It was quite a homecoming for Miss America Katie Stam, who on Wednesday was welcomed back to her southern Indiana hometown of Seymour with a parade in her honor.People lined the streets to see the 22-year-old make her way from Seymour High School downtown to City Hall on the back of a shiny black convertible.
Images: Katie Stam Throughout The Competition
"Katie is just a beautiful girl and she is from a wonderful family and we are just so proud that she's from Seymour," said Donna Otte, a friend of the Stam family.Wednesday -- which Seymour Mayor Craig Ludeman proclaimed Miss America Katie Stam Day -- marked the winner's first trip home since she was crowned in January. She was also given a key to the city and presented with a sign declaring Seymour the home of Miss America."It's this community that really helped mold me into who I am and I am just so grateful and so blessed to have been brought up in such an incredible community," Stam told the crowd.She also spoke to students at Seymour High School, telling them, "Anything is possible with lots of hard work."Stam also visited nearby Brownstown to speak on the steps of the Jackson County Courthouse and will make other Indiana appearances in the following days, including an appearance on 6News' "Good Morning Indiana" on Monday.Stam won't be able to stay at the home of her parents, Keith and Tracy Stam, because of safety concerns, but they said they were eager for a reunion after her travels across the country since winning the title Jan. 24 in Las Vegas."We're looking forward to seeing her again," Tracy Stam said. "It seems like it's been such a long time."The University of Indianapolis student is the first winner of the 88-year-old pageant from Indiana.She is studying communications in hopes of become a television news anchor. She previously interned at Indianapolis TV stations WTHR and WISH.