COLUMBIA — It's not a fair unless you've got a queen.
So Wednesday night, the Boone County Fair continued its decades-old tradition: the Boone County Fair Royalty Competition.
Six contestants vied for scholarships and the opportunity to be named fair queen. The competition consisted of a speech or talent portion, evening gown judging and an onstage question relating to their past accomplishments or future goals. Special awards were given out for each portion, and four of the six contestants were chosen as finalists.
Melinda Houttuin, Amy Wilsdorf, Lily Williams and Michele Love were selected as finalists. Each of the four finalists was asked a question by 2009 winner Rashall Westhoelter.
“If crowned Miss Boone County Fair Queen, you’ll become a role model for young women in Boone County," Westhoelter said to each finalist. "What qualities do you possess that will make you a good role model?”
Houttuin’s answer began that the ideal queen is a role model, “idolized by the girls,” and focused on her dedication to school and the community.
After each contestant answered the question, all six were brought on stage for the announcement of the runners-up and the crowning of the queen.
A group of Wilsdorf supporters cheered and held up signs reading “Amy” as the crowd waited, to no avail.
Houttuin was crowned queen, surpassing fellow competitors Love, third runner-up; Williams, second runner-up; and Wilsdorf, first runner-up. Houttuin also received awards for best interview and best speech. Wilsdorf received "Miss Congeniality."
Houttuin currently studies at Moberly Area Community College and is beginning at Missouri Valley College this fall on a scholarship for their rodeo team. She is studying mass communications with an emphasis on public relations.
Houttuin said she likes the competition because of “the ability to promote something so dear to people. You can honestly change the life of one person."
The contest was part of the Boone County Fair, which is scheduled to last until July 31.