Eighteen-year-old MaKenna Thibodeaux made her pageant debut Saturday night and did it in a big way taking home the title of Miss NIBROC 2016.
I have never actually been in a pageant in my whole life so I was kind of shocked,” Thibodeaux said of hearing her name announced as the winner of the 64th annual pageant that kicks off the annual festival in downtown Corbin.
Thibodeaux is a 2016 graduate of Corbin High School. She is the daughter of Heather Yeager and Jared Thibodeaux.
Thibodeaux said growing up as the only girl among six siblings, she had always been a tomboy at heart.
“Growing up, I was never into girlie stuff,” Thibodeaux said.
However, with the encouragement of some of the other contestants who are really good friends, she elected to participate.
“It was kind of awkward because you have girls who have been doing pageants their whole lives,” Thibodeaux said.
However, Thibodeaux said she grew more comfortable with the idea as she attended the teas and completed the interview portion of the competition.
“In things like that, your inner beauty can really shine,” said Thibodeaux, who tied for first place in the interview portion of the competition.
Saturday night, Thibodeaux admitted to being nervous being up on stage, especially with the thought that people were judging her.
“It was really weird,” Thibodeaux said.
“It was through this that you have to be confident,” Thibodeaux said. “My confidence really grew.”
Though she didn’t have the opportunity to show it, Master of Ceremonies Dr. Brent Chumbley did mention in her introduction that Thibodeaux can bounce on a pogo stick with no hands.
“Absolutely, I would love to do the pogo stick,” Thibodeaux said when asked if she might have used that if there was a talent portion to the competition.
Thibodeaux will be going off to the University of Louisville in a few weeks were she will study biology with the intention of going on to dental school.
The prize package for Miss NIBROC includes:
- $10,000 scholarship from the University of the Cumberlands
- $750 scholarship from Pepsi Cola Bottling Company of Corbin
- keepsake tiara courtesy of Creative Touch Jewelers
- one-year scholarship to Gail Frederick School of Dance and Gymnastics
- $200 from L&N Federal Credit Union
- Queen’s silver disc courtesy of Creative Touch Jewelers
- Photo package courtesy of Kat’s Eye Photography
- Fashion jewelry from Maggie J’s
- Designer gift bag filled with product courtesy of Salon Envy
- One-year membership to Baptist Health Family Fitness
- Title Sash courtesy of Gail Frederick
- One dozen long stemmed roses from Corbin Flower Shop
- Thirty-minute massage courtesy of Therapeutic Connection
In addition, earning the title of Miss NIBROC qualifies Thibodeaux to go on to the Miss Kentucky pageant in 2017.
“It is a very new journey,” Thibodeaux said of moving on to Miss Kentucky. “It is definitely a whole lot of exploring but it is exciting.”
Emily Sharpe, who attends South Laurel High School, was named first runner-up.
Sharpe won the evening gown competition and tied for first in the interview competition.
Kristian Starns who attended Corbin High School, was named second runner-up. Starns won the swimsuit competition.
Morgan Moses, who attends Williamsburg High School, was named most photogenic.
Lauren Elliott, who attends Whitley County High School, won the Alexandria J. Hamilton Congeniality Award.
The award is named in memory of the 2012 congeniality award winner, who died later that year from injuries sustained in a car accident.
The winner is selected via a secret ballot of the contestants who voted for the girl they feel is the most congenial, helpful, compatible with others, and all round best peer.
Earlier Saturday, the titles of Junior Miss NIBROC and Little Miss and Master NIBROC were chosen.
Fifteen-year-old Hannah Harrison was named Junior Miss NIBROC
Seventeen-month-old Keva McFerrin was named Little Miss NIBROC
Three-year–old Colton Stradley was named Little Master NIBROC.