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Contestants said they spent months preparing their interview responses and outfits and building their confidence to compete to be Bartholomew County 4-H Fair Queen.
Katie Schmidt, 17, said ample time went into dreaming up what she would wear to match the contest’s theme, “Proud to be an American.” Katie chose to dress as a cook with a giant pot to represent America’s cultural “melting pot.”
Michaela Wischmeier, also 17, said her mother helped her prepare for the interview portion of the contest by quizzing her with impromptu questions during the past few weeks.
“She was doing it in the car on the way over here (to the contest),” Michaela said.
All that hard work paid off for Kaylan Daily on Sunday night, when she was crowned queen of the 2012 Bartholomew County 4-H Fair in front of a crowd of nearly 300 people.
Kaylan is the daughter of Greg and Michelle Daily. Her sponsors were Daily Feed & Grain and Clay Township Kids 4-H Club.
“This has always been a dream since I was a little girl,” Kaylan said. “I’m looking forward to everything (at the fair).”
Thirteen young women participated in this year’s contest, which featured a variety of prizes, including scholarship money, jewelry, gift cards, beauty treatments and assorted apparel.
When asked why they were proud to be Americans, most contestants spoke about their freedom as women to be whatever they wanted to be — whether that be a farmer, a doctor, a cowgirl or the first woman president of the United States.
“I’d appreciate your vote,” joked contestant Mallory Meyer.
Debbie Phillips, chairwoman of the county 4-H fair queen committee, said Queen Kaylan and her court will be an integral part of the fair. The ladies are required to attend fair events daily, from morning until night, she said.
Meeting the queen is always a big draw for the little girls at the fair, Phillips said.
“They love her,” she said. “They’re always gathered around her.”
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