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Southeast Threshers’ Pageant is Friday
By Kelly Bledsoe
kellybledsoe@triad.rr.com
2015 Southeast Threshers’ Queen Ashley Strickland will crown her successor Friday, as the highly anticipated Southeast Old Threshers’ Reunion kicks off in Denton.

Ashley has enjoyed a fun-filled year representing the Southeast Old Threshers’ Reunion, traveling across the state to various parades and festivals such as the North Carolina Rhododendron Festival in Bakersville; Fair Bluff Watermelon Festival in Fair Bluff; and Statesville Dogwood Festival. She has made appearances in many Christmas parades and at the Country Christmas Train in the months of November and December at Denton FarmPark. This is a once in a lifetime experience that she will always treasure and never forget.

Ashley is the daughter of Charles and Sherry Strickland. She was born on March 17, 1992, and spent the early years of her life traveling around racing with her father, and going to many racing-related work events with her mother, who then did many racing sponsorships across many motorsports brands. Ashley at the age of 8 discovered a passion of burning rubber and began her career in drag racing that has spanned 16 plus years.
Ashley is also an avid volleyball player. She attended a small university in Virginia playing volleyball for two years before transferring to UNC-Charlotte where she graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor’s in Psychology and a minor in Women’s and Gender studies, and has an Associate’s Degree in Biology. While attending UNC-C Ashley began racing again and was crowned the 2012 zMAXNHRA Track Champion, and finished 2nd in the NHRA Division 2 category at only 20 years old.

She continues to race her dragster  “Sally”, and spends time with her parents, younger brother Noah, and her handsome little dog, Tucker. She is also still involved with volleyball and has coached for Lake Norman Volleyball Club for the past 4 years, and has lead national teams each year.

Ashley intends to continue her academic studies and plans on attending Graduate School in the fall of 2017 to obtain a Master’s degree in Human Resources.

The 33rd Annual Southeast Threshers’ Pageant is set for this coming Friday, July 1 at 7:30 p.m. at the Denton FarmPark, with one of 10 contestants to be crowned the 2016 Southeast Threshers’ Queen at the conclusion of the event. Admission to the pageant is free with the purchase of a ticket to the Southeast Old Threshers’ Reunion.

Prior to the pageant a live auction will take place at 6:00pm with proceeds from the auction benefitting Hospice of Randolph County. Auction items include a 2016 Daytona 500 cap autographed by Richard Petty, a #43 cap autographed by Richard Petty, a Richard Petty “Charlie One Horse” Cowboy Hat autographed by Richard Petty, a pottery bowl from DK Clay Pottery in Sanford, a “Bird Wildlife” theme basket, a Ken Helser matted and framed print, a 4-quart electric ice cream maker, a piece of pottery from Piney Woods Pottery in Seagrove, a Pedal Tractor, a $500 gift certificate to Loflin Fabrication, a one-of-a-kind Tractor Ride painted pottery plate by Cagle Road Pottery in Seagrove and more. 

The newly crowned queen will receive a $2,000 scholarship, once again sponsored by 64 Portables, as well as various prizes from local merchants. First Runner-Up will receive $450 from Mike Ferrell/Davis Chevrolet, and Second Runner-Up will receive $350 from Century Hosiery, in addition to prizes from merchants. Auditor for the pageant is Regina Smith.

Contestants will also have the chance to win $50.00 in each of the following categories: Best Country Cutie Outfit, Best Casual Wear, Photogenic, and Interview. These four special awards are sponsored by Waste Industries, Inc.
Contestants vying for the crown include: Taylor Beal of Denton, Alyssa Johnson of Mooresville, Sierra Kearns of Asheboro, Savanah Ramsey of Denton, Sara Scarlett of Lexington, Amanda Snider of Denton, Haley Thomas of Winston-Salem, Sommer Truell of Lexington, Victoria Wooten of Evergreen, and Amber Worley of Lexington.

Flowers by Patty will provide flowers for the winners. The winner will also receive a one-year subscription to The Denton Orator and gifts from Monique Bowman - The Design Team. Area businesses have also contributed items for the contestant goody bags as well including: Brandy Conely/Woo Cosmetics; Mustard Seed Monograms; Breeden Insurance; Century Hosiery; Barnes Printing; Cakes by Elizabeth; Southern Supreme; Scarlett Creek; Sweet Repeats-Laura Barker, Owner; Boutique Bargains; Truliant; Sprint and Cheerwine. Kristin Carroll Fine of KCDC will be the choreographer and Tina Lanier of Tina Lanier Photography will be taking pictures this year of the contestants.

This year Caroline Smith and Kaitlin Thompson will serve as co-masters of ceremony. On behalf of the pageant committee, we appreciate everyone’s generosity and willingness to give each year!
The pageant committee and the Denton FarmPark would like to thank everyone who has participated in any phase of the pageant - from parents and contestants to all the people that help put the pageant on each year. And to Ashley, the committee thanks you for a job well done and a great year filled with a lot of laughs. We wish you the best of luck in your future!


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