COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - It's a celebration weekend across Georgia as Miss America Betty Cantrell is welcomed home.
The Warner Robbins native was crowned Miss America in Atlantic City, NJ back in September just a few months after being named Miss Georgia in Columbus.
Cantrell is the first Miss America from Georgia since 1953.
The Miss America Homecoming Celebration was held Friday night at the National Infantry Museum. The program featured a performance by Cantrell as well as performances by several Miss America finalists and contestants.
Earlier in the day Cantrell visited children at the Children's Miracle Network at Midtown Medical Center in Columbus. Cantrell says she is thrilled to have the opportunity to impact so many young lives and show children everywhere that all things are possible.
"I didn't grow up dreaming about being Miss America, I grew up dreaming about being on Broadway," said Cantrell. "Miss America was an outlet to help me achieve that career goal. I decided I wanted to be Miss Georgia and I did that and I decided that I wanted to be Miss America and I made it happen. And I really would like to tell everyone out there that if you set your mind to do something you can do it. And anybody can be Miss America because if I can do it, you can do it. "
Cantrell's platform as Miss America is Healthy Children – Strong America.
She attends Mercer University and is working towards graduating from a music conservatory.
Other welcome home events for Cantrell are planned in Perry, GA over the weekend.