Written by Kori Nesbit. Media by Joseph Wood.
“I was inspired to compete in the Richland County Pageant when I was a young girl,” Kylar Craig said, “Bill Jennings, former president of the Richland County Fair Board told me, ‘one day, you will be Richland County Fair Queen,’ and it has been a dream of mine ever since.”
This summer, however, that dream became a reality.
Kylar Craig, a junior social work major at Greenville University, was crowned Miss Richland County in July. The Richland County Fair takes place in her hometown of Olney, Illinois at the Olney City Park Fairgrounds and has since 1856. The Richland County Fair Queen represents her county and helps to showcase its agriculture throughout the year that follows. Craig joked, “Fair queens make agriculture a little prettier and a little less stinky!”
On the night of the pageant, Craig was as anxious as ever — unsure of whom would be crowned. “Of course I wanted to win, but I felt as though every girl I was competing with was deserving of the crown,” said Craig, “I remember praying backstage to be happy with the results, whether I left the fairgrounds with a crown or not.”
She sure did leave with the crown, though. “I was in complete shock when they announced my name!” Craig explained, “My family had to tell me later on that there had been fireworks shot off after I was crowned. I was in so much shock that I didn’t hear or see them.”
Craig spent the following week celebrating by participating in many events at the Richland County Fair. She attended both the hog and cattle shows amongst much more, handed out trophies at the talent show, filled in for the auctioneer, drove a tractor, was the flag girl at the truck pulls, and ate delicious fair food! The excitement did not stop when the fair week was over, though.
Since Craig was crowned, she has had many opportunities that she would not have otherwise had. She has attended multiple county fairs to watch their pageants and congratulate the queen, visited the Illinois state fair to meet other county fair queens, and traveled to every event she is able to in Richland County. This, she did with a smile on her face and a crown on her head. She said, “My favorite part about being Queen is getting to socialize with so many new people! I have also truly enjoyed learning about the importance of agriculture in the state of Illinois.”
As county queen, Craig has the honor of representing Richland County and competing against the other seventy-five county fair queens in the Miss Illinois County Pageant in January 2018. So, if you see her on campus, be sure to congratulate her and wish her luck as she prepares for the state competition!