Domizio, Wood to participate in Nat’l Miss Peanut Festival

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 18, 2001

Features Editor

Brundidge, Troy, Pike County and Troy State University will all be well represented at the Miss National Peanut Festival Pageant in Dothan this weekend.

Miss Brundidge Andrea Domizio is a native of Troy. Miss Troy Erin Wood’s mother is a Brundidge native and her grandparents and a large number of relatives live in Brundidge. Both representatives are Pike County proud and both are students at Troy State University.

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So, when Andrea and Erin take the stage at the prestigious pageant, every segment of the Pike County population can be doubly proud.

Neither young woman tried to hide her enthusiasm and excitment about the weekend she has been looking forward to since the night she was crowned.

The Miss National Peanut Festival Pageant brings together 63 young women from all corners of the state to compete for the coveted title.

All contestants come to the pageant as winners. Each has won a qualifying pageant in her hometown or county, so everyone is a winner at the Miss National Peanut Festival Festival.

Andrea and Erin have already enjoyed the benefits of their reigns – participating in community events, meeting new people and learning more about the communities they represent.

One of the most memorable events to date, for both young women, was leading the Survivors Walk at Relay for Life in May. Another highly-anticipated event will the the TSU Appreciation Day Parade on the university’s homecoming, Oct. 27.

However, Andrea expressed disappointment at not being able to attend the 11th Annual Peanut Butter Festival as Miss Brundidge because it falls on the same weekend as the national pageant.

"I had really looked forward to the Peanut Butter Festival," Andrea said. "It’s always a lot of fun and I wanted to be there."

But, if she has to miss the local festival for any reason, she can think of none better than competing in the Dothan peanut pageant.

Practice for the pageant began in September and the young ladies have put in long, hard hours every weekend.

"We had so much to learn, such as several group numbers and, this year, the Peanut Federation added a $500 scholarship that will be awarded to the contestant who scores the highest on a test on peanuts" Erin said. "We had to study information about peanuts in order to do well on the test. I really learned a lot."

Both girls admitted what they know most about peanuts is that they like them – boiled and salted – and, of course, ground into peanut butter. And, like 61 other young women, they would gladly eat a ton of them to wear the prestigious title of Miss National Peanut Festival.

The Pike County representatives left this morning for a whirlwind weekend of activities that will begin today with a luncheon with the judges.

Friday is School Day and the contestants will visit Dothan schools and have opportunities to speak with the students in a question and answer format.

Also on Friday, the preliminary pageant events will take place including interviews with the panel of judges and one-on-one interviews with each judge.

At 2 p.m., the contestants will take the stage of the Dothan Civic Center for the verbal expression segment of the pageant.

"We will have 60 seconds to speak on a topic of our choice," Erin said. "My topic is ‘The Way You Look at Things,’ I will talk about how the way you look at things – your values, choices and judgments – affect your life, either in a positive or negative way."

Andrea will speak about her experiences while working "undercover" for the ABC board.

"The point I will make is that the minimum drinking age saves lives," she said. "Statistics show about two-thirds of underage drinkers buy their own beer.

That says a lot."

On Friday night, the 63 area misses will compete in the evening gown event on stage at the Civic Center. A packed house is expected for this preliminary event at 7 p.m.

Then on Saturday night, the finals of the 2001 Miss National Peanut Festival will be held at the Civic Center.

"The Top 10 will be announced and the final events will take place, but everyone will have a part in the finals of the pageant, whether you make Top 10 or not," Erin said.

After the pageant, the Queens Ball will cap off a wonderful weekend and will always be a treasured memory for both Andrea and Erin.

Wearing the title of Miss National Peanut Festival would be a thrill of a lifetime, but being a part of the national pageant is no less exciting for either of Pike County’s representatives.

"I’m looking forward to being a part of something this big and this important," Andrea said. "It will be something I will always remember. It’s going to be a wonderful experience."

Erin was in full agreement.

"The people we meet and the friends we make will be worth all of the time and hard work we’ve put into preparing for the pageant," she said. "And, we’re going to have a great time. I can hardly wait."

Andrea is a sophomore at Troy State University majoring in criminal justice. Her parents are Deedie and Kenneth Carter of Troy and Mike Domizio of Atlanta.

Erin is a freshman at TSU and

her major is public relations and journalism. Her parents are Tony and Lindy Wood of Troy.