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Perry County 2017 Fair Queen places at state competition

  • Pictured is Perry County Fair Pageant Director Stacey Jones (left) and 2017 Perry County Fair Queen Emily Kuberski. Kuberski finished second runner up at the Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Pageant on Sunday. She is pictured holding her finalist plaque.

    Pictured is Perry County Fair Pageant Director Stacey Jones (left) and 2017 Perry County Fair Queen Emily Kuberski. Kuberski finished second runner up at the Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Pageant on Sunday. She is pictured holding her finalist plaque.
    Provided by Stacey Jones

 
By Pete Spitler
pspitler@localsouthernnews.com
updated: 1/25/2018 3:15 PM

Emily Kuberski can add another accomplishment to her already long list.

The 2017 Perry County Fair queen is believed to be the first Perry County native to place at state when she was named as the second runner up at the Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Pageant on Sunday in Springfield.

"I was actually the first (Perry County) queen to place, so that's a huge deal," Kuberski said. "That's the biggest pageant in Illinois and I was honestly not expecting (second runner up)."

The three-day event was held at the Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn Express Convention Center. Samantha Hasselbring, of Cissna Park in Iroquois County, was crowned the winner and will reign over the Illinois State Fair in Springfield and the Du Quoin State Fair later this summer.

She will also speak to the state Senate on agriculture and will embark on a statewide tour of county fairs to promote agriculture.

Kylar Craig of Richland County was named first runner up.

"We've had girls in the finals before, but this is a huge deal for the (Perry County) Fair and we hope it will do nothing but help our pageant grow and inspire other young women," said Stacey Jones, director of Miss Perry County Fair Queen Pageant.

Contestants were divided into two groups, with competitions held in both afternoon and evening sessions. The 21-year-old Kuberski joined 69 other young women in the event, which included a private, four-minute interview with the judges and two preliminary competitions.

For Sunday's final round, the contestant field is narrowed to the top 15. Scores are wiped clean and contestants then compete in swimsuit, evening gown and communication skills (one-minute speech) categories as well as taking three on-stage questions.

Kuberski's questions involved her thoughts on NFL players who kneel during the national anthem; what she would contribute to the Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs, as well as county fairs throughout the state, if she were selected queen and what advice she would give to women on what to post on their social media accounts.

"The on-stage questions are the most nerve-wracking because you never know what they're going to ask," Kuberski said.

Both Kuberski and Jones said the questions were ones the pair had rehearsed during the month of preparation leading up to the pageant. Kuberski also chose green for the evening gown competition, telling the Du Quoin Call it is her favorite color and one not normally worn at pageants.

"She has worked so hard," Jones said. "She could have not been more ready. It was happy to see all her hard work come to fruition."

For her speech, Kuberski - whose family owns a small dairy farm, Double K Dairy - focused on her journey to becoming Perry County Fair queen.

"My speech was about running for Miss Perry County four times and it was fun to be able to tell the story," she said.

As for what's next, the daughter of Bob and Rita Kuberski said she hasn't yet decided if she will compete in any more pageants, but is excited to help the next Perry County Fair queen this June at the 2018 pageant.

"I just wanted to say thank you to everybody who supported me, especially my pageant director Stacey Jones and my family of course," she said.

 
 
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