Wednesday, August 01, 2007
sponsored by Graue Inc. & Illini Bank

Miss Logan County Fair queen chosen

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[August 01, 2007]  Twenty-year-old Ali Robinson of Lincoln was crowned 2007 Miss Logan County Fair queen Tuesday evening. Six candidates from all across Logan County, ranging from 18 to 21 years of age, vied for this year's title.

Kristie Anderson of Elkhart was chosen Miss Congeniality. Second runner-up was Amber Turner of Chestnut. First runner-up was Jessica Lindgren of Atlanta. Also competing were Jordan Gallagher of Lincoln and Kristin Miller of Elkhart.

Katelyn Frontone exercised her last formal duties as the 2006 Miss Logan County Fair queen. Frontone served as hostess for this year's pageant, themed "An Enchanted Dream."

As though to match that theme, the winds were calm and temps were pleasant -- perfect fair weather for the participants and the crowd to enjoy the Logan County Fair grandstand event.

The candidates performed a choreographed number to "A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes," introduced themselves and competed in beauty and physique.

In the final round, master of ceremonies Cameron Kurtz asked each contestant the following: "Tonight's pageant has a fairy tale theme. As you know, most fairy tales have a happy ending. If you could, explain an issue facing Logan County or the state of Illinois and explain your fairy tale ending."

Answers ranged from increasing hybrid car use of ethanol to support Illinois agriculture to getting a state balanced budget before the start of the state fair. Robinson said that as a "poor college student," her happy ending would be to get gas prices lowered.

The crowd was also entertained by the presentation of past Logan County Fair queens.

Present were:

  • 2004: Melissa Brisbin

  • 2002: Amy Rohrer Morgan

  • 2000: Elizabeth Stoll Wrage

  • 1974: Elise Gleason Anderson

  • 1968: Peggy Neal Melcher

  • 1955: Peggy Letterle Thompson

  • 1945: Evelyn Oltmans Belcher

  • 1941: Irma Kaesebier Leesman

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Each queen reminisced about her past experience unique to the year she was chosen.

  • Elizabeth Stoll Wrage sent greetings from her sister, 2003 Queen Katheryne Stoll. It was the first year that Katheryne, who has a lifelong history of attending with her family and participating in competitions at the fair, would miss.

  • After years of trading cattle show titles with her brother Donnie, Peggy Neal Melcher defied her father and moved from the cattle barns to the pageant runway. She not only won the Logan County queen title, but also went on to be one of the 12 finalists at the state pageant.

  • The year of 1945 the pageant saw VE Day, Evelyn Oltmans recalled. People were very happy, and the grandstand crowd broke all attendance records, with everyone wanting to get out and see each other to talk.

  • 1941 Irma Kaesebier Leesman said she would not have believed that she would be standing before the 2007 crowd as a former queen. Delighted, she said, "If anyone had told me that, I'd have laughed in your face."

What will new Queen Robinson recall in future years? The year ahead, as shared by past queens, will be a busy and memorable one of comings and goings all year long. But it all begins this week as she reigns as hostess of the Logan County Fair. She'll present lots of trophies, greet fairgoers, introduce events; she'll be very busy.

In a couple of weeks she'll begin her duties as an emissary of Logan County when she attends the Illinois State Fair with other county fair queens. At a lunch event she will have her picture taken with the governor.

Another state event, often recalled by past queens as a nerve-racking, but valuable experience, is the state pageant that occurs in the new year.

If you make a trip out to the fair this week you will likely see Miss 2007 Logan County Fair Ali Robinson somewhere there.

Wednesday night's grandstand event is grain truck and stock car racing. (Click here to see each day's competitions, activities and grandstand events.)

[Jan Youngquist]

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