Eight young ladies stood before two judges and a large audience at the North Texas Fairgrounds this week to make the case why they should represent the Denton County Livestock Association Youth Fair and Rodeo.
Dressed to impress with blue sashes draped around their torsos, the girls one by one walked up to a microphone at the fairgrounds show arena Thursday evening, introduced themselves and expressed why they wanted to become this year’s youth fair and rodeo queen or princess. The judges jotted down notes as they spoke. The girls smiled, some at times fidgeted and none went without a word of thanks to the people who got them to this point.
Five of the young ladies, who range in age from 14 to 18, are vying for the title of youth fair and rodeo queen. Three others, who are between ages 9 and 13, are hopeful they’ll be named the youth fair and rodeo princess.
The youth fair and rodeo will crown its queen and princess tonight.
“The significance of the contest is to build confidence in a public setting for the girls,” wrote Jordan Johnson, superintendent for the 2014 queen and princess contest, in an e-mail. “Through this process they are learning how to interact with a crowd and learn how to give and deliver a speech to a large crowd. They also learn how to present themselves in a professional, ladylike manner. All things that they can take on to their careers later in their lives.”
This year’s queen contestants are Catherine Arndt, representing Silver Saddle 4-H; Maycee Rider of Pilot Point FFA; Charlee Cope of Krum FFA; Sabrina Adkins of Ryan FFA; and Madison Doyle of Argyle 4-H.
Princess contestants are Abigail Flippin of Argyle 4-H, Katy Barrett of Lonestar 4-H and Jade Allen of Silver Saddle 4-H.
“This year’s contestants are all sweet girls,” Johnson wrote. “They all possess qualities that I think would make a great queen or princess. We have a really great group of candidates this year.”
The youth fair and rodeo has crowned a queen and princess for more than 30 years, according to Johnson. Contestants are nominated or voted in by the FFA or 4-H organization of which they are a member.
The queen and princess contestants are judged in five categories: personality, appearance, ticket sales, speech and presentation and most photogenic.
On Thursday, the girls talked about their participation in FFA and 4-H, their future aspirations and what made them the most qualified. The contestants also expressed desires to promote the youth fair and rodeo and get more youth involved.
“Our unique youth fair is not like many,” queen contestant Charlee Cope told the judges. “We have much to offer for anybody who’s interested in doing this.”
Flippin, a contestant in the princess competition, told judges she enjoys public speaking and community service projects. Princess contestant Katy Barrett said the competition has given her the opportunity to meet new people and make new friends.
The winners will receive a $100 scholarship and a belt buckle recognizing their win, Johnson said. Runners-up will receive an embroidered sports jacket with the year and name of the contest.
The Denton County Livestock Association Youth Fair and Rodeo queen and princess will be announced at the start of tonight’s youth rodeo. The event begins at 7 p.m. and will take place at the North Texas Fairgrounds.
BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @Britney Tabor.