The weather outside may have been rainy and gray, but the atmosphere in the Miss North Carolina Pageant auditorium was totally electric Saturday night in Raleigh. I was having major throwbacks to the way I felt on the pageant stage back in March. As the Azalea Princess, I got to attend the 80th annual Miss North Carolina Scholarship Pageant, which was such an awesome experience!
My mom and I cheered on the 2017 Azalea Festival Queen’s Court, and it was evident on that stage that any one of them would have made a wonderful Miss North Carolina. The lights dimmed and the music began as each of the contestants started their introductions on the stage. The night followed with rounds of competition to narrow it down to the top five. I remember exactly how it felt to be called into the top five- it’s a feeling of extreme relief mixed with a lot of excitement and joy. After the judges had tallied their scores, the top five turned into one winner: the new Miss North Carolina.
I rose to my feet and got to applaud the new Miss North Carolina, Victoria Huggins.
It all came full circle for me. Victoria was the emcee at the 69th North Carolina Azalea Festival Scholarship Pageant Presented by BB&T, the same pageant where I was crowned the new Azalea Princess. This time around, I was cheering on Victoria as she was competing for something I knew she worked so hard towards this year. I was proud, I was excited, and I was thankful that Victoria’s dream was coming true. She is such a wonderful influence on so many people and she carries herself with confidence and poise, just as Miss North Carolina should.
I can’t wait to cheer on Victoria as she heads to Miss America, and I’m so excited that she is invited as a special guest to next year’s Azalea Festival, April 11-15, 2018.
Your 2017 North Carolina Azalea Festival Princess
Emma Grace Wright