Contestants congratulate a stunned Kelly Thayer on her new title.
The Miss Crawford County Fair Queen Pageant, now in its third year, crowned Kelly Thayer as it’s newest queen Sunday night at the grandstand stage at the Crawford County Fair.
“Honestly, I thought I didn’t have it,” said Thayer, the newly crowned queen. “I had to do a double take when they called my name.”
Out of eight contestants, Thayer, 20, of Linesville, took the 2011 title. Thayer is a sophomore at DeVry University.
Thayer was awarded a $500 check from BIG Investment Group of Meadville. The Crawford County Fair Queen acts as the fair’s ambassador, visiting at community events and organizations on behalf of the fair.
“I can’t wait to be a representative for the Crawford County Fair. I’ve wanted this for so long,” said Thayer. “I messed up my skit, but I guess no one knew!”
Contestants are judged on a variety of criteria, including pre-pageant interviews, eveningwear, and on-stage questions. The women also perform a skit, as a form of a personal statement about what’s special about the Crawford County Fair and why someone should visit. This year’s contestants dressed up as a range of characters, including a rat, a tour guide, Dorothy from the Wizard of OZ, and Maria from the Sound of Music complete with a musical statement. Thayer portrayed a farmer’s wife, in a plaid dress and apron.
Katie Steider, departing Queen, takes her final walk.
The pageant also hosted over thirty visiting pageant royalty from around the region. Any and all titleholders were invited to attend.
It was an emotional night for departing Queen Katie Steider, who even choked up a little on stage during her final walk.
“It’s been even better than I ever could have imagined,” said Steider, who said that ending her reign is bitter sweet.
She said her favorite memories included getting to read to regional elementary school students, and then having them greet her on the street.
“A little boy came up to me at a parade, and said, ‘Remember me? I’m from Mrs. Egan’s class,’” said Steider. “People really do look to you as a role model.”
She said she’s so thankful for the experience, but offers some advice to the next queen.
“To be as open minded as possible and meet as many people as you can,” said Steider. “We really have a lot of great people in Crawford.”
In addition to the title of queen, the pageant also recognizes the young women with several other awards. Jenny Washok won Miss Congeniality. Ashley Jackson took two, the Essay Contest (“What the Crawford County Fair means to my community”), and the Advertising Competition. The Community Choice Award went to Rebecca Hyde. The Interview Award went to Brianna Gallagher.
Check out photos from the pageant in our photo gallery. Were you there? Add your photo to our community photo album on GoCrawfordCounty.com.
Keep following Community Connection and GoCrawfordCounty.com to get constant coverage all week long of the Crawford County Fair.