For Star Martin, this summer has been all about gaining confidence, making friends, and engaging in the community.
The experience culminated in her being named Emo Fair queen last Thursday evening following the entertainment portion of the pageant upstairs at the Emo-La Vallee Arena.
Janelle Allan was named First Princess and Reece McQuaker as Second Princess.
“I’m just overall really happy,” Martin said after posing for photos with the other contestants and receiving many congratulations.
“The other girls were great and I’m super thankful overall,” the 15-year-old Emo resident added.
The three contestants spent the summer selling buttons, meeting new people, attending community events, and preparing for the busy fair week.
“My favourite part was probably getting to know the other contestants, gaining confidence, and participating in activities that I wouldn’t normally do,” noted Martin.
She had said the week before the crowning night was really special for her as the talent and fashion show rehearsals brought the girls closer together.
Martin admitted she was very nervous when joining the competition, but gained a lot of confidence over the summer and is encouraging any other girls to try it out.
“You may not think you are fit for it but every girl is fit for it,” she stressed.
“It helps you gain so much confidence and it is so much fun.”
Looking forward into her year as fair queen, Martin said she’s excited to be able to participate in even more events in the community.
“I’m just super-excited and happy,” she enthused.
“It’s been a good year.”
Before the crowning, last year’s winner, Harleigh Brow-Rose, fought back tears as she thanked everyone for her reign as queen and recalled some of the things she was able to do.
These included being a mentor at the “I am Awesome” girls’ retreat, leading the July 1 parade in Barwick, and last month handing out trophies at the International Early Iron Car Club Show in Fort Frances.
“Everything and anything I have been able to do this past year as fair queen has been a blast,” Brow-Rose said.
For participating, each contestant received $50 gift certificates to Tompkins Hardware and Betty’s, $25 gift certificates to Norlund Oil and Emo Drugs, gifts from Secret by Melissa Pearson, Cloverleaf, and the Barwick Village Restaurant, and a professional teeth whitening from the Emo Dental Centre.
“We are very lucky with all of our local sponsors, and again I would like to thank each and every one of them,” noted pageant organizer Sis McCormick.
This year’s four judges were Krista Kellar (First Princess in 2002), Kaylee Heyens (the 2011 fair queen), Lizette Wilson (grandmother of a former contestant), and Emo Mayor Jack Siemens.
The judging was broken down into several categories-each worth a certain percentage and then submitted by the judges to an independent auditor to calculate the winner.
All three girls sold the required 300 buttons to fulfil that portion of their evaluation.
The other category winners were as follows:
•Banner-1. Star Martin 2. Janelle Allan 3. Reece McQuaker
•Interview-1. Star Martin 2. Janelle Allan 3. Reece McQuaker
•Float-1. Star Martin 2. Janelle Allan 3. Reece McQuaker
•Fashion Show- 1. Star Martin 2. Janelle Allan 3. Reece McQuaker
•Entertainment- 1. Janelle Allan 2. Star Martin 3. Reece McQuaker
The title of Miss Congeniality and the Dorothy Bonot Award both went to Allan, with each presented by last year’s winners.
Meanwhile, the annual mini-king and mini-queen contest was held earlier in the evening.
Six boys and seven girls vied for the titles, with Kylan Fernandez and Emma Ray Pattison being the respective winners.