One of the first events prior to the Newton County Fair is the fair’s pageant, which will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 7, at the First Free Will Baptist Church, Neosho.
“It is to select good representatives from each age category to represent the fair, hand out ribbons, do interviews and help out in show arenas,” said Susan Barnes, fair pageant coordinator.
This year, there are 25 contestants and a new category – junior princess.
“We added a new age category for the youngest girls – the 9 and 10 year old girls,” she said. “The judges last year thought it was hard to judge the beginning 9 and 10 year old girls up against the girls who are 14 and they suggested it. And we decided it was a good idea.”
The contestants are as follows:
Little Mr. Newton County
Travis Thomas, Austin Evan and Caleb Houck
Little Ms. Newton County
Samantha Hilgenberg, Elizabeth Helm, Lexi Gooch and Jori Todd
Jr. Princess candidates (ages 9-10)
Kendall Platner, Brittany Winchester, Kaiya Burchfield and Victoria Henson-Miyauchi,
Princess candidates (ages 11-14)
Olivia Garren, Julie England, Clara Keplar, Brianna Werner, Olivia Thompson, Cheyane Brown and Lacey Barnes.
Queen candidates (ages 15-21)
Jordan Spencer, Macy Jo VanDorn, Jesse Shilling, Karre’ Shields, Kimberli Parry, Virjillia Raner and Hannah Kuhn.
“The Little Mr. and Ms. (candidates) raise money and it is a penny a vote,” Barnes said. On Sunday, junior princess, princess and queen candidates will be judged on their stage presence. For their public speaking portion, they will be asked a question, and answer on stage in front of a whole crowd.”