are $15 each and can be purchased online at www.goldsboroparamount.com or at the theater box office.