While most don't associate boats with beauty pageants, the two collide right here in the Tri-Cities. The Miss Tri-Cities Scholarship Program has been a part of the Water Follies for decades. The Water Follies organization even donates $10,000 to the scholarship program. The tie becomes event closer this year with "Miss Tri-Cities" of Strong Racing joining the nation-wide H1 Unlimited circuit.
Darrell Strong has been involved in the sport of boat racing for a long time. Never did he think it would lead him to sign an agreement with Miss America.
"I could never imagine a scenario where that would happen," said Strong Racing owner any Tri-Cities native, Darrell Strong.
Strong Racing bought two boats in early 2021. At the time, he didn't realize how big of an impact being the only Tri-Cities-based owner had on the boating community. He decided to name one of his boats Miss Tri-Cities and give back to the scholarship program.
"We really wanted it to be a community boat," said Strong.
Shortly after, he learned there was more involved in using the name.
"We had to go to Miss America and get that permission to do that," said Dot Stewart, Executive Director of the Miss Tri-Cities Scholarship Program, "because we do have a franchise with the state and Miss America Organization."
While the two don't appear to go together, here in Hydro-Town, it's fitting that the scholarship program and boat races go hand in hand.
"That's all what community is about," said newly crowned Miss Tri-Cities Noel Anderson. "I think it's cool that the water follies association and Miss Tri-Cities Scholarship program because we both work really well together."
"We're helping promote each other's event," said Strong, "and I want people to know there's more to the Water Follies event than just the race."
The Water Follies kick off this Friday where Noel will sing the National Anthem. SWX will have a Kick-Off Show Friday at 5:00 and race coverage Sunday starting at 10:00 AM on SWX.