Ann-Blair Thornton of Bowling Green was crowned Miss Kentucky 2011, this past Saturday, July 16 at the Singletary Center in Lexington, KY on the University of Kentucky’s campus. Thornton was stunned and speechless as the crown was being placed atop her head by Miss Kentucky 2010, Djuan Trent. Thornton wore a beautiful white gown with gold beading. Which clarifies the myth from Amelia Ganara – Miss Jefferson County’s article; winners do wear white.
The evening began with a dance performance by all of the 32 contestants. The 32 was narrowed down by the announcement of 13 semifinalists; Taylor Sang, Olivia Henken, Julia Springate, Jenna Day, Amelia Gandara, Ann-Blair Thornton, Annie Franklin, Ashley Ferry, Mira Baker, Jefra Bland, Andrea Walker, Shaina Esser, and Candace Shoemaker. The first portion was swimwear, then talent and the final portion was evening gowns.
After all 13 contestants were finished in all three areas of the competition, the top 5 was announced. The ladies who made it to the top 5 were Jenna Day – Miss Berea Area, Jefra Bland – Miss Wayne County Area, Ashley Ferry - Miss River City, Ann-Blair Thornton – Miss Bowling Green and Candace Shoemaker – Miss Louisville.
The ladies finished as 4th Runner-up Ashley Ferry, 3rd Runner-up Candace Shoemaker, 2nd Runner-up Jefra Bland, 1st Runner-up Jenna Day and Miss Kentucky 2011 is Ann-Blair Thornton. Thornton is majoring in English and Economics at Western Kentucky University. Her platform is Alzheimer’s awareness and research. During her reign she plans to promote the Kentucky Proud program for the state Agriculture Department.
More than $39,000 in cash scholarships was awarded to the contestants during Saturday night's pageant, along with other prizes and in-kind scholarships to a number of colleges and universities.
Entertainment for the evening was performed by Former Miss Kentucky 1998, Chera-Lyn Kennedy and the Miss Kentucky Dancers.