This year, two queen contestants and three princess contestants will compete the 2019 Jacktown Fair Pageant, scheduled for July 14 at 7 p.m.
Those numbers are the exact same as last year’s participation, where Amber Finch, 17, of Wind Ridge and Brooklyn Burns, 11, of Graysville secured the crowns for queen and princess, respectively.
The 2019 queen contestants are Emily Cooke, 16, daughter of Katie Cooke of Sycamore and Rory Black, 17, daughter of Robert and Betty Jo Black of Wind Ridge.
The 2019 princess contestants are: Patience Webster, 9, daughter of Jason and Candace Webster of Graysville; Madison Burns, 10, daughter of Andrew and Alissa Burns of Wind Ridge; and Annabell Geracia, 10, daughter of Timothy and Darla Geracia of New Freeport.
The 2019 Jacktown Fair Princess will be named on July 14 and ride in the parade on July 16. The queen will be named after the parade, in which each queen contestant participates.
Pageant coordinator Marissa Rode said participation in the queen pageant is on a downward trend, while the princess pageant numbers ebb and flow from year to year.
“I think a lot of times they just think it’s too much work,” Rode said. “High school girls have a lot going on anyways. It’s another thing to add to the plate.”
One of the ways the pageant committee hopes to entice more contestants in the years to come is through a new online application, which replaces the handwritten one.
“I figured 16- and 17-year-old girls would rather fill it out on their phone,” Rode said. “I remember the hassle of whenever I did it, it’s a lot.”
According to Rode, his year’s pageant rules and components are the same they’ve always been: Contestants must be a West Greene student or live in the school district.
The queen pageant consists of an introduction portion, 7-minute interview with the judges, 3-5 minute speech on why people should attend the fair and evening gown portion. Queen contestants must also write a 300-500 essay on what the fair means to the community. The 2018 queen will crown this year’s winner.
The princesses pageant consists of a 5-minute interview with judges then 10-15 second intros in sundresses. Princess contestants must make a poster advertising an event at the fair. The 2018 princess will crown this year’s winner.
“Girls don’t realize how beneficial it is to have a year as queen,” Rode said.
Fair queens gain public speaking and role model skills, as well as increased community involvement. Rode, who was the 2015 Jacktown Fair Queen, also noted the tightknit community of past and present queens.
“I found it really beneficial because you also get to represent something bigger than yourself,” Rode said.
The application is available on the Jacktown Fair Facebook page. For any questions or additional information, contact Marissa Rode at 724-833-1022.