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Emily Pennington wins state crown
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Warren County Fairest of the Fair Emily Pennington has a new title, Tennessee Fairest of the Fair. She was crowned Friday night in Nashville, emerging from a field of 54 contestants.

Radiating with beauty and beaming with confidence, Warren County High School senior Emily Faith Pennington was crowned Tennessee Fairest of the Fair on Friday night in Nashville.

She becomes the second Warren County representative to win the state Fairest of the Fair title, following Victoria Woods in 2009.

“When we were down to the final two and they announced her as first runner-up, I didn’t know what to think,” said Pennington, the 18-year-old daughter of Sherry and Nathan Burnett. “I was not expecting it at all.”

Added Warren County Fairest of the Fair organizer Susan Burks, “To say we’re thrilled is an understatement.”

Pennington emerged from a field a 54 beauty queens from across the state, all winners of fair pageants in their own hometowns. It’s just the fifth pageant Pennington has ever entered.

She began to gain momentum with a stellar interview session with judges Friday morning on the way to catapulting into the Top 10.

“One of the questions was about my town and where I would take them if they came for a visit,” said Pennington. “I said I would take them to Park Theater to watch a show by Dream Reality Group and then go to Cumberland Caverns to see a concert.”

The Top 10 finalists were all asked the same question about what qualities a Tennessee Fairest of the Fair queen should possess and how they possess those qualities. Pennington answered in part that one of the key qualities should be “to have a good heart for those little eyes looking up at you.”

A stipulation of winning the Tennessee Fairest of the Fair crown is you are not eligible to compete in another pageant for one year. Pennington says she’s going to take the year off and assess if she wants to compete in a Miss Tennessee preliminary pageant after that time.

The title of state fairest doesn’t carry any official duties, but Pennington says she’s going to continue her platform of Embracing the Elderly.

“I collected over 1,500 items the past two Christmases for local nursing homes,” said Pennington. “The first year, I hand delivered all of them to each room.”

After graduating from WCHS, Pennington plans to attend UT-Martin in the fall to study nursing.

The pageant was part of the 97th Tennessee Association of Fairs Convention held over the weekend in Nashville at the Sheraton Music City Hotel.

The Warren County A&L Fair is in the running for the Champion of Champions Award to be given Saturday night. The honor had not been announced at press time.