Katie Ellen Peavy, 19, is the reigning Miss Escambia County USA. She is competing for the Miss Alabama USA crown in Montgomery this weekend. Katie is currently studying cosmetology and plans to complete a business degree at Auburn University; she is the daughter of Cameron and Heidi Knapp.
Miss Alabama USA is Friday and Saturday. How are you feeling going into the competition? I’m certainly nervous and very anxious, but at the same time, if the judges decide I’m not ready [to serve as Miss Alabama USA], then I’m okay with that, because that gives me more time to improve.
What will you remember most about your time as Miss Escambia County USA? I’ll remember the support and encouragement I’ve gotten from everyone. Everyone’s been really helpful; I’ve had a ton of sponsors from our community and that was much appreciated. And [I’ll remember] the hardest part: working out! (Laughs)
Can you give us any info on what you’ll be wearing? I’m excited to wear my evening gown. We bought it at a Lasting Impressions trunk show, and I got to meet [prom and pageantwear designer] Sherri Hill. She was there when I picked it out, and I had the option to customize my gown. We also got my swimwear from Lasting Impressions. My interview outfit is classic and elegant; I’m just really excited about the wardrobe.
Is there anyone in particular you’d like to thank? I’d like to thank my sponsors from our community. They were just such a huge help. In a pageant like this, it takes quite a bit of funds to get everything you need and took some of the financial strain off of us. And of course my parents – my Dad has been so nice to put up with this and my Mom has been a huge help. And [personal trainer] Clinton Curry at the Brewton YMCA did an amazing job.
How do you feel about shows like Toddlers and Tiaras? My younger sister absolutely loves [competing in pageants], and I love them. My mom encouraged me to [enter one] at 17, and I loved it. If the children are into it and love it, I think it’s fine. If they didn’t enjoy it, I wouldn’t force them. But if they’re into it, I say let them have fun.
What would people be surprised to know about you? Most people would be very surprised to know that I’ve been bitten by a rattlesnake. That’s not something that happens to everyone. And I’m so prim and proper…it’s kind of like, ‘How did you manage to get bitten by a rattlesnake?!’ It happened the first time I met my [former] boyfriend’s parents. They took me to Camden, Alabama’s ER only to find out that they did not keep the antivenom on hand. The closest places with it were Selma and Brewton. I was very calm and collected, but I knew that if we went to Brewton my parents would be there [panicking]. So, they rushed me by ambulance to Selma instead and I stayed in the ICU for 4 days. But luckily I don’t even have a scar; they took pretty good care of me!
Images courtesy of Matt Boyd Studio