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Pageant viewing can be festive
Friends, food, fun highlight Miss America viewing party
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Beauty pageants are an American tradition, especially here in Warren County. We could possibly hold a record in presenting the most pageants.
That could be why so much excitement surrounds the Miss America Pageant, which crowned the 2013 titleholder Saturday night in Las Vegas. Miss New York Mallory Hytes Hagan, 23, was crowned the coveted title, and will fulfill her duties as Miss America.
A group of ladies of varying ages, let’s say 60-ish down to 8, got together to watch the pageant and have a little female camaraderie. It could be compared to the guys and their Super Bowl parties. Pageant tiara masks and sample ballots were provided, adding to the festive fun.  
“What an awesome experience, watching the pageant with friends,” said Kaye Worzek. “I  usually watch alone, and the party was much more fun.”
The girls snacked on delicious foods (probably healthier than the guys’) during the night, analyzed each contestant in their evening gown, trashed talked the swimsuit competition, and critiqued their talent presentations — all in the name of fun of course!
Most of the attendees know how much hard work goes into a pageant of this magnitude, especially the path the contestants travel to even get there. A Miss Tennessee preliminary, Miss County Sunshine, is held here each year, and directed by Robert Farr. Of course, Miss Tennessee competes in the Miss America Pageant.
This year a preview program was held before the actual pageant started called “The Road to Miss America,” telling and showing how much hard work, dedication and preparation each girl goes through to get to that level. The local Miss Country Sunshine event was showcased several times during the show, showing some of the contestants in different competitions and the crowning of the next titleholder, Maria Shepherd.
Farr was very excited for Warren County to get this type of coverage. He said, “When they contacted me about using some of the footage of our pageant, I was so excited. But I know many times things change and it may end up on the cutting room floor.” That didn’t happen, and Miss Country Sunshine was the only Tennessee preliminary featured.  
This year our Miss Tennessee was Tullahoma native Chandler Lawson, a lovely six-foot blonde that represented our state very well. She made it to the Top 10 and was able to perform her talent presentation for the crowd. Lawson, in preliminary competition, was named a finalists for the coveted Miss America Quality of Life Award, and she also received the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Medal Award for Community Service, Fitness and Personal Development.
Laura Carter and her daughter former Miss Tennessee contestant, Caroline, were among the guests attending the viewing party, and Laura said, “We had a great time watching the pageant with friends, and we are so proud of our Miss Tennessee. And the food was good too.”