Abingdon, VA (Monday, October 14, 2013) – The 21st Annual Miss Food City Pageant was held on Saturday, October 12th at the historic Paramount Center for the Arts in Downtown Bristol. Each year, the pageant showcases young women from across the region. Saturday evening, 17 contestants entered the beautiful Paramount Center for the Arts in hopes of winning the coveted title.
When the moment arrived, Kayla Neikirk of Watauga, TN was crowned Miss Food City 2014. Kayla is a 21 year-old student at East Tennessee State University. “I am still in shock and beyond excited to be chosen as Miss Food City 2014,” says Neikirk. “It is a privilege to be able to represent such an honorable company that is so passionate about the well-being of the community. I am excited to be a part of the Food City family and cannot wait to see what this year has in store.”
Neikirk is employed by Express of Johnson City. She enjoys playing music, shopping and hunting. Her accomplishments include paying for her own education, graduating in May with a Bachelor of Science degree and being a successful self-employed musician. Kayla aspires to obtain a Master’s degree in Nutrition to become a registered dietitian and begin a career in her field of study.
Kayla will represent Food City during its sponsorship of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Food City 500 and the Nationwide Series Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway and other race and company related activities throughout 2014.
“We would like to thank each of our contestants for their participation in the Miss Food City Pageant and commend them for their many talents and accomplishments,” said Steven C. Smith, Food City president and chief executive officer. “We are extremely proud to have Kayla representing Food City in the coming year, as she will be an excellent spokesperson for our company.”
First runner-up was Azlinn Hope Alder of Jefferson City, TN and second runner-up was Jessica Dianne Larkin of Johnson City, TN. Kayla Neikirk was also selected as Miss Photogenic. Neikirk succeeds Alex Honeycutt of Johnson City, TN who held the title of Miss Food City 2013.
The annual pageant was directed by the ladies of the Twin City Woman’s Club, with event proceeds benefitting their sponsored projects and charities. “We would like to thank everyone who worked to make the pageant such a huge success, especially the members of the Twin City Woman’s Club for doing such a tremendous job directing the event, as well as WXBQ and Reggie Neel, the Paramount Center for the Arts, our performers and, of course our Food City associates and the many others who volunteered their time and talent to assist with the pageant,” added Smith.
About the Miss Food City Pageant
The first pageant was held in the Bristol Mall in 1992. Former winners include Janet Barton - 1992 & 1993, Meredith Blankenship – 1994, Tracy Wilson – 1995, April Elswick – 1996, Lisa Tollett – 1997, Christin Wilson – 1998, Erica Hembree – 1999, Amanda Greene – 2000, Misty Horn – 2001, Ronna Compton – 2002, April Owens – 2003, Kimberly Coen – 2004, Megan Ashe – 2005, Mally Gent – 2006, Britney Hagy – 2007, Jennifer Whittington – 2008, Lindsey Blevins – 2009, Melissa O’Neal – 2010, Elizabeth Robinette – 2011, Ginny Cole – 2012, Alex Honeycutt – 2013.
Headquartered in Abingdon, Virginia, K-VA-T Food Stores operates 106 retail food outlets throughout the tri-state regions of Southeast Kentucky, Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee.