Miss Georgia contestants from Columbus show off their hometown - WNCN: News, Weather

Miss Georgia contestants from Columbus show off their hometown

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

Maggie Brides was named Miss Georgia 2014 during the 70th annual Miss Georgia pageant Saturday night. During the day, the contestants spent time raising money for scholarships and the Children's Miracle Network at the 2nd annual Quack Race. News 3's Naomi Keitt caught up with the young women who call Columbus home.

"It's exciting to show the girls what Columbus, Georgia is all about," said Miss Columbus Hayley Henderson.

"It's overwhelming and I'm proud to represent Columbus State University," said Miss Columbus State University Kelsey Ray.

The Miss Georgia Pageant celebrated it's 70 year anniversary and each of those years, it's been held in Columbus.

"Having the pageant here is really immensurable because you get people from every corner of the state to come to Columbus, Georgia to come see what we have to offer here," said Miss Georgia executive board member Oz Roberts.

Organizers say it also gives a boost to our local economy during the contestants week long stay.

"They come spend money. They  have room nights at the hotel. They eat food. They go to the mall. They do everything they can. They go buy gifts for their contestants they're supporting," said Roberts.

There are 3 pageant contestants who call Columbus home, Miss Columbus Hayley Henderson, Miss Columbus State University Kelsey Ray and Miss Atlanta Shelby Rice.

"It's just so awesome to come back to a welcoming hometown. Yes Columbus is growing and it's just expanded greatly over the past couple of years, but it's still that hometown feel and it's nice to come back and have so many supporters," said Miss Atlanta Shelby Rice.

"It's great when people come here and I can tell them this is my home. This is Columbus, Georgia and more importantly to show them they need to come back even when we're not having a pageant. We have so many opportunities from the White Water rafting to all the great shopping areas as well as restaurants and that this is a town that's always willing to give back," said Miss Columbus Hayley Henderson.

Naomi Keitt

Naomi Keitt focuses on education reporting for WRBL News 3. More>>

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