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By Cynthia Haggitt
Over the years there have been many Calhoun County Fair queens, and the first dating first Miss Calhoun Fair Queen was crowned in 1931. There were many royal traditions upheld through the years of pageant crownings and the coronation of 2021 Miss Calhoun County was a night filled with history, glitz, a little bit of glamor and a whole lot of class. There were four young ladies who competeted for the title of 2021 Miss Calhoun County, on Sunday, Sept. 12. The night also brought the end to the reigning Toni “Junie” Zirkelbach, Miss Calhoun County 2019-2020. The night air was filled with excitement and anticipation from not only this year’s pageant contestants: Summer White (contestant #1), Emily Clowers (contestant #2) Alexis Klocke (contestant #3) and Charleigh Wilson (contestant #4), but from a grandstand full of eager citizens of Calhoun County to see who would be crowned as their new queen. The Calhoun County Fair Pageant returned this year after taking the year 2020 off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The last time the contest was held was in September 2019. The Calhoun County Fair wrapped up on Sunday evening with the crowning of a new queen, Miss Calhoun County Alexis Klocke. She is the 20 year old daughter of Brad and Cindy Klocke of Batchtown.
The first runner-up and Miss Congenality was awared to 19 year old Charleigh Wilson. Wilson also sold the most 50/50 tickets. She is the daughter of Billy and Ashley Wilson of Hardin.
This year’s People’s Choice was awarded to Summer White. White is the daughter of Jonah and Renee White of Michael. The fair may have ended with Klocke’s reign but there were three other pageants held on Friday and Saturday night.
On Friday night, Sept. 10, the Calhoun County Fair kicked off with seven young ladies who competed for the title of Junior Miss Calhoun County and the stage was set for crowning. Reagan Clendenny, Anna Eberlin, Lucy Hurley, Kiera Sievers, Layla Johnson, Karleigh Mason and Conley Klocke were this year’s contestants. The crown for this year’s new Jr. Miss Calhoun County was awarded to Reagan Clendenny. She is the daughter of Terry Clendenny of Pleasant Hill and Lindsey Taul of Kampsville. The First runner-up was awarded to Conley Klocke. The second runner-up and People’s Choice was Karleigh Mason.
On the following night the grandstand pageant stage didn’t disappoint because it was the night for crowning this year’s Little Miss and Little Mister Calhoun County. There were three young gentlemen who competed for this year’s title of Little Mister. The contestants this year were Braxton King, Carson Tepen, Tate McKinnon. Keeping with traditions, The young gentlemen were asked how they spent their summer vacations and what they wanted to do when they got older. The answers from these three didn’t disappoint and had the crowd rolling with laughter. However, despiste their likable personalities only one could be crowned this year’s winner and that was Braxton King. He is the son of Cullen and Lauren King of Hardin.
As the crowd was still reeling from laughter and excitement from the newly crowned Little Mister Braxton King it was time for the young girls of Calhoun to shine like the beautiful diamonds they are. It was showtime and 17 girls did not disappoint the crowd as they too competed for the title of Little Miss Calhoun County.
There were many heartfelt remarks made by the young misses and the girls competing were as follows: Lauren Pohlman, Libby Botterbush, Rosie Bick, Harlow Hayn, Remmi Vinson, Penelope Baltisberger, Evie Sievers, Miley Ewen, Alena Nienke, Sawyer Frankie, Skyler Peters, Greta Burch, Lennox Hillen, Elsie Hillen, Chloe Hagen, Toni Ruyle, and Gwen Webster. Although every girl there was a princess for the evening, there was only one who will reign for a whole year representing Calhoun County for 2021 and the lucky young lady who was awarded the title was Miss Harlow Hayn. She is the daughter of Stephen and Britney Hayn of Kampsville. First runner-up was Toni Ruyle, daughter of Jessica Swan and Cory Ruyle. Second runner-up was Miley Ewen and she is the daughter of Kodie and Amber Ewen.
This year’s pageant director was Tara Adams. Adams worked hard and said she had a great team to help make the 2021 pageants a success.
“Our Queen contestants did a fabulous job in the pageant. They all presented themselves with grace and spoke eloquently on stage. Calhoun should feel so proud that we have these beautiful and intelligent women in our community,” Adams said. “I look forward to watching Queen Lexi, Jr. Miss Reagan, Little Miss Harlow and Little Mister Braxton represent Calhoun County this year.”
Adams said after 2 years, it was hard to see the 2019-2020 royalty retire. Queen Toni, Jr. Miss Joy, Little Miss Kate and Little Mister Drew handled the adversity of these past 2 years well.
“They have a lot to be proud of during their time representing Calhoun County. Our retiring Queen, Toni Zirkelbach leaves big shoes to fill as she served as a great role model for our community,” Adams said. “Overall, I feel that the fair and pageants went well thanks to great help and perfect weather. Our stage got a major update this year with new stage curtains and it looked great.
“We began a 50/50 fundraiser this year and raised $3980 for the fair, which will help with stage and pageant improvements in the future. I would also like to thank all of the businesses that donated money and gifts to the Queen. We truly live in a supportive community.”