Parkersburg Homecoming Teen and Queen named

PARKERSBURG – The final royalty for the 2013 Parkersburg Homecoming Festival was chosen Saturday during the Teen and Queen Pageant at West Virginia University at Parkersburg.

Payton Whitt, 20, of Point Pleasant, was chosen as 2013 Miss Parkersburg Homecoming Queen, while Kenzie Frye, 15, of Spurlockville, was chosen as 2013 Miss Parkersburg Homecoming Teen.

Those follow Friday night’s Little Miss/Mr. and Junior Miss pageants at the Blennerhassett Hotel in Parkersburg. Aurora Cobb, 5, was named the 2013 Little Miss Parkersburg Homecoming, while Alexander Nelson, 4, was named Little Mister Parkersburg Homecoming. LaKyn Campbell, 8, was named Junior Miss Parkersburg Homecoming for this year’s festival.

“I think everything’s gone well,” pageant director Sandy Fisher said Saturday of this year’s pageant.

She was able to keep in contact with all of the contestants through Facebook and social media to bring everything together for Saturday’s event.

Fisher said this year’s pageant was a bit of a family affair.

“We have a set of twins – that are not identical, thank goodness – competing in the Teen category. We have a set of sisters competing in the Queen category. We have a sister competing in Teen and a sister competing in Queen and we have cousins competing, one in Teen and one in Queen,” she said.

Rounding out the Queen’s pageant, Morgan Kesecker, 19, of Summersville, was first runner-up; Madison Edwards, 16, of Parkersburg, was second runner-up; Casey Lassiter, 16, of Spencer, was third runner-up; and Chelsea Anderson, 21, of Franklin, was fourth runner-up.

The other finishers in the Teen pageant were Beth Zirkle, 14, of Elkins, as first runner-up; Krystal-Lynn Starcher, 15, of Williamstown, as second runner-up; Madelyn Price, 14, of St. Albans, as third runner-up; and Cari Mize, 15, of Ravenswood, as fourth runner-up.

Whitt is taking over for 2012 Homecoming Queen Tosha Saltis, while Frye takes up the crown of 2012 Homecoming Teen Kipra Raine Rhodes. The 2012 winners were recognized for their work over the past year.

Saturday’s pageant featured 12 Teen candidates between the ages of 13-15 and 16 Queen candidates between the ages of 16-21. The contestants come from throughout the Mid-Ohio Valley and West Virginia.

During the competition before both winners were crowned, a Miss Congeniality and Miss Photogenic winner was named in each age division. Carrie Yarber was named Miss Photogenic and Zirkle was named Miss Congeniality for the Teen pageant. In the Queen pageant, Miss Congeniality went to Soumia Smiri and Miss Photogenic was Whitt.

Whitt received a $1,200 scholarship while Frye received a $250 scholarship. Each winner also received a plaque, sash, floral bouquet and basket filled with gifts and gift certificates from area businesses.

Contestants were judged on personal interviews, interview attire, on-stage interviews and evening gown.