RALEIGH — Like mother, like daughter.
Thirty years after competing in the Miss North Carolina Scholarship Pageant, Beth Honeycutt experienced the thrill of watching her daughter, Arlie Honeycutt, be crowned Miss North Carolina 2012 Saturday night at the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts.
I knew we were in for a whirlwind, and I knew this was going to be an amazing year, Beth Honeycutt said.
Arlie Honeycutt, 19, entered the pageant after winning Miss Kinston-Lenoir. Although she is from Garner, she attends East Carolina University, which allowed her to compete in Kinston.
Honeycutt gets a $15,000 scholarship and will now get ready for the Miss America pageant next January in Las Vegas.
She said she first was bitten by the pageant bug around 14 years old and was involved in the Outstanding Teen program in Garner. Honeycutt said she was shocked when she heard her name called as the winner.
At one point, I looked down at my hands and I thought OK, when am I going to wake up? This is a dream come true, she said Sunday.
Honeycutts win capped off a busy week for the contestants filled with interviews, rehearsals and even a meeting with Jennifer Berry, Miss America 2006.
Honeycutt was followed by pageant runner-up Bindhu Pamarthi, Miss Johnston County; second runner-up, Jessie Smith, Miss Tarheel; third runner-up, Brooklyne Williamson, Miss Central Carolina; and fourth runner-up, Mya Kayler, Miss Queen City.
During her yearlong reign as Miss North Carolina, Honeycutt plans to promote volunteerism. Her platform is: The Domino Effect Inspiring Volunteerism One Person at a Time.
She hopes to continue a program where she would speak to children about volunteering and create cards for the Childrens Miracle Network.
Im looking forward to getting out in our state talking about service, getting people engaged in service and really giving back to our state, she said.
The pageant is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. Honeycutt said its an honor to win and mark the historic occasion.
Honeycutt understands that some people have a negative view of pageant winners, and she plans to work hard to change peoples perceptions. She said contestants are focused on giving back to the community.
I think its really exciting as a titleholder to go out there and change that perception of the beauty queen ideal, she said.
In 1962, Maria Fletcher from Asheville won the Miss America pageant after winning Miss North Carolina the year before. Honeycutt said if she won Miss America, it would be an incredible feeling, but she is happy just for the opportunity to participate.
It would be absolutely incredible, but Im so excited to represent North Carolina this year that win or lose, Im just ecstatic, she said.