The new queen reigns

Erin Bagby is ready to serve as Miss Boone County
Friday, July 22, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 4:10 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The new Miss Boone County has a major weakness: funnel cakes. And after she was crowned Monday evening at the Boone County Fair, 19-year-old Erin Bagby treated herself to one.

Bagby, a Fayette High School graduate, has “been around the fair forever,” she said Thursday. Winning the 2005 crown was a big deal.

“Oh my goodness, I was really, really excited; I was speechless,” the MU sophomore said. “I was ready to start the week and get going.”

In vying for the title, Bagby sang “Born to Be Blue” by The Judds in the talent portion of the pageant. Because of that, her duties this week are scheduled to include singing the national anthem at the demolition derby and the truck and tractor pull.

One of her goals as Miss Boone County, and a goal of fair organizers, is to encourage other young women to take part in the pageant. Participants undergo mock interviews and learn how to walk with poise onstage, Bagby said.

As part of her yearlong duties, Bagby will represent Boone County at other fairs throughout Missouri and will also get ready to compete for the Miss Missouri crown.

“I am used to being busy all the time,” said Bagby, who wants to major in broadcast journalism.

Erin is the daughter of Don and Jan Bagby — who said that when her daughter won, she “jumped up and screamed and was so embarrassed that I sat back down.”

Jan Bagby said the best part of the experience for her daughter is the many connections she is making.

Erin is “making the most of it and is having a blast,” said Jan Bagby, who right now is acting as chief photographer and chaperone for her daughter.

Bagby, who was sponsored by Lee’s Tire Co., got more than a sparkling tiara and purple sash Monday night. She also won a $1,000 scholarship, a bouquet from My Secret Garden, a silver tray donated by McAdam’s and gift baskets with a variety of goodies.

Bagby, who has been interviewed by several media outlets, has been surprised by the attention. “Last night,” she said, “two little girls asked me for my autograph.”

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