The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Henderson County Fair Queens Named

It was a hot evening in the jungle at the Henderson County Fairgrounds as the 2016 Queens were selected.

Twenty young ladies competed in this year's pageant but, only 3 would walk away with the crown and the title of Little Miss Henderson County Fair, Jr. Miss Henderson County Fair and Miss Henderson County Fair Queen.

The competition began at 2 p.m. at the Christian Church in Stronghurst with interviews. After the Interviews the Queen contestants then competed in the Swimsuit competition for the judge's only.

Then at 6 p.m. the pageant concluded on stage at the fairgrounds. The contestants performed dance numbers that were choreographed by the 2015 Queen Ashleigh Brown and her sister, Luci Kane.

After the dance numbers the Little Miss Contestant competed in Party Dress and pop question. Once the Little Miss Contestants were finished the Jr. Miss and Queen contestants competed in evening gown, speech and pop question.

Before crowning the new queens the 2015 queens gave their heartfelt farewell speeches. There was not a dry eye at the fairgrounds as these 3 young ladies had touched the lives of so many people during their reign.

The 2015 Little Miss, Rose Leary, is the daughter of Aaron and Sara Leary of Little York. Rose thanked the fair board and her family for an amazing year, and did so with maturity beyond her years.

After her farewell speech it was time to crown the 2016 Little Miss and her Court. Most photogenic went to Hannah Carnes, Directors award and First Runner-up was awarded to Ruby Gittings. Finally the time had come to crown the 2016 Little Miss Henderson County Fair...and the honor went to Irelynn Boyle.

Irelynn is the daughter of Adam and Heather Boyle of Stronghurst. Irelynn stole the show when she told Henderson County that she planned to be a Paleontologist and then began to name about 10 different dinosaurs.

Next the lovely and talented 2015 Jr. Miss Reagan Spence gave her heartwarming farewell speech and she to thanked the fair board, her community, her queen sisters, and her family for an amazing year.

Reagan is the daughter of Brian and Jackie Spence from rural Monmouth. Regan then gave the Most Photogenic award to Alexia Kane, and the Directors Award to Diana Reyes. Finally the 2016 Jr. Miss Henderson County Fair goes to Diana Reyes, daughter of Daniel and Irma Reyes of Gladstone. Diana gave an emotional speech about her commitment to Relay for Life.

Finally the minute Henderson County had been waiting for the emotional farewell from the 2015 Miss Henderson County Fair, Ashleigh Brown. Ashleigh is the daughter of Joe and Cindy Kane or rural Little York.

Following Ashleigh's emotional farewell speech the Pageant Directors awarded Ashleigh a plaque for her Triple Crown accomplishment. Ashleigh was the 2007 Little Miss the 2011 Jr. Miss and the 2015 Miss Henderson County Fair Queen. Ashleigh is the only young woman in Henderson County to have held all three titles.

Ashleigh is committed to the Henderson County Fair and had been raising money to purchase a new bench for the fairgrounds. As much as the crowd hated to say goodbye to Ashleigh they were just as excited to hear who the 2016 Henderson County Fair Queen would be.

First the fitness Award went to Tara Forbes, then the Photogenic Award and the Directors award went to Megan Magee. Abby Steck was chosen as first runner-up and finally our 2016 Fair Queen went to Contestant #2, Tara Forbes.

Tara is the daughter of Jeff and Krista Forbes of rural Stronghurst, and Toni Forbes of Williamsfield.

Tara was a 2016 graduate of Illinois West High School and plans to attend SCC this fall for general studies. Tara will also be a SCC cheerleader this fall.

Please come out to the fair this week and meet the 2016 Queens.

The 2015 and the newly crowned 2016 Fair Queens were all smiles even with the soaring temperatures Sunday.