Since 1958, 59 young women have received the title of Missouri State Fair Queen. This elite group will crown its sixtieth member on the Fair’s opening day, Thursday, Aug 10, 2017.
Fair Queens are a dynamic mix of young women that hale from all across Missouri. The Queen represents not only the State Fair, but the Fair’s interest in agriculture throughout the state. During the State Fair, you can find the Fair Queen in a variety of locations across the grounds doing a variety of things – presenting awards, taking photos, speaking at events and more. You’ll find her all dressed up at events like the Governor’s Ham Breakfast and in jeans and boots in a livestock arena. The current Fair Queen even showed her dairy cattle during her reign at the Fair in 2016.
These young women must have won a current title of queen at a county fair or may be sponsored by an agricultural group. They are judged on their personal interviews with the judges, public speaking or talent performance and evening gown. The Queen and the four runners-up receive a scholarship to the Missouri college or university of her choice, with scholarship values starting at $2,000 for the Queen down to $250 for the fourth runner-up.
You can view information and photos of past Fair Queens on the Fair’s website. During your visit to the 2017 Fair, make a stop at the State Fair Museum located behind the Womans Building, to view the gallery of Fair Queen photos in person.
This year’s Queen is Miss Lani Ogle of Sarcoxie. Lani participated in the State Fair Queen Pageant as the 2016 Jasper County Youth Fair Queen. She grew up on a family farm and is the daughter of Russell and Kenda Ogle. Lani is the first contestant from her area since 1985 to be crowned Missouri State Fair Queen. Lani will attend Crowder College in Neosho, majoring in Animal Sciences to pursue a career in veterinary pharmaceutical sales.
We’ve gathered some interesting facts about Fair Queens to share with you –
- Marion County has produced the most Fair Queens with a total of five:
- 2015- Destiny Reed of Hannibal
- 2012- Emily Wood of Palmyra
- 1992- Leeann Murphy of Hannibal
- 1967- Debbie Hansbrough of Monroe City
- 1961- Sarabeth Stevens of Palmyra
- Two sisters have been named as Missouri State Fair Queens:
- 2004- Leah Reid
- 1999- Lori Reid
- Lori and Leah’s mother, Lynn Reid was the Queen Superintendent for 10 years, retiring from the position after the 2015 Fair.
- Warren County is the only county to boast having the first consecutive Fair Queens from the same county as well as from the same town; both from Warrenton:
- 2014- Hannah Keene
- 2013- Ashley Bauer
- The current Missouri State Fair Queen Pageant Superintendent was a former Queen herself:
- 2008- Whitney (Wallace) Kinne
Be sure to ‘Come Home’ to the Missouri State Fair, Aug 10, for the Missouri State Fair Queen Contest. The competition will start with interviews on Wednesday, August 9 at 1 pm and is closed to the public. The pageant will continue on Thursday, August 10 and is open to the public for the Speech and Talent portion at 12:30 pm and the Evening Gown Competition and Coronation starting at 6 pm in the Mathewson Exhibition Center.