SPRINGFIELD – Miss Winnebago County has been crowned the 60th Miss Illinois County Fair queen.
Alexi Bladel, 19, of Rockford, was selected for the honor during the Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs annual convention in Springfield over the weekend.
“This was a dream come true,” Bladel said. “My mom was a queen in Vermillion County and competed at state and I’ve always wanted to do this. I hope to be an ambassador and promote agriculture.”
Bladel will be a summer employee of the Department of Agriculture. She will travel to about 30 county fairs, and will be the official hostess of the Illinois State Fair in Springfield and the DuQuoin State Fair. As queen, Bladel’s main duty is to emphasize the importance of agriculture and county fairs to Illinois.
Bladel is attending Rock Valley College to obtain an associates degree in fire science and become a firefighter.
Jamie Franck of Henry County was named the first runner-up, Teaghan Callaway of Lake County was named the second runner-up, Grace Mongan of Ogle County, was named third runner-up, and Addison Osman of Union County, was named fourth runner-up.
Among the top 15 finalists were: Chloe Leonard of Sangamon County, Mia Brandenburg of Farmer City/DeWitt County and Olivia Telgmann of Shelby County.
Among the non-finalist awards were: Baylie Devall of Marion County, best personal interview; Samantha Trout of Richland County, best in stage presence; and Kierstyn Allen of Edgar County, best in beauty and physique competition.