Fair queen ready for this weekend’s state pageant

Medora woman says she enjoys connecting with community

The winner of the 2016 Jackson County Fair queen contest had the chance to connect with a lot of young girls in the community during and after the fair.

Kaitlin McPike now hopes to be able to make more connections with young girls around the state by winning the Indiana State Fair queen contest, set for this weekend at Indiana Farmers Coliseum on the state fairgrounds in Indianapolis.

The 21-year-old Medora woman said she has mixed feelings about competing in the pageant.

“I am excited for the opportunity to represent our county and meet other county queens, but I am nervous for the larger crowd that I will be in front of this weekend,” she said.

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McPike said her favorite part of being Miss Jackson County Fair 2016 has been the connection she has had with young girls in the community.

“Winning the title of Miss Jackson County Fair 2016 made for a very fun fair week and enabled me to meet more people in the community,” she said. “I would advise other girls to participate in the fair queen pageant for the overall experience, as it gives girls great interview practice and the opportunity to present themselves in a business suit and evening gown.”

The state pageant consists of a three-day process with interviews Friday, the preliminary portion Saturday and the finals Sunday.

“I have prepared a one-minute speech that will be delivered on Saturday evening and again on Sunday if I make the top 16,” McPike said. “The interview will be different than the county fair, as the state pageant consists of three three-minute interviews compared to one interview.”

The top 16 semifinalists will be announced during the public queen pageant finals Sunday. The field will later be narrowed to 10 finalists before a winner is picked.

McPike said she prepared for the state pageant by practicing her one-minute speech that was written on a topic of her choice and by preparing for the interview portion.

“The biggest portion of scoring will come from the private interviews on Friday evening, and then presentation of self in my business suit and evening wear,” she said.

Contestants will be judged on the basis of ability to converse, speaking ability, poise and personality.

McPike said it would truly be a great honor to her to win the title of Miss Indiana State Fair 2017.

“I would be excited for the opportunity to reach out to others in a positive manner, and it would mean a lot to me if I were chosen out of the 87 county representatives,” said McPike, who is a junior at the University of Indianapolis. She is studying exercise science and pre-physical therapy, along with a Healthy Diploma concentration.

After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school to obtain a doctorate degree in physical therapy and work as a physical therapist in an outpatient rehabilitation facility.

McPike said her biggest supporters have been her family, friends and the community.

“I cannot thank the community enough for the kind words, encouragement and donations that I have received since becoming Miss Jackson County Fair 2016,” she said. “I hope to make the community proud by being a positive and uplifting contestant in the state competition.”

The preliminary competition starts at 5 p.m. Saturday, and the finals begin at 1 p.m. Sunday. Both days require their own ticket, which are $10 each and may be purchased at the box office at the coliseum.

Mariah Huff is Jackson County’s only woman to win the state fair queen contest, taking the title in 2013 after earning the county fair queen crown in 2012.

If you go

The preliminary competition of the Indiana State Fair queen pageant starts at 5 p.m. Saturday, and the finals are at 1 p.m. Sunday at Indiana Farmers Coliseum at the state fairgrounds in Indianapolis.

Both days require their own ticket, which are $10 each and may be purchased at the box office at the coliseum.

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Aubrey Woods is editor of The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at awoods@tribtown.com or 812-523-7051.