Darlington queens will make debut at pageants

Darlington will have its first representatives compete for Miss South Carolina USA and Miss South Carolina Teen USA this weekend at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center.

Sullivan Blackwell

Miss Darlington USA Karoline Kitchings and Miss Darlington Teen USA Sullivan Blackwell will compete for the state’s top crowns with the preliminaries on Friday night, interview on Saturday morning and the finals on Saturday night.

The winners will advance to the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants with Miss USA advancing to the Miss Universe pageant.

Kitchings, a 20-year-old Lexington native, is a junior nursing major at the University of South Carolina-Aiken, and is competing on the Miss South Carolina USA stage for the first time.

During her reign Kitchings rode in the Bojangles’ Southern 500 parade and also attended the Sports Clip/Help A Hero 200 and the Bojangles’ Southern 500.

Last week she was introduced to the Darlington City Council before departing for the state pageant this week.

“I am so honored to be the first Miss Darlington USA,” Kitchings said.

Karoline Kitchings

“I’m so excited to represent the wonderful city at the Miss South Carolina USA pageant.”

Blackwell, a 16-year-old Florence native and a junior at West Florence High School, is the daughter of Fred Blackwell and Beth Townsend Dalla-Riva and Craig Dalla-Riva.

This year Blackwell also rode in the Bojangles’ Southern 500 parade and also attended the Bojangles’ Southern 500.

“I am beyond excited to represent Darlington at the Miss South Carolina Teen USA pageant,” Blackwell said.

“I have enjoyed every minute of it and hope to make Darlington proud at the pageant this weekend.”

Both girls won their titles at the first Miss Darlington USA and Miss Darlington Teen USA pageants held at Trinity-Byrnes Collegiate School in August.

A total of 21 young women competed for the crowns at an event organized by Team ELITE, which was headed up by Darlington native Will Isgett, who is an official recruiter for the Miss South Carolina USA and Miss South Carolina Teen USA pageants.

If you’d like to attend the pageants, tickets are available at www.ticketmaster.com or watch the competition at pageantslive.com.

Author: Rachel Howell

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