1. How many pageants have you been in?
I have been in two pageants: the county fair pageant last summer, and the state county pageant that 75 counties in Illinois compete in. There were five contestants in my county fair. All Queens in the county fairs then move on to compete for Miss Illinois County Fair Queen then compete at the state pageant in January. Even though I didn’t win, I was still honored to come home to my county and continue my year as the reigning Queen.
2. Do you enjoy being in pageants?
I love pageants! I think when someone hears the word “pageant” they think of a superficial event where girls are judged based on looks; some pageants are. However, the pageants I have been in are based on personality and public speaking skills, as well as beauty and elegance. When I competed down in Springfield at the Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Pageant, I felt like a beautiful woman each and every day I left my hotel room to attend the practices and dinners with the other Queens. My directors always made sure my hair and makeup was done properly, and I dressed in either a suit jacket and skirt or nice dress. Everyone talked to me as if I were a lady, instead of just a seventeen-year-old girl. Through the two pageants I have been in, I have made many friends across the state and have gained skills I might not have ever developed. Pageants are so much more than looking at one’s beauty; they look into character, intelligence, and personality too.
3. What was it like becoming the pageant Queen?
It was really exciting. I worked the whole summer on my walks and posture, not forcing my smile, and practicing my speech. All of my hard work paid off that night when I was crowned. I remember the atticipation as we eagerly waited to hear who was the next reigning Queen of my county; and then they said, “your 2014 Fair Queen is…… contestant #3, Emily Curtiss!” I was so excited! It is a night I will never forget.
4. What are some of the activities you have participated in as the 2014 Fair Queen of your county?
I have been very busy all year! I been in multiple parades around the area, I went to the County Fair Days event in Springfield with the other Fair Queens in Illinois, I attended the annual Northern Zone Meeting in November to discuss topics on the 2015 Illinois County Fair, I attended a Christmas Walk in a local town in Illinois, multiple county fair pageants around the area, and I will continue to this summer as well. I participated in the State Pageant this last January, I have helped with my county’s Meet and Greets for girls interested in competing this summer in the 2015 Fair Pageant at my county fair, and I have also worked at multiple fundraisers that support our pageant. I’ve been very busy!
5. What have you learned from becoming the Fair Queen?
I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is to be a good role model for others. When you have a crown and sash on, people usually stare at you. With that said, you have to make smart choices and give them only positive thoughts and words to speak of you. So that’s what I do; I wear a nice outfit where ever I go wearing my crown and sash and always make sure my hair and makeup is done. I smile and wave, and always use proper language. I represent my fair so I always try to do everything and anything to give people a reason to want to come and see what my county fair is about. I also love inspiring little girls to follow their dreams; I’ve loved every minute of being my county’s Fair Queen.
6. What is one thing from being the Queen you will always cherish and never forget?
I will never forget the friendships I have made through my year as Queen. When I got home from the State Pageant, I hade twenty friend requests on Facebook from girls I met when we were competing together. The friendships I’ve made will never be forgotten; representing my county has truly been an unforgettable journey, and I’ve loved every minute of it.