The Carmi Chamber of Commerce crowned the first Miss Merry Christmas in a scholarship queen pageant held Saturday afternoon at the White County Middle School. Shelby Hammell, 17, is a senior at Carmi White County High School and the daughter of Kevin and Pam Hammell of rural Crossville.
Molly Belford, the 18-year-old daughter of Jason and Audra Belford of Carmi, was named the first runner up. Also competing were Riley Wiggins, the 17-year-old daughter of Chastity Skurat and Rodney Wiggins of Carmi; Dayna Burnett, the 16-year-old daughter of Kevin and Tara Burnett of Carmi; Haley Malone, the 18-year-old daughter of Kim and Leigh Ann Malone of Grayville; and Chelsea Devoy, the 19-year-old daughter of Ben and Kim Winter of Carmi.
The contestants were scored on several areas of competition, including winter holiday wear and evening wear, scholarship, interview and stage presence during an on-stage question and answer session.
The queen received a $400 cash scholarship from the Chamber of Commerce, as well as several gifts donated by area businesses, including a bouquet of roses from Steins Flowers, ruby necklace and earrings from HD Beans Jewelers, handbag from Berry Basket, gift certificate from Logo Graphics, and gift bag from 1863 Mercantile. The runner up received a $100 cash scholarship from the Chamber and a bouquet of roses from Steins flowers. All the contestant received a complementary spray tan from Bronze Body.
Three young girls competed for the title of Little Miss Merry Christmas. Taylor Johnson, the 6-year-old daughter of JR and Amy Johnson of Norris City, received the crown and prizes, including a Christmas charm bracelet from the Chamber, a bouquet of flowers from Steins Flowers, a pearl bracelet from Berry Basket and gift certificate from Logo Graphics. Johnson was crowned by the 2010 Little Miss Merry Christmas, Macenzi Davis, the daughter of Don and Katy Davis of Carmi.
Also participating were Paige Newman, the 5-year-old daughter of Jerrie Baxley and Donnie Newman of Carmi, and Emma Wiggins-Childers, the 6-year-old daughter of Courtney Childers and James Wiggins.
Announced as the “bravest male kindergartener in White County,” the one contestant and winner of the Little Mister Merry Christmas crown was Trey Dixon, the 6-year-old son of Eric and Amy Dixon. Trey received an ID bracelet from the Chamber and a gift certificate from Logo Graphics. He was crowned by the 2010 Little Mister Merry Christmas, Bryce Conner, the son of Scott and Beth Conner of Carmi.
The pageant was coordinated by former White County Fair Queens Lacey Moore and Emily Williams. Judging the pageant was Karen Weiss of Enfield, JC Tinsley of McLeansboro and Teresa Gholson of Carmi. They each received a gift from Merle Norman Cosmetics and Gifts. Master of Ceremony was Todd Rice.
The pageant was sponsored in part by the Gold Star sponsors of the Christmas festival which include the City of Carmi, Martin & Bayley/Hucks, Gwaltney Construction/Town and Country Real Estate, and People’s Bank. The festival sponsor is Geo. N. Mitchell Drilling Company.