There are plenty of free entertainment venues throughout the summer in northeast Iowa, and that includes many activities at the upcoming Fayette County Fair, July 24-28 at the Fairgrounds in West Union.
Events kickoff Tuesday, July 24, with a free sweet corn and watermelon feed, followed by the BBQ competition, all at 5 p.m.
Selection of this year’s Fayette County Fair Queen will be a tough one, with 14 dynamic young women from throughout the county vying for the title. The coronation will take place at the Grandstand at 6 p.m. Here is a teaser from the royal selection of candidate bios.
Miss Arlington Kaitlyn Plagman is the 17-year-old daughter of Kevin and Shannon Plagman. She attends Starmont High School where she is active in cross country, track, volleyball, dance, DECA, softball, student council, cheerleading and mentoring. Career plans include going to school for cosmetology and esthiology, plus management. Kaitlyn aspires to move to California and work on movie sets as a hair and makeup artist. Sponsors are Arlington Women’s Star Club and Arlington Community Club.
Miss Clermont Chloe Cummings, 16, is the daughter of Chris and Stacy Cummings. She attends North Fayette Valley where she participates in large group and individual speech, Family Consumer Science Club (president), robotics, Creative Writing Club, chorus, Art Club, drama and debate team. Future plans are to attend the University of Iowa for a degree in criminology and the attend law school. Her sponsor is Clermont Community Club.
Miss Elgin Carissa Bausch, 18, is the daughter of Chris and Donna Bausch. She is a senior at North Fayette Valley where she serves as Business Club vice president and lettered in basketball and track. Carissa plans to attend technical college in Fennimore, Wis., for early childhood education and then transfer for a bachelor’s degree. From there she hopes to obtain a job in the education field. Her sponsor is the Elgin Community Betterment Club.
Miss Fayette Bethany Merkle, 17, is the daughter of Jeff and Jean Merkle. She attends North Fayette Valley where her activities include Drama Club, Mental Health Awareness Club, Speech Club, Student Council, Art Club, Writing Club, choir (jazz and chamber). Bethany will be attaining a Master’s degree in musical theater performance at Millikin University, with a minor in writing, and is pursuing a career in the performing arts. Her sponsor is Scott Pharmacy in Fayette.
Miss Hawkeye Megan Chapman, 16, is the daughter of Melodee and Steve Woods, and Eric and Heidi Chapman. She attends North Fayette Valley where she is active in band (pit, pep, concert and jazz), drill team, Spanish Club and cheerleading. Megan aspires to become a family physician through the University of Iowa pre-med and graduate school. Hawkeye Businessmen’s Association is her sponsor.
Miss Maynard KyLee Kane, 16, is the daughter of Dale and Erika Kane. She attends West Central School where she participates in volleyball, track, cheerleading, and was makeup artist for the fall musical and spring play. KyLee will complete her two-year Associate’s degree while still in high school and plans to go on to college. Her sponsor is Jamison-Schmitz Funeral Home.
Miss Oelwein Olivia Cummings, 15, is the daughter of Ryan and Tracy Cummings. She attends Oelwein Community High School where she is active in FFA, cheerleading, choir and show choir, golf, and dance competition. Olivia plans to take college courses while in high school and attend the University of Iowa for dentistry, before returning to the area to open her own practice. Her sponsor is Oelwein Chamber and Area Development.
Miss St. Lucas Ashley Williams, 17, is the daughter of Mark and Brandy Williams. She attends Turkey Valley School where she is involved in speech, choir and drama productions. Ashley will take college classes during high school and then attend Colorado Christian to study music. She would like to be a music tutor and perhaps tryout to sing on American Idol. Her sponsor is the town of St. Lucas.
Miss Wadena Jenna Osterhus, 18, attended North Fayette Valley High School where she was active in chorus, drama and Art Club. Jenna plans to attend Capri College in the fall and aspires to own an art gallery in the future.
Miss Waucoma Gene Anne Berst, 17, is the daughter of Todd and Carla Berst. She attends North Fayette Valley and also takes classes at Wartburg College. School activities include dance, cheerleading and choir. Gene Anne will earn her Bachelor’s degree in science with minor in Spanish from Wartburg and then attend Allen College of Nursing for a BSN. She aspires to work in the mental health field at the Mayo Clinic. Her sponsor is the city of Waucoma.
Miss West Union Karlee Ihde, 17, is the daughter of Mike and Amy Ihde, and attends North Fayette Valley. School activities include FFA, student council, volleyball, track & field, softball, and yearbook committee. She plans to attend a two or four year college after graduation and is still determining a major for her career. Her sponsor is the West Union Chamber of Commerce.
Miss Westgate Rachel Walenceus, 16, is the daughter of Bill and Tammy Walenceus. She attends West Central High School where she is active in softball, student government, speech and drama, golf, Siblings by Choice and football manager. Rachel plans to attend Wartburg College for music education. Her sponsor is Hunt’s Auto.
Tiffanie Koch, 19, of rural Hawkeye, is one of the at-large queen candidates. Her parents are Dwane and Roni Sue Koch. Tiffanie will soon begin her second year at DMACC where she will be a student ambassador and will graduate in the spring with a degree in agricultural business. She plans to go on to ISU for a degree in agriculture communications with a minor in accounting, and return to northeast Iowa for a career. Her sponsor is Farmers Winn Coop.
Megan Niewoehner, 17, daughter of Brad and Gina Niewoehner of rural Hawkeye, is the second at-large queen candidate. She attends Sumner-Fredericksburg High School where she is active in cross country, basketball, track and field, FFA, choir, show choir and Get-a-Grip. Megan has set her sights on ISU to major in ag business or business finance/accounting. She would like to return to the area to live and work. Her sponsor is Unionland Feed and Supply.
These 14 young women will be on the Grandstand Stage Tuesday, July 24, for the coronation ceremony at 6 p.m., which will be followed by the annual queen’s pie auction.