HARRISBURG – Casey Hall of Roaring Branch, Bradford County, was crowned the 2010 Pennsylvania Fair Queen this week after a three-day competition held in during the annual joint convention of the Pennsylvania State Association of County Fairs and Pennsylvania State Showmen’s Association.
“Pennsylvania agriculture is well represented by the phenomenal young women involved in the fair queen program,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “There were 60 contestants – a new record — which is a true testament to the important role county and community fairs play in showcasing our state’s number one industry.”
Hall, the daughter of George and Jamie Hall, is a 17-year-old senior at Canton High School where she is the class president and is involved in band, chorus, Students Against Drunk Driving, track and field, and the Senior Ball Court. She is also a 4-H and FFA member, on the junior fair board and enjoys hunting, fishing and traveling. She plans to attend Penn State University to study bioengineering with a minor in agricultural engineering.
Hall was crowned by outgoing Pennsylvania Fair Queen Nicole Clemson of Luzerne County.
The contestants prepared a three- to five-minute speech highlighting the activities at her county or community fair and a written essay about the fair’s personal significance in her life and local community. Each queen gave a stage introduction during the fair convention annual banquet and participated in an interview with three judges.
The queens are evaluated on their public speaking skills and knowledge of the agricultural industry, as well as on their poise and personal presentation in an evening gown competition.
Five finalists were chosen and asked an impromptu question about why they should encourage the public to visit their fair during tough economic times.
Tate Slaven, 17, of Bradford, McKean County, was first runner-up. She is the daughter of Timothy and Tina Slaven, and is a senior at Bradford Area High School where she is involved in student council, varsity softball, cheerleading, National Honor Society, Key Club and the yearbook club. She also shows horses competitively as a McKean County 4-H member. Slaven plans to attend Westminster College to major in biology with a concentration in veterinarian medicine.
Rounding out the top five finalists were: Gretchen Perschke, Big Butler Fair; Sarah Signore, Franklin County Fair; and Emily Maurer, Somerset County Fair.
Perschke was also named “Miss Congeniality,” an award voted on by the other contestants.
The three judges were Chris Fickes of Perkasie; Michael Froehlich of York; and returning judge Wanda Waugh of York. Kevin Bieber of Oley served as master of ceremonies.
Pennsylvania is home to 115 county and community fairs stretching from April until October. The fair queen travels the state representing Pennsylvania’s rich agricultural heritage and serving as an ambassador for the fair association.