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Montezuma fair stages first royalty competition

10 girls compete to become Montezuma County Fair’s queen in inaugural contest

Ten young women are competing to be Montezuma County Fair Queen in the inaugural fair royalty competition this week.

Girls from elementary school to high school ages are competing for Fair Queen, Junior Queen, Princess and Lady-in-Waiting. The winners will be ambassadors for the fair and the community for the next year.

“Every other fair has a royalty competition and we’re trying to step up our game,” said Fair Board Secretary Shelley Thorkelson. “We’re trying to grow the fair bigger and better every year.”

The Queen will receive a $1,000 education scholarship, courtesy of the Fair Board. Other prizes will include a fair jacket and crown, Thorkelson said.

Queen hopefuls competed in a modeling and public speaking showdown Tuesday night at the fairgrounds, and on Wednesday they were being interviewed by judges with questions on topics such as Montezuma County history and 4-H principles. They also wrote essays and completed scrapbooks.

Winners will be announced Friday at 5 p.m., at the beginning of the Music Festival at the fair.

“They’re learning things they would need to know to represent us in such a way that they are good ambassadors for the community,” Thorkelson said.

Autumn Seeber recently graduated from Dolores High School and wanted to be in the royalty competition to be more involved with things in the community, she said. The experience has been fun so far in the modeling and public speaking events, she said.

“It went well,” Seeber said. “Everyone did a good job.”

Kiffany Whitmer will be a freshman at Montezuma-Cortez High School in the fall. She said being involved with fair royalty means she has to set a good example, but the competition got easier after nervousness at the beginning.

“It would be cool to represent the fair, and I want to be a part of it,” Whitmer said.

For the next year, the fair royalty will make appearances at local events, such as parades and festivals. They will also assist the fair board in tasks such as delivering fair news to the county commissioners, Thorkelson said.

“They will be another layer of the fair board, which will be nice,” she said.

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