(BEDFORD) - The Lawrence County 4-H Fair kicked off Monday night by announcing Olivia Shirley as this year's fair queen.
Shirley has been a 4-H member for nine years and this is her third year in the pageant. She has previously received second runner-up and People's Choice awards.
When asked about her new title Shirley said, "oh my goodness. It's awesome. It's crazy."
Shirley is a 2013 graduate of Bedford North Lawrence High School and shows sheep and swine as well as dairy and beef cattle at the fair. She is the daughter of Stephanie and Mark Mason, and plans to attend University of Southern Indiana in the fall to pursue a bachelor's in Cardiac Sonography.
Shirley was selected out of seven queen contestants, who were judged on a previously conducted interview session, and professional and formal wear categories. Each girl was also required to answer an unrehearsed question at the pageant.
As queen, Shirley will receive the opportunity to compete in the upcoming State Fair queen pageant as well as a $1,000 scholarship.
Other pageant finalists were Brooke Martin and Natalie Juhl. Martin received first runner-up and Miss Congeniality, and Juhl was second runner-up.
During 2012 Queen Lauren Werner's farewell speech, she looked back on her own experiences in the pageant. "I kept thinking to myself, Lauren, just keep smiling and don't throw up," Werner joked.
Werner stated that she was proud of this year's contestants and happy for the new queen. "They've all been great and so willing to learn," she said. The fair queen will be responsible for welcoming the public to the fair, and presenting ribbons to 4-H winners.
Shirley said after the pageant, "I'm looking forward to all the little kids and fun things ahead. Going go pageants with my court, meeting other queens. It's going to be great."
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