2018 State Fair Queen Crowned; Opening Weekend Highlights

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Published on: August 10, 2018

Samantha Nelson of Higbee Crowned 2018 Missouri State Fair Queen

Miss Samantha Nelson from Higbee was named the 2018 Missouri State Fair Queen in a ceremony held on opening day Thursday, Aug. 9. Miss Nelson received the highest score of 48 contestants vying for the title in the two-day competition held in the Mathewson Exhibition Center. Miss Nelson will reign over the remaining State Fair events and be an ambassador for the State Fair and Missouri agriculture throughout the coming year.

Miss Nelson is 18 years-old and studies Nursing at Moberly Area Community College. As Queen, she will receive a $2,000 scholarship to continue her education. She entered as Miss Howard County and is the daughter of Neil and Angie Nelson.

“As Missouri State Fair Queen, I am most excited to experience new things that I have not been exposed to during the 18 years I have attended the Fair with my family,” Nelson said.

Participants in the queen pageant were judged in multiple areas including interview, speech, talent and evening gown.

Miss Scotland County Sadie Davis was named first runner-up and will receive a $1,000 scholarship. Second runner-up went to Miss Cooper County Sarah Oerly, who will receive a $500 scholarship. The third runner-up honor went to Miss Henry County Kayla Taylor, who will receive a $350 scholarship, and the fourth runner-up honor went to Miss Boone County Ashley Voeller, who will receive a $250 scholarship.

Recognition plaques went to contestants ranking highest in each of the four competitive categories: Davis received top ranking in Interview; Missouri Beef Queen Miss Kenadee Barnitz received top ranking in Evening Gown; Nelson received top ranking in Speech; and Voeller received top ranking in Talent.

(Find the Official 2018 State Fair Queen Photo on Flickr. Caption – Miss Samantha Nelson of Higbee was crowned the 2018 Missouri State Fair Queen in a ceremony held Thursday, Aug. 9, during the annual State Fair in Sedalia. Miss Nelson is the 18-year-old daughter of Neil and Angie Nelson and is a sophomore at Moberly Area Community College).

Salute to our Heroes Opening Weekend

Come home for the 2018 Missouri State Fair’s opening weekend, Aug. 11-12, for Salute to Our Heroes Weekend, honoring military, firefighter, and law enforcement personnel. Both days will offer a great variety of entertainment, competitions, carnival fun, and more!

Saturday, Aug. 11 is Law Enforcement/Firefighter Appreciation Day – Free gate admission will be offered for Municipal-County-State law enforcement and Missouri Firefighters-EMTs-Paramedics with appropriate I.D. Immediate family members (spouse and dependent children) will receive $1 gate admission this day.

Saturday, Aug. 11 is also Pepsi Day! Fairgoers can receive $1 off adult admission with coupon on special 2 liter Pepsi products, valid today only; redeem coupon at gate admission ticket booth.

Highlights for Saturday, Aug. 11:

  • 11:30 am & 2 pm – Mule Kicker Cloggers performing at the Touchstone Energy Stage
  • 11 am–12:30 pm & 1:30–3 pm – Meet KC Chief’s Cheerleader Susie Derouchey & Horse Warpaint near the Highway Gardens
  • 2 pm & 6 pm – Jeremiah Johnson Band performing at the Budweiser Stage
  • 7 pm – MRCA Show-Me State Stampede and Rodeo in the State Fair Arena, sponsored by Husqvarna
  • 7:30 pm – Hank Williams, Jr. with Frank Foster at the Pepsi Grandstand
  • 9 pm – Members Only performing at the Budweiser Stage

Sunday, Aug. 12 is Military Appreciation Day, sponsored by Otelco – Free gate admission will be offered for active military, veterans, and delayed entry recruits with appropriate I.D. Immediate family members (spouse and dependent children) will receive $1 gate admission this day, and $5 off Unlimited Carnival Ride wristband coupon is available for military and immediate family.

Highlights for Sunday, Aug. 12:

  • 8:30 am – Lutheran Worship Service at the Touchstone Energy Stage
  • 9:30 am – Cornerstone Baptist Church at the Touchstone Energy Stage
  • 10 am-4 pm – “Stars of Service” Military Resource Fair, South of Mathewson Exhibition Center
  • 10 am-5 pm – Show-Me Robotics Competitions & Exhibitions at the Lowell Mohler Assembly Hall
  • 12 pm – The Bluegrass Missourians performing at the Ditzfeld Stage
  • 12 pm & 6 pm – Missouri State Fair Shoot Out Featuring Missouri Association Championship Truck and Tractor Pull Qualifying and Finals and Lucas Oil
  • 2 pm – Military Appreciation Ceremony at the Mathewson Exhibition Center
  • 2 pm, 6 pm, & 9 pm – The Supermatics Band performing at the Budweiser Stage
  • 7 pm – Motocross, Final Championship Round of the MO Fair Cross Series in the State Fair Arena, sponsored by Husqvarna

There’s plenty more to do when visiting the Fair during the Salute to Our Heroes Weekend. Learn more >>