[July 30, 2014]LINCOLN - Before a large crowd at the
Logan County Fair's grandstand on Tuesday evening, seven charming
and talented young women and 15 little misses from around Logan
County competed for a title and a chance to represent the county.
A winter scene complete with snowflakes served as backdrop for
the 75th anniversary of the Miss Logan County Fair Queen Pageant
evoking scenes from the popular movie “Frozen” on yet another
unseasonably cool summer evening.
Appropriately for the opening production number, the queen
candidates danced across the stage to “Frozen’s” Oscar winning song
“Let It Go.” With temperatures dipping into the low 60s as the
evening went on, the candidates were likely beginning to feel
somewhat frozen during the swimsuit competition.
Seven queen candidates vied for this year’s title:
• Chloe Elizabeth Cox, 18, , Lincoln, daughter of Wayne and Melissa
Cox, attends Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
• Madison Kay Leinweber, 20, Mount Pulaski, daughter of Gary and
Kella Allspach; attends Kansas State
• Alyssa Beth Morris, 19, Lincoln, daughter of Mark and Donna
Morris; attends Illinois State University
• Sydni Rohlfs, 19, Emden, daughter of Nick and Lisa Rohlfs; attends
• Ashton Wakeman, 17, Mount Pulaski, daughter of Micah and Laura
Wakeman, attends Mount Pulaski High School
• Michelle Paulus, 18, Lincoln, daughter of Kent and Lynn Paulus;
attends University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
• Rachel Skelton, 19, Middletown, daughter of Thomas and Stacie
Skelton; attends Illinois State University
To display their communication skills, candidates described
obstacles they have faced and offered advice for overcoming them
such as “striving to do your best,” “looking beyond similarities to
accept differences,” and using “power, strength, and optimism” to
“fight back against cancer.”
The pop question asked the candidates to discuss what they would
tell other young women about being individuals in today’s society.
Many of the contestants said they would encourage others to “be
themselves,” to “be confident,” and to “not [worry] what others
As usual, the little miss contestants, ranging in age from five to
eight, provided some priceless moments with their sweet little faces
as they introduced themselves and told what they liked best at the
fair with responses such as “the rides,” “the derby,” “tractor
pulls,” “eating corndogs,” and “showing sheep and pigs.”
The fifteen little miss candidates were Chloe Bottom, Mia Boughan,
Jayden Cherry, Mia Clark, Lauryn Crawford, Chloe Stone, Kiersten
Fulk, Natalie Geary, Kaeli Jones, Aliannah Kodatt, Azul Kong, Sydney
Loeffler, Isabella Miller, Josie Wakeman, and Karsyn Wilham. With
their engaging smiles and waves to the crowd, they all displayed
charm that delighted the crowd.
Special guests filling the time between the various sections of the
competition included this year's royalty from several different
Illinois counties, two former little misses; and ten former Logan
County fair queens. Two queens were from the pageant’s early days:
1941 queen Irma (Kaesebier) Leesman and 1945 queen Evelyn (Oltmanns)
Belcher, and each fondly remember their days as queen.
Before this year’s queen was crowned, outgoing queen Crystal
Quint gave a teary-eyed speech in which she called this past
year the “experience of a lifetime” and thanked the many people
who helped her throughout the year, most of all her parents.
Fair association president Dean Bruns talked about how much he
enjoys the pageant and his love for the kids, telling them to
call him grandpa. Riding in Bruns Gator, he enjoys escorting the
royalty around the fairgrounds to pose for pictures at various
The long pause from performances is built into the pageant to
allow judges to make their decisions. Finally, the dramatic
moment of decision arrived, and Alyssa Morris was crowned Miss
Logan County Fair 2014 and Chloe Bottom was chosen as Little
Miss Logan County 2014.
Other awards for the queen contest were presented to Chloe Cox,
first runner up; Michelle Paulus for both crowd’s choice and
second runner-up; Sydni Rohlfs for Miss Congeniality, and Chloe
Cox for selling the most raffle tickets.
Other awards for the Little Miss contest were presented to
Karsyn Wilham, Miss Photogenic; crowd’s choice, Jayden Cherry;
fourth runner-up, Kiersten Fulk, third runner-up Isabella
Miller; second runner-up, Azul Kong; first runner-up, Chloe
Stone; and most raffle tickets sold, Aliannah Kodatt.
Queen Alyssa Morris is the daughter of Mark and Donna Morris.
She is a graduate of Lincoln Community High School, was in an
honors program and will attend ISU with plans to get a degree in
Psychology in 2017 and intends to get a Masters in occupational
therapy from St. Louis University. Her goal is to work in
schools with children with special needs. She enjoys exercising,
sewing, vacationing with family, and going to country music
contests with friends.
Little Miss Chloe Bottom is the daughter of Russell and Linda
Queen Morris, joined by Little Miss Bottom, will reign over the
Logan County Fair attending several events and presentations
during the remainder of the fair. They will represent Logan
County as various other events during the year and Miss Morris
will compete in January for the title of Miss Illinois County
Their experiences are sure to stay with them, for as 1993 queen
Patience Horton said, “The week of the fair after winning was a
blast” as she attended events and handed out ribbons, while 2000
Queen Elizabeth Stoll Wrage says it provides a lifetime
connection to the fair.