Kemah pride behind woman competing to be Miss Texas USA

Kemah city leaders hope the Miss Texas USA crown isn’t going anywhere, as Miss Kemah 2017, Stephanie Ludwig, will compete to follow in the footsteps of her predecessor.

The event had been scheduled for Sept. 2-3 but will be at a later date because of Hurricane Harvey.

Ludwig, 22, is a model who attends Sam Houston State University. She became only the sixth Miss Kemah when she was crowned July 11 in a pageant at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Last year, as Miss Bayou City, Ludwig won Miss Photogenic at the state pageant, which is held each year in Houston.


Five other Bay Area women are among the 94 contestants who will compete for the title of Miss Texas USA 2018.

As Miss Kemah 2016, Nancy Gonzalez won the state title and represented the Lone Star State at Miss USA, which was televised May 14 from Las Vegas.

“That was just a dream come true,” said pageant co-director Kelly Williams, who attended the national pageant. “The City of Kemah received national publicity for our local pageant and our winners.”

“The Miss Kemah Pageant has really put Kemah on the map,” said Mayor Carl Joiner. The Miss Kemah pageant “is unlike any other,” said co-director Kelly Williams, who was a Kemah City Council member for 11 years (2001-2012) and mayor pro tempore for two years.

“During the pageant weekend, the Kemah Boardwalk hosts a swimsuit preview on their beautiful FantaSea Yacht, and then they host a VIP post-pageant party at Landry’s Seafood House on the Boardwalk,” said Williams.

“Our newly crowned queens and their families, the mayor, city council, pageant judges, media and sponsors all get to visit with each other and enjoy delicious hors d’oeuvres.”

Joiner noted that Miss Kemah 2015, Karlie Hay, won both Miss Texas Teen USA and Miss Teen USA titles for 2016. Williams, 51, was Mrs. Galveston County in 2005 and first runner-up at Mrs. Texas.

“I also knew that a topnotch pageant with the City of Kemah’s name on it would take a lot of hard work, but this was something that not many cities are blessed to have – their own pageant.”

“We chose the Miss USA system because our Miss Kemah could possibly go on to become Miss Universe,” said Williams, “and that would give us a bigger opportunity to promote our city, our community and our sponsors.

“We decided on the USA system, and ended up partnering with Denise O’Brian, a long-time recruiter and director for several Miss Texas USA pageants.”

Williams added, “I honestly felt like God was giving me the opportunity to use my experience to help others, and with the support of my husband and children, I was going to surround myself with smart, talented people, and just go for it!”

For more on Miss Texas USA, call 281-493-4100 or www.misstexasusa.

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