The Washington Town & Country Fair Queen Coronation is tonight, and let me tell you that this is a Queen Contest like no other. It’s not just about looking, walking and talking pretty, there is so much more that goes into it. If you are from the area and you read the local newspaper, you have probably been following all the activities the Queen Contestants have been involved in. I had the honor of speaking in front of them and share the story of the Re-Discover Washington blog.
So, let’s go back to June 27, 2013 when the Queen Contestants got to spend a Day in Washington, complete with a Scavenger Hunt, a tour of Lucinda Owens home, and a visit to the top floor of Bank of Washington. Why go back that far? Because we can and because the Queen Committee have been so busy with preparations for the contest that they just got back to me with some answers of the questions we all want to ask 🙂
The Queen Contestants and Committee members walking the streets of Washington, headed to the Lucinda Owens home.
Lucinda Owens, as many of you know, was the founder of Washington. Unfortunately, there are no photos of Lucinda, but her home is still standing and it’s in beautiful condition thanks to the current owners Walt and Wanda Larson.
Wanda and Walt were delightful hosts, and they know how to make history interesting, complete with period costumes and all.
The girls enjoyed listening to the story of Lucinda and her beautiful home.
How does the Queen Contest work? Each year, a total of 25 candidates participate in the contest. Businesses around town submit their interest to be a sponsor of a contestant, and each business name is then put into a drawing at the annual Washington Chamber of Commerce dinner held in March.
At the dinner, 25 business names are drawn, and then the girls who would like to be in the contest then contact a sponsor. The sponsor then chooses who to represent them.
All activities within the contest focus on how to help each contestant learn more about Washington, its history, how much volunteerism has a positive impact on our community, and the importance of professional and personal development.
The girls participate in an orientation and introduction to ticket sales, a Day in Washington where the contestants learn about the history of Washington and are given the opportunity to hear leaders from within the community speak, Queen-Sponsor BBQ where the contestants have the opportunity to network and learn more about the business leaders and sponsors of the contest, Day of Beauty where they learn about the importance of presenting themselves properly and formal etiquette, plus many community service activities, singing practices and signing at local nursing homes. All of these lead up to the coronation on the Opening Night of the Fair.
On the day of the contest the judges conduct individual interviews with each of the contestants. The girls are judged on personality, wit, honesty and spontaneity, appearance and poise.
The judges this year are Alan Brainer, Laura Younghouse, Jacqueline Holt Paletta. A biography of each one was in Wednesday’s July 31 Missourian.
The Queen Contest Committee is a nine year commitment, and each year that someone retires from the committee, a new member is voted on by the existing committee. You can see some of the Committee members: (from left to right in pink shirts) Becky Stieffermann, Jamie Kuenzie, and Danielle Unnerstall.
The Queen Contestants had an enjoyable visit at Walt and Wanda’s beautiful home, and no matter who the Fair Queen is this year, they will all walk away from the contest with many new friends and lots of valuable skills and experience.
Here are some more images from Lucinda’s home, which is in great care in the hands of Walt and Wanda.
Congratulations to the 2013 Fair Queen and her Court!
2013 Town & Country Fair Queen: Libby Marquart
1st Runner Up: Emily Blocker
2nd Runner Up: Ashley Eckelkamp
Miss Congeniality: Laura Kenny