ONWARD AND STATEWARD

A Brownstown native will compete for the chance to represent Jackson County on a much bigger stage this weekend.

Olivia Huff, 20, who was crowned 2015 Jackson County Fair queen last July, will vie for the title of Indiana State Fair queen Sunday at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis. The event is open to the public with doors opening at noon. Tickets are $10.

“I am very excited but also anxious at the same time,” she said. “It is honestly an honor just to be able to represent our county.”

As county fair queen, Huff said it’s her duty to help market and promote her community, but that also has become her favorite part of the job.

“I am not only the face of the fair but the face of the entire county, and I am so blessed to have been awarded this great opportunity and experience,” she said.

The title of Miss Jackson County 2015 is one she will cherish her entire life, she said.

“I have made so many new friends, new experiences and have had an absolute blast,” she said. “Any young lady who is passionate about herself and is willing to compete for one of the best experiences of a lifetime should definitely participate in the fair queen pageant.”

Huff said she would be thrilled and honored to be named the state fair queen, a title her older sister, Mariah Huff, won in 2012. Mariah served as the 2013 Indiana State Fair queen and was the first girl from Jackson County to do so.

It’s big shoes to fill, but Olivia Huff said she wants to make her sister proud.

“She has given me so much advice, and I honestly could not ask for a better role model,” she said. “Hopefully, I am blessed with the Huff talent, and we are able to make history.”

Although having a state fair queen in the family is added pressure to do well, Olivia Huff said she wouldn’t want to share the experience with anyone else but her sister.

Throughout the whole experience, Huff said she appreciates the support she has received from her family, friends and the community.

“I would like to say thank you to everyone in Jackson County,” she said. “I love being able to call this place home, and I’m so thankful we are such a community-based family. Without everyone, I definitely would not be where I am today.”

Getting ready for Sunday’s competition is all about having confidence and having a positive attitude, she said. Before the final event, contestants from 87 counties in the state were to be interviewed by judges Friday and will participate in preliminary judging today.

Similar to the county fair queen pageant, state fair queen contestants are judged on personality, poise, interviews, formal wear and business wear.

“I have been preparing for the pageant for quite some time now,” she said. “From practicing interview questions to finding the right outfits to wear and above all the perfect dress.”

Olivia Huff is the daughter of Melissa Huff and has another sister, Richayla, besides Mariah.

She is currently a junior at Purdue University studying hospitality tourism management. She plans to use her education, degree and experiences to become an event planner, she said.

“I believe to achieve anything, you must work hard and strive to do your best,” she said. “With a positive outlook for my future, I am ready to take on the world.”

Author photo
January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.