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Fair Queen Competition To Open Palo Alto County Fair

By Staff | Jul 19, 2011

The Palo Alto County Fairgrounds was buzzing with activity on Saturday for the annual Pre-fair clean up day. Volunteers and 4-H members gathered to mow, trim, sweep, clean and set up fencing in anticipation of this week’s Palo Alto County Fair, which will officially start on Thursday, July 21 with livestock shows. 4-H Exhibits judging takes place today (Tuesday), with the building opening to the public on Thursday. The fair will conclude Sunday. --Dan Voigt photo

An annual tradition of the Palo Alto County Fair is the crowning of the Palo Alto County Fair Queen. This year, a trio of young women will be competing for the honor of serving as the Fair Queen and representing Palo Alto County at the Iowa State Fair in August. The Queen coronation will be part of a varied program set for the first evening of the fair this Thursday evening, July 21.

The 2011 Fair Queen coronation will take place at 7:45 p.m on the Open Air Pavilion stage at the Fairgrounds. Judging is based on several criteria, including an application form, appearance, personal interview, personality/poise and an on-stage question. Each of the candidates will receive a $500 scholarship from Iowa Lakes Community College for their participation in the event.

Here is a chance to get to know the three young women who are in contention for the honor of Palo Alto County Fair Queen.

Haley Banwart is the daughter of John and Kim Banwart of West Bend. A junior at West Bend-Mallard High School, Haley has been a member of the basketball, volleyball and girls track teams for three years and a member of the softball team for two years, as well as serving on the school newspaper staff for three years. Haley has also been involved in Yearbook staff, Drill Team, Drama and FFA for one year and is also a member of the National Honor Society. She has played piano for 10 years and is very involved in 4-H activities through her membership on the 4-H Youth County Council by working with the various lock-ins, Penny Carnival and new member pizza parties.

At the Palo Alto County Fair, Haley has been involved in pre-fair cleanup days, served as a judges’ helper, conducted games and events for the County Council, worked at the Fair Dance and participated in livestock judging contests, Ag Olympics and Mud Volleyball.

Haley is active in her community, as she volunteers for community events such as the Fourth of July celebration in West Bend, baking cookies for Blood Drives, planting flowers and serving and reading at church. She has received the 4-H Achievement Award, 4-H Citizenship Award and 4-H Outstanding Exhibit Award, along with “A” Honor Roll status, Academic All Conference awards, Academic Excellence Award, CCD Citizenship Award, Drill Team Outstanding Newcomer Award, Coach’s Appreciation Award, Hustle Award and Sportsmanship Award.

Haley enjoys reading, writing, riding her horse Dakota, fishing and traveling with her family. Her future plans include graduating in May 2012 from WBM and continuing her education at Iowa State University to study journalism and agricultural communications.

Miranda McGrauth is the daughter of Mark and Julie McGrauth of Ruthven. A junior at Ruthven-Ayrshire High School, Miranda has been active in numerous extra-curricular activities, including softball, track, volleyball, basketball cheerleading, Drama, Speech, Show Choir, Vocal Music, Honor Choir, Student Council and Mentoring. Additionally,

In the community, Miranda is active in the Highland Cruisers 4-H Club and also serves on the 4-H Youth County Council, as well as her church youth group and also works part-time cleaning at a local business.

At the Palo Alto County Fair, Miranda has participated in the pre-fair cleanup days, served as a judges’ assistant on judging day, served as announcer for the 4-H Style Show, and helped to organize and participate in County Council events such as Minute to Win It, Mud Volleyball and Watermelon Eating Contest.

Miranda enjoys swimming, traveling, running and spending time with her friends and family. Her future plans include attending Iowa Lakes Community College after graduating from Ruthven-Ayrshire for two years and transferring to a four-year university.

Ashley Brown is the daughter of Larry and Renita Brown of West Bend. A junior at West Bend-Mallard, Ashley is active in softball and volleyball and is a member of the National Honor Society. She has been named to the Honor Roll on numerous occasions and received a Citizenship Award, as well as awards for her Sheep and Agriculture projects.

In the community, Ashley is involved in her 4-H club and serves as a member of the 4-H Youth County Council, as well as a Vacation Bible School instructor. At the Palo Alto County Fair, Ashley has been involved in pre-fair clean up days, as well as Woodworking projects, Food and Nutrition projects and Photography, along with Sheep projects.

In her spare time, Ashley enjoys hanging out with friends, watching movies, being outside and spending time with her family. Ashley plans to attend college following graduation from West Bend-Mallard next Spring.