The recently-crowned Miss N.C. USA 2016 is Allie Dunn, who grew up in Stallings.
The pageant was held Oct. 10 in High Point.
Dunn is fairly new to pageants, having competed in her first in 2013, the year she graduated from Porter Ridge High School. She was runner-up in that first pageant. The Miss N.C. USA pageant was her third.
Dunn said she and her mom, Terri Dunn, used to watch pageants on TV. One day Allie thought she’d give it a try because she thought it would be fun.
The Miss N.C. USA competition includes an interview with judges before the pageant, then a swimsuit and evening gown competition on stage. The final five contestants also have to respond to an on-stage question.
Unlike the Miss America pageants, there is no talent contest. Dunn said she got advice from people who were experienced, but didn’t really receive coaching, relying a lot on her mom.
“I could not do this without my mom and dad,” Allie Dunn said. “My mom pretty much goes everywhere with me.”
Her dad, Wyatt Dunn, is mayor of Stallings.
A junior at Appalachian State, Allie is majoring in hospitality and tourism management, but plans to take a semester off. During that time, she said she will travel around the state and make appearances.
“It’s definitely a lot of long days,” she said. “But it’s rewarding too.”
In November, she will participate in USO events “Operation That’s My Dress” at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville and in Jacksonville, Fla.
Dunn chose to go to Jacksonville because her brother, Tyler, 28, is stationed there serving as a lieutenant in the Navy. She also has another brother, Matthew, who is 31.
The USO events include fashion shows with pageant title holders and models wearing floor-length and cocktail-style dresses. Wives and daughters of the military get to pick a dress to take home for free after the fashion show.
Allie also said she will prepare for the Miss USA pageant.
She will be among the 51 contestants who will compete in the pageant next summer. The date and location are yet to be determined. Every state in the U.S. and the District of Columbia will be represented.
Although she said she was more excited than nervous participating in the Miss N.C. USA pageant, she’s still fairly new to the competition.
“It’s such a surreal moment,” she said of her reaction to winning the crown. “I knew I was going to cry and I did. I was just in shock and over-the-moon happy.”
Kim Becknell Williams is a freelance writer: email@example.com.