As retiring Fair Queen Miranda McGrauth gently placed the tiara on her head, Liesel Schwartzkopf closed her eyes.
"I couldn't believe it," the newly-crowned 2012 Palo Alto County Fair Queen admitted. "I thought I was dreaming."
Schwartzkopf, the 17-year old daughter of Karen and Doug Schwartzkopf of Whittemore was crowned as the 2012 Palo Alto County Fair Queen during the opening night ceremonies of the fair on Thursday, July 19.
Liesel Schwartzkopf, front right, was crowned as the 2012 Palo Alto County Fair Queen last Thursday evening. Sarah Mader, second from left, was named the First Runner up. Also participating in the fair queen competition were Janet Kenyon, left, and Logan Egland, second from right. Schwartzkopf, the daughter of Doug and Karen Schwartzkopf of Whittemore, will represent Palo Alto County and compete for the title of Iowa State Fair Queen at the Iowa State Fair next month in Des Moines. --Dan Voigt photo.
A field of four young women competed for the Fair Queen title, including Sarah Mader of Mallard, Logan Egland of Ruthven and Janet Kenyon of Whittemore.
The four young women had a personal interview on Thursday morning with a panel of judges that included Deb Kibbie, Julie Bird and former Fair Queen Karen (Naig) Frank.
Prior to the crowning, Sarah Mader, the daughter of Ron and Mary Mader of Mallard, was named as the first runner-up before the new Fair Queen was crowned.
The new Fair Queen will be a senior at West Bend-Mallard High School in the upcoming school year.
Liesel has been active in Basketball, Track and Field, Softball, Band, Speech, Drama, Football Statistician and the National Honor Society, as well as JETS and Student Government. Liesel has earned the Presidential Education Award, and has received Academic Excellence Awards along with being named to the Cornbelt Academic All Conference teams. She has received athletic and academic letters in all of her high school activities as well.
A member of the Fern Valley 4-H'ers for eight years, Liesel is also a member of the County 4-H Youth Council and has participated every year in the Fair Clean Up Day, Beef Shows, Share the Fun, Ag Olympics and as a host in the 4-H Exhibits Building. She has received numerous 4-H awards and honors, including Citizenship and Merit Awards along with Project Awards and has had three projects selected for competition at the Iowa State Fair and received Blue Ribbons for all three projects.
In her community, Liesel has been involved in activities through her 4-H club including community beautification, Christmas Decorations and Christmas Caroling for the West Bend Care Center and involvement with the Mindy's Miles Bike Ride.
In her spare time, Liesel enjoys hanging out with friends, camping with her family, working with her cattle and attending extra practices for her athletic endeavors. She works part time at Kampen Foods in West Bend and after graduation in May of 2013, Liesel plans to attend Iowa State University to major in Animal Science or Athletic Training.
Also competing for the title were Logan Egland, the daughter of Mike and Charla Egland of Ruthven and Janet Kenyon, the daughter of Ron and Colleen Kenyon of Whittemore.