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by Charlotte Smith

Bladen County has watched Miss Hailey Hudson climb the beauty pageant ladder over the years. With her title as Miss Fayetteville Dogwood Festival, Hudson will be competing this week for the distinct honor of the Miss North Carolina title.

This year marks the 83rd year of the Miss North Carolina Pageant, and it is being held at the High Point Theatre. Hudson made her way to High Point on Monday, June 21. She said, “This has been long anticipated, and it is finally here, and I’m looking forward to being with my fellow Queens.”

Hudson won the title of Miss Fayetteville Dogwood Festival in May of 2020. Before that, she held the title of Miss Dublin Peanut Festival.

She lives at Bay Tree Lakes in Harrells, NC, and is a 2019 East Bladen High School graduate. She currently attends UNC-Chapel Hill, where she has made the Dean’s List each semester. She is a double major focusing on Advertising-Public Relations and Political Science. Her goal is to become an attorney.

Being a beauty queen does not come without challenges. Hudson said, “This past year has been unprecedented. I competed in the Miss Fayetteville Dogwood Festival in a virtual setting, so I have learned being adaptable is important in overcoming many obstacles.”

The spotlight on beauty queens allows them to make a difference. “Speak Up for Social Media Safety” is Miss Hudson’s platform. She explained she uses her royal titles to help spread cyber safety messages. In addition, she reads to children in classrooms and donates books to libraries.

The Miss North Carolina competitions will be held June 24-26, with the new Miss North Carolina crowned on Saturday. As Miss Hudson takes the stage in High Point, she will have four categories to compete in for the Miss North Carolina title. The categories are a private interview, an onstage interview, an evening gown, and a talent competition.

Miss Hudson’s fans also have an opportunity to show their support and help her win the People’s Choice title during the competition. Every dollar sent to @bcuzicanb via Venmo will equal one vote for Miss Hudson, the reigning Miss Fayetteville Dogwood, and Miss North Carolina hopeful. The contestant who raises the most money is guaranteed a top spot.

The Miss North Carolina winner will have a chance to compete in the 100th Miss America Competition.