Scenic City 2014 Preview

Saturday, July 27, 2013 - by Wendy King
Shelby Thompson
Shelby Thompson
- photo by Kristy Belcher

When Shelby Claire Thompson was named Miss Tennessee 2013 last month in Jackson, she became the second Miss Music City representative to win the title.  However, the Franklin resident and University of Tennessee graduate also has a Chattanooga royalty connection.

In 1977, Eunice Elizabeth Belew won the Miss Chattanooga Pageant and finished in the top 10 at the state competition.  She eventually married Milton Thompson and the couple has two daughters the eldest of whom will be departing for Atlantic City in September to compete at the Miss America Pageant as it makes its return to its birthplace.

However, the next stop on the Thompson family itinerary is a return trip to Chattanooga for Sunday’s Scenic City Pageants at Chattanooga State which will include a special appearance by Shelby who is on a limited schedule as she prepares for the Miss America competition.   The event, which will be held at the C.C. Bond Humanities Auditorium, gets underway at 4 p.m.  Admission is $15 and Miss Tennessee 2012 and former Miss Chattanooga and Miss Scenic City Chandler Lawson will emcee.   

The four-title program which consists of Misses Chattanooga, Metropolitan, Scenic City and Tennessee Valley is not only the largest state preliminary but is also among the most prestigious local programs in the nation.  Started in 2002 the program led by Executive Director Rodney Hullender and his assistants Keith Brown and Bobbie Nation, has produced four Miss Tennessee winners (Jamie Watkins Davenport (2003), Blaire Pancake (2006), Ellen Carrington Shelton (2008) and Ms. Lawson (2012)), a pair of top 10 Miss America finalists (Ms. Shelton and Ms. Lawson) along with countless state runners-up, semi-finalists and preliminary winners.

The four titles are open statewide meaning that contestants who meet the requirements are eligible to participate.  As a result, many veteran contestants along with several newcomers compete in the pageant. The winners will each receive a $500 scholarship but will also undergo in-depth preparation for the 2014 state finals next June.  They will make appearances throughout the Chattanooga area during their year of service as did the 2013 titleholders Dacey Winkleman (Chattanooga), Jaclyn Torrento (Metropolitan), Amy Catherine Flynn (Scenic City) and Hannah Robison (Tennessee Valley).  All four 2013 winners are eligible to compete in this year’s pageant but the contestant lineup will be kept secret until Sunday.  

Top left, Miss Chattanooga Dacey Winkleman, top right, Miss Scenic City Amy Catherine Flynn, bottom left, Miss Tennessee Valley Hannah Robison, and bottom right, Miss Metropolitan Jaclyn Torrento
Top left, Miss Chattanooga Dacey Winkleman, top right, Miss Scenic City Amy Catherine Flynn, bottom left, Miss Tennessee Valley Hannah Robison, and bottom right, Miss Metropolitan Jaclyn Torrento
- Photo2 by Kristy Belcher, Matt Boyd

Liz Vice Headlines Nightfall Friday

Headliner artist Liz Vice will bring her neo gospel soul to Nightfall this week, preceded by local band Dr. B & the Ease. Nightfall is the 15-week free concert series produced by Chattanooga Presents at Miller Plaza.    Review for Liz Vice: Think Tina Turner, but if Ike had taken a minimalist approach to production and also suddenly really got into gospel music, ... (click for more)

National Spoken Word Artist Georgia Me Is Opening Act For Jill Scott Aug. 24

National spoken word artist and Tony Award winning poet Georgia Me has been named as the opening act for Grammy Award winning vocalist Jill Scott. Georgia Me, who performed alongside a lineup that was hosted by Scott in May, will travel with her and band mates in a 23 city tour across the United States. They will be performing in Chattanooga on Wednesday, Aug. 24, at the Tivoli ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Whiskey Company To Construct Large Distillery At Former Site Of Newton Chevrolet

The Chattanooga Whiskey Company has begun construction on a larger production distillery in the former Newton Chevrolet property at the corner of MLK Boulevard and Riverfront Parkway near the Tennessee River. Once fully operational, the Riverfront Parkway facility will be capable of producing upwards of 14 (53-gallon) barrels per day, making it one of the largest craft bourbon ... (click for more)

Beck Upset By Criticism Of Late WWTA Director Cleveland Grimes In WWTA Analysis; Boyd Won't Rewrite 57-Page Report

County Commissioner Greg Beck said it was inappropriate for fellow Commissioner Tim Boyd to include articles critical of the late Cleveland Grimes in a 57-page report on the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority. He said, "Criticizing a dead man - I don't know if that's appropriate. If that's Christianity, let me off the wagon." Saying the report should ... (click for more)

Judge Steelman Was Unfairly Criticized In Handling Of School Bus Driver Rape Case - And Response

We are blessed to have freedom of speech in our society, but I am always amazed at the number of folks who voice such strong antagonistic opinions about things without any apparent first-hand knowledge.   As any who wish to criticize the system should know, people get arrested and charged for criminal offenses every day.  The ultimate charge and penalty which results ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Vote For Rhonda Thurman

After studying the Hamilton County School Board quite harshly during the last seven most-tumultuous months in its history, it is only proper that I share my belief that Rhonda is its Most Valuable Player. Four of the school board’s nine members are up for re-election, with Rhonda facing capable opponents in Jason Moses and Dr. Patti Skates in District 1, but let’s never forget that ... (click for more)