Brianna Wilhelm crowned fair queen |

Brianna Wilhelm crowned fair queen

18-year-old makes court for 4th year

Blythe Terrell

— Brianna Wilhelm wasn’t planning to enter the Routt County Fair queen competition.

The 18-year-old already had served as an attendant for three years and wanted to give someone else a chance to wear the crown. But her mother, Missy Wilhelm, encouraged her to enter because no other seniors had done so. Brianna Wilhelm won the competition and will wear the top tiara at this year’s Routt County Fair.

The contest consisted of an essay, a speech, impromptu questions, personality judging and modeling.

“I’ve gotten a lot out of it, just for trying out,” said Wilhelm, who was home-schooled. She said the queen competition helped her with public speaking.

“I am horrible at giving speeches,” she said. “I don’t know why. I just get really nervous, but this year it was much better.”

The family lives near Steamboat Springs and has close ties to the fair and the queen contest. Missy Wilhelm competed and served as an attendant twice when she was in Routt County 4-H. Missy Wilhelm helps organize the contest, which is open to girls ages 8 to 19.

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Participants don’t have to be in 4-H or FFA, she said.

“We were hoping to get more entries, and we got a couple of inquiries, but they said they’d try it again next year,” Missy Wilhelm said. “We did get more interest.”

The queen and attendants ride in the parade, hand out ribbons and do community service projects, she said. This year, the competition was open to younger girls.

Natalie Morton, 11, of Milner, is first attendant; Kacie Babcock, 9, of Hayden, is second attendant; and Zava Zupan, 10, of North Routt County, is third attendant.

Zava said she entered the competition because she wanted to try something new. She’s also been impressed by past queens.

“It’s just all the people that I met there, I always looked up to,” Zava said. “So I wanted to try to be one of those people that people look up to.”

Four women competed this year, and Missy Wilhelm said she hopes that interest in the contest increases. Wilhelm, a member of the Routt County Fair Board, organized the queen competition with Nile Mason and Erin Babcock.

The contest was Aug. 2 at Coyote Creek Ranch near Hayden.

“Kids, I have found, just love queens – anyone with a crown,” Missy Wilhelm said. “It seems like they just open up and want to do that when they get older, too. And we’re kind of trying to get more interest with not necessarily 4-H and FFA kids, but just any girl who wants to come out and do it.”

If you go

Routt County Fair weekend events

Routt County Fairgrounds is at 398 South Poplar St. in Hayden. The fair runs through Aug. 16.

– Today

8:30 a.m. Open horse show halter and Western performance, outdoor arena

– Sunday

8:30 a.m. Open horse show Western performance/gymkhana, outdoor arena

– Monday

8-10 a.m. Baled hay contest entries accepted at Extension Office in Steamboat Springs

9 a.m. 4-H dog show, field east of Multipurpose Building

Noon 4-H roping, outdoor arena

1 to 2 p.m. Baled hay contest entries accepted at fairgrounds Exhibit Hall

3 p.m. 4-H English show, outdoor arena

6 p.m. 4-H gymkhana, outdoor arena

A full list of events and more information are at http://www.routtcountyfa…

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