A new queen on the throne

By Daniel Adam
Staff Writer

“Walking around with the crown, it’s a pretty big confidence booster,” said Mickenna Ryll, who was named this year’s Fair Queen on Thursday night in front of an audience of family and friends.

“It feels really good,” she said. “All the hard work that me and my family put in has finally paid off.”

She competed against Mckenna McTavish, Addison Brown, and Valentina Shickell-Busch.

“It was really nice meeting new people,” said Ryll. “I never would have talked to any of those girls before, so I’ve made some new friendships.”

Ryll said she also liked learning new skills like time management and sewing.

“I think it was very beneficial,” she said.

Fair Queen contestants were required to create their own banners, sell 300 buttons, write a letter to the editor, design a float, perform a talent, and be interviewed.

Mickenna Ryll, this year’s Fair Queen accepts her title at the Emo Arena on Thursday, August 18. Ryll had the highest total score throughout a number of queen contestant events, earning her the 2022 crown. —Daniel Adam photo

This year, there was also a new challenge called “2K-A-Day” where contestants were to log two kilometres of physical activity each day. Each kilometre earned a $2 donation from the Emo Fair Board. This year’s contestants logged 203 km, earning a $406 donation to a local charity.

Ryll said she found this active living challenge difficult, as she was meanwhile at York University in a month-long program called Shad. It is a STEAM program for Grade 10 and 11 students. This fall, Ryll is going into Grade 12 at Fort Frances High School.

Turning to next year’s competition, Ryll encouraged anyone thinking of being Fair Queen contestant to go ahead.

“Just do it. It’s an incredible experience,” she said. “It may get stressful at times, but the friendships you build, and the confidence you build, it helps you in the long run.”

Wondering what inspired her to compete, the Times asked why Ryll decided to join the race.

She said her aunt competed to be a Fair Queen once, and earned the title of first princess.

“It was kind of like a competition,” said Ryll. “I had to beat her, so the goal was queen.”