Austin wins historic Miss Stanly Fire Queen competition

Despite temperatures hovering around triple digits, seven contestants along with their friends, families and Oakboro Fourth of July attendees filled the stage area July 4 for the 66th Miss Stanly County Fire Queen Pageant.
This year’s pageant was different in that all seven contestants representing Stanly fire departments had never been in a pageant before at any level.
The crown went to Sophia Austin, representing West Stanly Fire Department, who said afterwards she entered to honor her grandmother who passed away four years ago.
Austin said it was her family’s idea for her to enter the pageant, and that the Fourth of July celebration is big for her family.
Regarding the fact the contestants were all in their first pageants, Austin said collectively “our hearts were about to come out of our chests.”
“It was really comforting to know that it was all of our first-time,” she said. “Everyone has been so supportive…it’s a sisterhood, being with all these sweet girls.”
When her name was called, Austin said she was “definitely in shock.”
“I went into this not with the mindset of winning but doing something new, putting myself out there.
Callie Burris, representing Endy Fire Department, earned first-runner up and Miss Congeniality honors.

Charles Curcio is sports editor/news reporter of The Stanly News & Press. Call 704-983-1361.