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Savannah Hammons, Bailey Gibson win Miss Lincoln Co. pageant titles

STANFORD — Two of the highest beauty pageant titles at the Lincoln County Fair were handed out on opening night during the Miss Lincoln County pageant at the Teddy Gilbert Pageant Pavilion.

After a night of interviews and modeling in casual wear, swimsuits and evening gowns, Savannah Renee Hammons and Bailey Lauren Gibson were standing centerstage with crowns on their heads after being named Miss Lincoln County and Miss Lincoln County Fair.

Hammons, 17, of Kings Mountain had the Miss Lincoln County crown placed upon her head at the conclusion of the pageant. The 5-2 brown-eyed brunette, a student at Lincoln County High School, was also named the preliminary Interview winner. The title is limited to Lincoln County contestants.

Gibson, 19, of Albany won the Miss Lincoln County Fair title – a title that is open to contestants statewide. The 5-5 blue-eyed blond is currently a student at Eastern Kentucky University.

The two were selected out of a field of eight contestants. A portion of the night’s judging was completed before the contestants ever took the stage, with each one facing the judges in an offstage interview prior to the pageant. Each contestant was then judged onstage in casual wear, swimsuits and evening wear.

Cheers rose from the crowd as Hammons, the daughter of Aaron and Tammy McNew, was presented the first crown. In the preliminary judging, she chose a green swimsuit and red fitted evening gown encrusted with beads and crystals. Each contestant wore a red Miss Lincoln County t-shirt and shorts for casual wear.

When she graduates from LCHS, Hammons hopes to continue her education with the goal of graduating college with honors. Her career plans are to become a labor and delivery nurse. She lists cheerleading, gymnastics and singing in church as her talents and hobbies, proudly boasting of getting to cheer in the Citrus Bowl this past January.

When asked what person she admires most on her contestant information sheet, Hammons answered “My Aunt Jenna because she is strong and has a faith that could any mountain.”

Each of the contestants was also asked what is the biggest problem facing young women today. Hammons said a lack of support and unity was a big issue.

“Not being able to build a sisterhood with one another (is a problem),” she said. “We need to love and encourage one another!”

As the winner of the Miss Lincoln County title, Hammons received a crown, flowers, silver and sash along with a $150 cash award and $50 for expenses to attend the Kentucky State Fair.

Gibson, the daughter of Mark Gibson and Amy Gibson, stepped up to share centerstage with Hammons, as her name was announced as the Miss Lincoln County Fair winner. In the preliminary judging, she chose a pink swimsuit and a black fitted evening gown.

Gibson’s education and career goals are to receive her degree in occupational therapy and to open her own practice. She hopes to excel in her career and eventually open a place for Dannah’s Day Ministry.

When asked who she admired most, Gibson’s answer was her own mom.

“She has always shown me how to be strong and poised,” she said. “I can only hope to be like her one day.”

Gibson said that a lack of confidence is the challenge today’s women face.

“(They’re) struggling with confidence,” she said. “We can build young girls up by providing an example of scholarship, community involvement and leadership.”

Along with the Miss Lincoln County Fair title, crown, sash, flowers and silver, Gibson received a $100 cash award and $50 plus room expenses when she represents the Lincoln County Fair at the annual Miss Kentucky County Fair contest held in January.

Abbigalle Michele Gibson, 21, of Hebron was named the first runner-up. Gibson, the daughter of Mitch and Karen Gibson, received $60 cash and a gift. She was also the winner of the Evening Gown preliminary award. She chose a white column formal with a silver sequined v-neck bodice.

The second runner-up was Taylor Lippert, 16, of Maysville. Lippert, the daughter of Shane and Terri Lippert, received a $40 cash award and gift. She also was named the Swimsuit preliminary winner and received the People’s Choice Award, which was voted on by the audience. Lippert wore a pink swimsuit.

The remaining participants were: Haleigh Releford, 16, daughter of Jamie and Tami Releford, Stanford; Emma Grace Cooper, 21, daughter of Jeff and Malorie Cooper, Rockholds; Sumer Brieanne Simmons, 20, daughter of Randy and Susan Simmons, Barren County; and Kayla Cox, 20, daughter of Carol Cox of Stanford and the late Rob Cox.

Jesslyn Kelsey, a former Miss Lincoln County Fair, was mistress of ceremonies for the pageant.