For at least 10 years, Allie Abney has watched the young women at the Johnson County Fair Queen Pageant.
She admired their shimmery dresses and the poise they had on stage and while walking among fairgoers. She never missed a county fair queen contest.
Abney wanted to be among the queen elite when she was old enough.
On Sunday, she got her wish.
Abney, a freshman at Purdue University, was named the Johnson County 4-H and Agricultural Fair Queen.
“I looked up to those girls so much,” Abney said. “All I could think of, was wow, those ladies are really beautiful.”
The recent Franklin Community High School graduate was one of 17 young women to vie to be the face of the fair. They answered questions from the judges for points totaling half of their score.
Professional and formal wear made up the other half of their scores. Competitors also had to answer a question on stage.
The contestants were asked questions, such as how they would spend a dollar and what their superhero power would be.
Abney was asked what animal best represented her personality. She chose a lion, because they are courageous and it takes courage to run for queen, Abney told the audience of a few hundred people Sunday night.
The fair queen and her court are at nearly every fair event, handing out ribbons to 4-H’ers and greeting fairgoers.
Makayla Plummer earned the People’s Choice Award and fourth runner-up. Audience members voted for the award winner with donations. Money raised will go toward the Franklin Strong fundraiser, which is being collected for the families of five Franklin teens involved in a tragedy at the Edinburgh dam earlier this summer.
Hannah Hook was named Miss Congeniality. Ashley Booe was third runner-up, Danielle Burris was second runner-up and first runner-up was Allison Rice.
Abney will move on to the state fair in August to represent the county, and excited for the opportunity.
“I seriously think that Johnson County is the best county in Indiana,” she said.
The teen decided to run for fair queen so that she could help showcase 4-H, the county and the community to everyone, she said.
The former 10-year 4-H member showed beef cattle and did a host of other 4-H projects.
Fair week was one of her favorite times, when she would show her cattle, and late at night she and her friends would walk around and see the fair, she said.
“Fair week has been my favorite week for 10 years,” Abney said.
Abney wants to use her reign as queen to teach young 4-H’ers what the program is about and how they can be leaders, she said.
“I really hope to serve the community and to show young 4-H’ers how to be leaders,” Abney said.