Seafood festival crown returns to Carrabelle

Erin Riley

Erin Riley sings “American Honey.”

Published: Saturday, August 2, 2014 at 09:55 PM.

She may have sang “American Honey” as her talent, but Franklin County High School senior Erin Elizabeth Riley was the Florida seafood industry’s honey Saturday night.

The 17-year-old daughter of Larry and Heather Riley was named the 2014 Miss Florida Seafood, returning the crown to Carrabelle for the first time in nearly two decades.

“I was very overwhelmed,” she said Tuesday, finally coming back down to earth after the excitement. “It’s a great honor. I’m really excited about it, to represent our seafood industry and our community.”

The young ladies were judged based on four categories - Interview, Talent, Poise and Appearance, and Casual Wear and Question - to determine who came home with the crown, placed on her head by the outgoing Miss Florida Seafood Morgan Martin.

Riley captured the interview portion of the contest, which accounts for a significant piece of the score, as well as the poise and appearance category. Dressed in a blue jacket and gray slacks, and wearing a captivating necklace of blue semi-precious stones, she was runner-up in the casual wear category, which includes the contestants answering within 30 seconds one of 10 possible questions they have reviewed, but don’t know which one, that Festival Board President John Solomon will ask that night, based on a random selection.

Riley also voted Miss Congeniality by her peers in the pageant, winning a $50 check from the 1983 Miss Florida Seafood Karen Petteway.

“I got very close to all the girls,” she said afterwards. “It was a great experience, lots of fun. It went very well.”

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