Here she comes: Miss Clay County Fair crowned

Laura Bern, 11, and Elaina Taggart, 8, were crowned princess and junior princess at the Miss Clay County Fair Pageant, held Friday, Aug. 12, on the main stage on the fairgrounds. See more scenes from the pageant by logging on to (Photo by David Lias)

To the delight of both its participants and its planners, a fairly new event added to the Clay County Fair experience ran smoothly and attracted an enthusiastic audience.

The third annual Miss Clay County Fair Pageant, which crowned a junior princess and a princess, was held Friday afternoon, Aug. 12, on the main stage near the Extension building on the fairgrounds.

Receiving the crown as junior princess was Elaina Taggart, 8, daughter of Tom and Sarah Taggart of Vermillion. First runner-up was Kennedy Pratt, 9, daughter of Farron and Shellie Pratt, Vermillion.

Megan Haselhorst, 10, daughter of Kevin and Amy Haselhorst, and Lexi Saunders, 9, daughter of Bill and Kelly Saunders, tied for second runner-up junior princess.

Laura Bern, 11, daughter of Arlan and Tami Bern, was crowned Miss Clay County Fair princess. Runner-up was Emily Rolfes, 11, daughter of Mike and Susan Rolfes.

Judges for the pageant were Jolene Lyngstad and Tina Lee, both of Irene.

The morning of pageant, each participant was interviewed by the two judges. During the pageant itself, the girls modeled sportswear and party wear, and were judged on talent. Each of these four categories counted for as much as 25 percent of the total score judges could give to each participant.

I thought these young ladies were very composed, Lyngstad said. They have a lot of talent, they were fun to visit with and I hope they keep competing and doing this because it is a great experience.

Lyngstad said she has attended many pageants like the one held at the Clay County Fair, but this was the first one she had judged.

We looked at things like the composure the girls had on stage their stage presence and their personalities, she said. We listened to how they answered questions if there was hesitation or if they could just get right on it and they all did a very nice job. I was very impressed by this group of girls.

I think this pageant is a great opportunity for girls to get involved in public speaking ad to be community leaders, Lee said. Besides just the school atmosphere, something like this gets them out in the community, and I thought they did a wonderful job.

They are all very friendly and very accepting of each other, she said.

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