Knowles ‘excited’ about reign as Miss Peach

Published 5:12 pm Wednesday, July 3, 2013

When she was a little girl, Kelcie Knowles would wear a crown while she watched the Miss America Pageant on television every year, emulating the women who earned the coveted title.

On June 27, Knowles wore a different crown—a crown representing a coveted title in Chilton County—as she walked across the stage as the 2013 Miss Peach Queen.

“I was completely shocked,” Knowles said. “I thought that one of my close friends had it, and when I heard my name, my legs just kind of gave way under me and I was in complete shock.”

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2013 Miss Peach Queen Kelcie Knowles (center) is pictured with Junior Miss Peach Anna Calhoun, Young Miss Peach Mattie Woodall and Little Miss Peach Emma Owens.

Knowles is the 17-year-old daughter of Shawn and Debbie Knowles of Jemison and the sister of Dylan, 15, and Bella, 6.

She is a senior at Chilton County High School.

Knowles was crowned the new Miss Peach by her friend and 2012 Miss Peach Makenzie Ray.

Knowles had watched Ray capture the Miss Peach crown last year and hoped she could follow suit June 27.

“She was very excited for me,” Knowles said of Ray. “You can tell by the embrace we were just very excited.”

Knowles participated in her first pageant, Thorsby’s Miss Easter Pageant, in 2006 at age 10.

She started competing in the Young Miss Peach Pageant in 2006 and was crowned Young Miss Peach in 2007.

She competed in Junior Miss Peach in 2009 and 2010.

After she turned 15, Knowles took a brief hiatus from pageants before competing in Miss Peach in 2012 and being named fourth alternate.

Knowles’ second time to compete in Miss Peach proved to be the charm in earning the crown.

Knowles said she was inspired to start competing in the Peach pageants after seeing Thorsby native Susan Hamm crowned Miss Peach in 2005.

“I just knew I wanted to be just like her,” Knowles said. “I’ve gotten to know her over the years and going to see her in the Miss Alabama preliminary last year, and we became friends.”

In addition, Knowles is currently Miss CCHS, was Junior Miss CCHS in 2012 and was first runner-up in Miss YMCA in 2011.

As a new Peach Queen, Knowles said she hopes to serve as a positive ambassador for her county and its peaches over the next year.

“My first goal is to be a great role model to not only my three Peach sisters, but I also want to be an amazing role model to all the girls in Chilton County,” she said. “I want to represent the Lions Club and the peach farmers in Chilton County as best I can, and I hope I represent them very well.”

After graduation, she plans to attend The University of Alabama and pursue degrees in chemistry and pre-calculus.

“I actually want to be a surgeon because when I was younger, my dad tragically died, and I just want to make sure that every little girl and boy’s father comes home to them.”

Knowles said her pageant involvement has helped her develop strong conversation skills that she plans to apply in future interviews.

“The interview experience that I have been able to gain will help me to compete in the Miss Alabama preliminaries as well as be able to go into a college interview and a job interview,” Knowles said. “I think it’s been very beneficial toward my future.”