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Royalty crowned

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MISS INDIANA STATE FAIR: Halle Shoults, Miss Indiana State Fair 2019, addresses the crowd Wednesday at the Honeywell Center.
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WISDOM:Mary Ann (Shellhamer) Stroeh, 1964 Wabash County 4-H Fair Queen, left, andAmy (Squires) Beer, 1984Wabash County 4-H Fair Queen, imparted some words of wisdom to contestants Wednesday at the Honeywell Center.
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AWARD: Mark York, Wabash County Farm Bureau President, presented two $50 scholarships Wednesday at the Honeywell Center.
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SONG: 2018 Wabash County 4-H Fair Queen Jirni Cripe, center in white, joined this year’s contestants for a song and dance number to start the evening on Wednesday at the Honeywell Center.
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FORMAL: The 2019 Wabash County 4-H Fair Queen Pageant contestants give the judges one last look at their formal wear Wednesday at the Honeywell Center.
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ROYALTY: Mariah Kirtlan, left, was named 2019 4-H Fair Queen on Wednesday at the Honeywell Center.
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WINNERS: Curt Campbell,Purdue Extension Educator,presented three $300 scholarships Wednesday at the Honeywell Center.
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JUDGE: Chris Gillam, one of three judges for the evening, waves to crowd Wednesday at the Honeywell Center.
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GRIN: Jan Faker, one of three judges for the evening, grins at the crowd Wednesday at the Honeywell Center.
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LAST WALK: 2018 Wabash County 4-H Fair Queen Jirni Cripe, right, takes her final walk Wednesday at the Honeywell Center.
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SONG: 2019 Wabash County 4-H Performing Arts Area 8 Delegate to Round-Up Daisy Sparks sings the song “Dream” by Priscilla Ahn while strumming her ukulele Wednesday at the Honeywell Center.

by Rob Burgess - rburgess@wabashplaindealer.com

At the end of the two-hour event Wednesday evening at the Honeywell Center, there could only be one 2019 Wabash County 4-H Fair Queen, but there plenty of winners on stage.

Mariah Kirtlan was named queen and was presented with a $1,000 scholarship at the conclusion of the pageant.

Chosen as her court were: Miss Congeniality Ariel Dale, who won the Maxine Howard Memorial Scholarship; Third Runner-Up Karrigan Yard, who won a $100 scholarship; Second Runner-Up Ally Keaffaber, who won a $150 scholarship; and First Runner-Up Amy Miller, who won a $250 scholarship.

Hosts for the evening, Brianne and Derek Finch, began the event with a prayer, the 4-H pledge and the Pledge of Allegiance.

Then, 2018 4-H Fair Queen Jirni Cripe joined all 13 contestants on stage for a dance number on stage to the song “The Greatest Show,” from the movie of the same name.

The judges for the evening – Chris Gillam, Jan Faker and Kelli Kreider – made their presence known before the professional wear portion of the event got underway.

After each contestant took their turn on stage, 2019 Wabash County 4-H Performing Arts Area 8 Delegate to Round-Up Daisy Sparks, sung the song “Dream” by Priscilla Ahn while strumming her ukulele.

Then, two former queens took the stage to offer some words of wisdom to this year’s contestants.

Amy (Squires) Beer, the 1984 queen, said she remembered the evening she was crowned for more than one reason.

“When I was driving, probably to pick something for the queen pageant, I was not paying attention, reached down to grab my purse. When I looked up I was headed for a telephone pole,” she said.

Beer said she scratched up the entire side of her the new van.

“My dad looked at it, Fred Squires. He asked me if I was OK. I said, ‘Yes, I was fine.’ He proceeded to walk away from me and not speak to me for the rest of the day,” she said. “Then, we went to the queen competition that night, I was crowned queen and I think all was forgiven at that point in time.”

Mary Ann (Shellhamer) Stroeh, the 1964 queen, said being a part of 4-H meant more than just the competition.

“It made a difference in my life. I grew up in a time when girls were not in sports, were not in many school activities. We could be in the cheer block or we could be in 4-H. I chose to be in 4-H and I had 10 wonderful years in 4-H,” she said.

Then, during the formal wear portion of the contest, Cripe held a bucket with a different words like “grateful,” “tradition” and “strength” written on pieces of paper. Contestants then picked at random and then explained to the audience what it meant to them.

The judges then retreated to compare notes as the 10-year 4-H members and scholarship winners made their way to stage to be individually recognized.

Once the judges had made their decisions, they returned and Cripe gave her farewell address and final walk before this year’s court was announced.