Katelyn Orr became Des Moines County Fair royalty Tuesday night, being crowned the 2017 fair queen. 

All smiles, she welcomed the audience to the first night of festivities.

“Some people say that the most wonderful time of the year resides in December,” Orr said. “But I know that it is in July."

At the pageant, which took place at 7 p.m. at the SCC Agri Sports Arena, each candidate spoke to the crowd. The girls spoke of their involvement in school and community activities, particularly what they each learned from participating in 4-H.

Orr said 4-H taught her the importance of building relationships with community members and encouraged her to challenge herself.

Following the speeches, the candidates got dolled up in evening wear for the on-stage question segment. 2016 Des Moines County Fair Queen Alizabeth Yotter asked each contestant a questions, regarding 4-H or the fair.

Yotter asked Orr what her favorite memory of 4-H over the years had been. Orr said she most enjoyed the Sunday before the fair each year when her family gets donuts and shears sheep all morning. 

Prior to the pageant Sunday each girl completed an individual interview and submitted a resume.

A panel of three judges, including Lindsey Marshall, the 2008 DMC Fair Queen, tallied the scores from each section of the pageant to determine the winners.

Orr received a tiara, sashes, entry into the Iowa State Fair Queen Pageant,a $250 scholarship sponsored by Mediapolis Savings Bank, $100 in prize money, a state fair photo and flowers.

The Fair Princess, Ashley Lohmann, who earned the second highest score, received a sash, trophy, $150 scholarship sponsored by the Mediapolis Branch of Two Rivers Bank, $75 in prize money and flowers.

Trophies were also awarded to the candidates with the highest scores in each individual section of the pageant.

Lilly Harbison won the hostess award for selling the most ads to fundraise for the pageant. Lohmann earned the academic award for having the highest G.P.A. Lohmann and Orr tied for the leadership award, while Orr also won both the interview award and the speech award.

In light of all the awards, Lohmann offered her view on competition.

“I believe that I never lose,” Lohmann said. “I either win or I learn.”

Orr will make appearances at the fair and hand out ribbons at 4-H events. Following the fair she will embark on a year-long journey as fair queen, competing in the Iowa State Fair Queen Pageant August 12 and appearing at events until she passes along the crown at next year’s pageant.