The 136th Erie County fair queen season is just one of many that may not happen this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yoselin Person spoke with fair queens from around the region to see how they’re coping.
She was live from the studio this morning with more on how these changes are impacting these young girls.
These ladies worked hard to earn the spot to be queens for their county and they are devastated because they may not get to experience the traditional event.
“It’s hard for so many of us girls, we want to continue,” said Paige Larson, Wattsburg County Fair Queen.
With the future of county fairs uncertain, many queens from around the state say they are not sure how or when the next queen will be crowned.
“It’s really hurting me and hurting the other girls, because this is all something that we dreamed about doing,” said Larson.
Tradition is a big deal to these ladies. They want to be the voice on important topics that need to be addressed, along with educating their community about agriculture.
“They’re getting more requests now for meat and produce than they have ever before. It kind of proves that promoting agriculture needs to be a focus,” said Chelsey Toplovich, 2019 Warren County Fair Queen.
Many of these queens have won the right to represent their county. For them, being a voice on timely agriculture issues is a top priority.
In our crazy COVID-19 world many of these queens aren’t sure what comes next, but it doesn’t appear like it will be the traditional experience for the end of their reign.
One of the queens said her county is considering a virtual pageant.
“I’ve been working close with all of our fair board members and my committee members trying to come up with new ways to promote agriculture over social media,” said Selinas Horst, Franklin County Fair Queen.
Other queens aren’t too concerned about what comes next.
“To those who can’t have their fair, I say still go for it anyways whether it’s a virtual pageant or not,” said Hannah Zechman, Union County Western Fair Queen.
As you would expect, these county fair queens are staying positive.
“Our counties are strong, we got this,” said Larson.
“Oh yeah, covid can’t stop queens,” said Toplovich.
These ladies also say it all comes down to their coordinator to decide what to do next. So for now they’re going to look ahead from this situation.