A University of Missouri student from Marceline was crowned the 2007 Missouri State Fair Queen Friday afternoon in the Mathewson Exhibition Center at the fairgrounds.
Katie Allen, 22, won the title for which 52 women competed. She was crowned by 2006 Miss Missouri State Fair, Tyne Morgan, of Lexington.
“This is such a pleasant surprise. I have never been in a full-on pageant like this one before. Everything feels kind of numb right now,” Allen said. She was on her way to look over her schedule for the rest of the days of the fair.
Allen will preside over events throughout the fair, and her picture will be on the wall in the historic Administration Building alongside portraits of previous State Fair queens. She will be a senior at the University of Missouri-Columbia and is majoring in agricultural journalism, with a double minor in animal science and agriculture economics.
Allen competed at the State Fair after being awarded the 2006 Miss Missouri Beef Queen title. She received a $2,000 scholarship.
“We had a great group of women this year,” said Lynn Reid, superintendent of the pageant. This year was her second year as superintendent.
Contestants participated in three rounds of competition, including interviews Thursday morning, a speech and talent competition Thursday afternoon and an evening gown competition Friday afternoon. The women displayed talents in dancing, singing and speaking.
Before the evening gown competition, most of the women were at ease.
“This is the easy part; there’s no wrong way to walk,” Nikki Woods, Miss Pettis County, said.
“I had a great time making new friends, and everyone in Sedalia is so friendly. It’s good for girls to be involved in things like this,” said Mindy Jennings, Miss Lewis County. Jennings has competed in five pageants.
There were 11 finalists this year, due to a tie. Each finalist answered a question about different aspects of agriculture.
First runner-up Miss West Central, Kari Gai, received a $500 scholarship. Second runner-up Miss Shelby County, Kailee Richey, received a $300 scholarship. Third runner-up Miss Lincoln County, Elli Braungardt, received a $200 scholarship, and fourth runner-up Miss Johnson County, Susan Bernt, received a $100 scholarship.
Miss Marion County, Sarah Graham, won the talent and evening gown competitions. Allen won the interview portion of the competition and tied with Susan Bernt in the speech competition. Miss Moniteau County, Ashley Karle, received the Miss Congeniality award.
“I got to meet a lot of really great girls. We get a lot of great speaking experience that will help in future job and scholarship interviews,” Cole Camp Fair Queen Christina Simon said, as her mother, Dianne, put the finishing touches on her up-do.
Emcees for the competition were Lori Reid-Price, 1999 Missouri State Fair Queen, and Adrianne Caruso, 2007 Mrs. Missouri. In between judging, baton twirler Savannah Miller entertained the crowd. Savannah, 10, is the 2006 World Baton Twirling champion.