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These 3 NKY Women Hope to Be Crowned Miss Kentucky

Thirty contestants representing local scholarship pageants from across the state will be vying for the title of Miss Kentucky 2016 and among them will be three contestants hailing from Northern Kentucky. Once again this year one of the semi-finalists will be determined by the public, rather than the panel of judges.    

Miss Northern Kentucky is Abbigaile Michele Gibson, 18, of Hebron, the daughter of Mitch and Karen Gibson. She will be attending the University of Kentucky in the fall majoring in elementary education with plans to become an elementary school teacher. Gibson’s platform issue is “Create a World Without ALS” and her talent presentation will be a vocal performance.    

Covington resident Lydia Blaise Allen, 21, is the daughter of Scott and Ria Allen. Competing at Miss Kentucky as Miss Horse Capital of the World, Allen attends Georgetown College majoring in psychology and communication/media studies with career plans to work with non-profit organizations focusing on student mentoring and anti-human trafficking. She also plans to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. Her platform issue is “Generation HOPE: Helping Our Peers Excel” and she will be performing a lyrical ballet dance for her talent presentation. 

MacKenzie Hammond, 22, of Independence, is the daughter of Jeff and Rose Walton. She will be competing as Miss Fayette County and is a recent graduate of Northern Kentucky University with a degree in Communication. She plans to obtain a master’s degree in education and teach high school social studies. Hammond’s platform issue is “Not Another Statistic: Setting Up People to Beat the Odds” and her talent presentation will be a dramatic monologue.      

The pageant will be held at the Singletary Center for the Arts on the campus of the University of Kentucky in Lexington. Preliminary competitions will be held Thursday, June 30 and Friday, July 1 starting at 7:00 p.m. The final night of competition culminating with the crowning of the new Miss Kentucky will be on Saturday, July 2 starting at 6:00 p.m.

Additionally, pageant week kicks off with all contestants being introduced at a fashion show held at Dillard’s in Fayette Mall on Sunday, June 26 at 2 p.m. with an autograph signing to follow. This event will also feature the announcement of the 2016 Heather French Henry Quality of Life award finalists, recognized for their outstanding community service. The winner of this prestigious award will be announced at a press conference held at the Hyatt Regency on Thursday, June 30 at noon. Both of these events are free to the public.   

Tickets for the preliminaries and final competition are available by calling the Singletary Center Box Office at 859-257-4929 or visiting www.singletarycenter.com. Preliminary night tickets are $35 per night and tickets for the final night are $65. 

Over $45,000 in cash scholarships will be awarded to contestants in addition to numerous prizes and over 1 million dollars will be awarded as in-kind scholarships to various colleges and universities. The winner will also represent Kentucky in the Miss America Pageant which will be broadcast live on ABC on Sunday, September 11, from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The new Miss Kentucky will also speak in schools across the state on behalf of the “Kentucky Proud" program for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, promoting the importance of supporting and purchasing products grown and manufactured in Kentucky. 

You can vote for your favorite contestant by going to www.misskentuckypageant.com, using your credit card or PayPal account. You can vote as many times as you like or enter the full amount of votes you wish to cast at one time. For example, $1 = 1 vote and $20 = 20 votes. The contestant with the most votes will be named "Kentucky's Choice" and will become one of the Top 11 Semi-Finalists on the final night of the Miss Kentucky Pageant. All proceeds benefit the Miss Kentucky Scholarship Organization, a 501c4 non-profit scholarship program. 

Voting ends July 1 at 9 p.m.

-Staff report

Photos: (Left to right) Allen, Gibson, and Hammond (provided)