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2018 Miss Pettis County Marissa Kobel will crown a new title holder during the queen pageant at the Smithton Town and Country Fair. The event is scheduled to take place at 2 p.m., Thursday, in the Smithton High School gym. Seven local young women will be competing for the title.

It is a nice problem to face. With seven contestants vying for the title of Miss Pettis County during the 52nd annual Smithton Town and Country Fair, directors Kandas Kroeger and Emily Gerke realized it was time to make some changes to the pageant.

One of the first is the change in time of the contest. The competition will be at 2 p.m., Thursday, rather than an evening event.

“With all the participation, we have been getting for the past two years we found it difficult to have a new queen crowned in enough time for her to enjoy all the events the Smithton Fair has to offer that night,” Kroeger explained.

The newly crowned queen will be a part of the fair parade Thursday evening. In prior years with the parade scheduled for 6:30 p.m. and the queen competition that began at 7 p.m. it was difficult for many to attend both. Due to the time change, the new queen will also have the opportunity to take part in the Auctioneer’s bid Contest and help with the children’s games.

Being a part of the Smithton Fair events and representing Pettis County at functions and community service projects is a large part of the queen’s role.   

The responsibilities of Miss Pettis County are to be a positive public figure and role model in the community according to both Kroeger and Gerke. Miss Pettis County is expected to participate in community events and engage in community service.

Serving as a role model is something both Kroeger and Gerke realize from first-hand experience. Kroeger is a former Miss Pettis County and Gerke won the title of Miss Calloway County. 

Both women said serving their respective communities was a highlight of their reign. The pair also credited the current Miss Pettis County Marissa Koebel for her service throughout the year.

“Marissa participated in many events during her reign such as delivering Christmas goodies to firefighters and police officers, passing out ribbons at 4-H shows, participating in Green Ridge Park Days, attending the Scott Joplin festival, and riding in many parades,” Kroeger explained. “Miss Pettis County also has the opportunity to compete at the Missouri State Fair for the title of Missouri State Fair Queen.” 

The newly crowned Miss Pettis County will compete in four categories at the Missouri State Fair interview, talent, evening gown, and onstage question.

To be eligible to run contestants must be between the ages of 17 to 22 and reside in Pettis County. Those competing for the title this year are Lyla Bybee from Smithton who will perform a tumbling routine. Shelbi Miller from Smithton will be performing a color guard routine. McKenzie Simpson from Hughesville will be singing. Emily Gregory from Hughesville will give a speech, Journey Henry from La Monte talent is undecided. Marissa Cornine from Hughesville who giving a speech, and Alicia Eldred from Sedalia, will perform a ballet routine.

Contestants will be awarded category prizes for best interview, talent, evening gown, onstage question, and Miss Congeniality. The Fair Board has increased the winner’s scholarship award to $1,000 this year.  

The Miss Pettis County Pageant will begin at 2 p.m., Thursday, July 11 in the Smithton High School Gym.  

Education Reporter

Hope Lecchi is the education reporter for the Democrat, covering all things education in Sedalia and Pettis County, as well as providing general assignment and feature coverage. She can be reached at 660-530-0144.

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