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Mathis crowned Miss Crenshaw

Mathis was crowned by former Miss Crenshaw County 1961 Eleanor Pope. Pope was never able to crown a successor as the pageant ceased after her reign.

By: Elizabeth Ruckel

On Sunday, April 2, Crenshaw County held its first Miss Crenshaw County pageant in more than half a century.

Highland Home senior Hannah Mathis was named Miss Crenshaw County 2017 and Crenshaw Christian Academy first grader Marli Hoffman was named Little Miss Crenshaw County 2017.

Former Miss Crenshaw County 1961 Eleanor Pope returned to the pageant scene to crown Mathis, and Miss Goshen 2017, Masey Waller, crowned Hoffman.

Pope participated and was crowned in the very first Miss Crenshaw County pageant that was held over 50 years ago.

“I was thrilled to be crowned the first Miss Crenshaw County in 1961,” Pope said. “I never got to crown the next Miss Crenshaw County, so to be able to crown Miss Crenshaw County 2017 was an honor.”

Mathis and Hoffman will go on to compete at the Miss National Peanut Festival Pageant in Dothan, Ala. To be eligible to compete for Miss Crenshaw County pageant you have to live in Crenshaw County or go to school in Crenshaw County.

Miss Crenshaw County Hannah Mathis is a senior at Highland Home School. Little Miss Crenshaw County Marli Hoffman is a first grader at Crenshaw Christian Academy. Both ladies will go on to compete at the Miss National Peanut Festival Pageant to be held in October. This is the first time in over 50 years that Crenshaw County will have contestants competing.

Mathis says she was overjoyed when she was crowned Miss Crenshaw County 2017.

“The fact that I was crowned by Miss Crenshaw County 1961 was amazing, and a completely unforgettable experience,” she said.

“I consider myself lucky to be of the age to compete at Peanut at this time where our county finally has a preliminary,”

“There were only three girls in my division, which is the minimum number a preliminary can have to send someone to Peanut,”  Mathis said.

“I think we were all hoping the other one wouldn’t drop out so that someone could go and represent Crenshaw County.”

Mathis previously held the title of Future Miss Pike County 2017. This is a division of the Pike County Pageant for women who are not eligible for Peanut in Pike County.

To hold the Miss Crenshaw County and the Little Miss Crenshaw County title, Mathis has to relinquish her title of Future Miss Pike County title and Hoffman will have to do the same with her title Miss Woodlands Capital City.

Conleigh Gilmore, the Miss Crenshaw County pageant director, was also the director for the Miss Pike County pageant.

Gilmore says she was pleased with the turnout of the pageant.

“Every division had a big number of contestants except Miss.,” Gilmore said. “There were a total of 44 contestants throughout the whole pageant.”

The pageant categories consisted of interview, verbal, written, and evening gown.

Gilmore was former Miss Pike County in 2014. After her reign, she accepted the position to be director of the Miss Pike County Pageant and held that position for four years.

Gilmore says her experience on her road to Peanut was unforgettable.

“It sets you up for a successful future,” she said. “It set me up for where I am today, and I want others to be able to experience as I did.”

The National Miss Peanut Festival pageant for Miss Crenshaw County will take place Oct. 5-7, and Oct. 20 and 21 for Little Miss Crenshaw County.