Pharos-Tribune

Local News

July 7, 2011

Cass County queen contestants practice with royalty

State fair queen helps local hopefuls prepare for pageant

LOGANSPORT — Thirteen Cass County girls, who were hoping that practice makes perfect, enlisted Indiana royalty to help them hone their modeling and interview skills Wednesday night.

Indiana State Fair Queen Sara Alford spent the night at the county fairgrounds helping the local fair queen hopefuls prepare for their upcoming pageant.

“It helps a lot,” said queen contestant Jillian Bower, who is competing for the second time.

She and Alford agreed that the on-stage question is the most difficult part of the competition.

“My on-stage question at the state level wasn’t very good,” Alford told the contestants.

A judge asked her to name two qualities that every woman should have.

“I said leadership and perseverance. And then I kept talking, and talking and talking,” Alford told the girls. “It started out good. I just didn’t know how to wrap it up.”

Alford gave each of the girls sample questions to answer Wednesday night.

Alford asked one contestant what pizza ingredient she would be and why. She asked another one what she thought of the new ban on texting and driving.

One by one, the girls answered the questions fired at them.

Others practiced modeling or participated in mock interviews.

Lynnsey Segraves, who is in charge of this year’s pageant, hoped the workshop gave the girls some peace of mind, she said.

“We’ve got the anxiety. We’ve got the stress,” Segraves said. “Towards the end, it gets overwhelming.”

She hoped Alford could share her helpful hints and tips with the contestants, Segraves said.

Alford’s biggest tip was to never give up.

“It took me three years to win my county pageant,” she said. “A whole year makes a big difference.”

Sara Champ is competing in Cass County’s pageant for the third year.

“Now that I’m older and more mature, it’s exciting,” she said.

Champ has come to value the workshops offered to contestants, she said.

“We wouldn’t be able to have a pageant without these practice days,” she said.

Emily Douglass, who is competing for the first time, said she was enjoying the whole process.

“I’m excited now, but I’ll probably be nervous then,” she said of the approaching pageant.

• Lindsey Ziliak is a staff writer at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5148 or lindsey.ziliak@pharostribune.com.

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