By David Meade
The 78th annual Miss South Carolina Pageant competition is underway this week in Columbia. There are two local contestants competing for the title of Miss SC. Taylor Kuykendall of Six and Twenty Rd., Williamston is representing the Colleton County Rice Festival while Katie Porter of Simpsonville is representing Powdersville.
There are four contestants, all from Piedmont, competing for the Miss SC Teen title. They are: Caitlin Frederiksen representing Anderson; Morgan Reynolds representing Fountain Inn; Samantha McCarson representing Powdersville and Amberlyn White representing Simpsonville.
These local contestants will be among 51 Miss SC contestants, 58 Teen SC contestants, 122 Princesses and 8 Princes participating and competing in the pageant.
The final night of competition will air on television in its entirety on Saturday, June 28 at 8 p.m. The pageant, which will take place in the Township Auditorium in Columbia, can be viewed on WACH Fox and the Sinclair Network throughout South Carolina (MyTv in Charleston, CW Myrtle Beach, My40 in Greenville).
Preliminary Miss and Teen Competitions are being held Tuesday through Thursday. The Miss South Carolina Teen Finals will be held on Friday.
Prior to the final night of competition, all contestants will have completed the Interview portion of the competition and preliminary competition which includes Talent, Evening Wear/Onstage Question, and Swimsuit/Physical Fitness competitions for one-third of the Miss and Teen contestants. Each contestant competes in one category each night, and will have completed all competitions by the end of the third preliminary night.
Preliminary awards for two on-stage competition categories will be announced for the Miss and Teen contestants at the end of the each preliminary night (four winners in all each preliminary night): Talent and Evening Wear/Onstage Question for the Teens; Talent and Swimsuit for the Miss.
This year, the Teen final will be held on Friday evening. The Miss SC final will be held on Saturday evening.
In line with the Miss America Pageant, 16 Miss and 16 Teen semi-finalists will be announced on their respective final nights of competition. The 16 Miss contestants will compete in swimsuit and 16 Teen contestants will compete in physical fitness, after which the field will be cut to 10 Miss and 10 Teen finalists. The final 10 contestants for the Miss will compete in talent and evening gown; the final 10 contestants for the Teen will compete in talent and evening gown.
Four Miss runners-up and four Teen runners-up will be announced, and the new Miss South Carolina and Miss South Carolina Teen will be crowned on-stage.
Tickets for all events can be purchased at the Township Auditorium Box Office or online with TicketMaster.com.
The Township Auditorium, which re-opened after a $12 million renovation four years ago, is a beautiful facility for the pageant production. Embassy Suites is headquarters for pageant staff and activities during pageant week.
The Miss South Carolina Scholarship Organization is the largest state supplier of scholarship opportunities to young women under the Miss America Organization. The Miss South Carolina organization makes over $24 million scholarships available to fund contestants’ education, showing their dedication to empower young women across the state. Their mission is to advance the creation, promotion and support of community service and educational opportunities for young women in the State of South Carolina while providing a forum in which to express their opinions, talent and intelligence.