At the 2017 Montgomery County Fair, eight contestants lined up on a stage and awaited the announcement of this year’s Fair Queen. Each of them had been preparing themselves for this moment when just one of them would be crowned.
“I wrote a speech for my talent and I just kept practicing it over and over,” said Maddie Bader (12), “and I had my aunt and my cousin who used to run the contest help me.”
The contestants competed for the crown in several categories that counted towards an overall score. They were judged on an interview, poise, an evening gown, and talent. In addition to this, they also had to follow specific guidelines and fit the criteria to even have a shot at this title.
Bader said, “I have always been involved in the fair through showing animals and fair projects, and the fair has always been a big part of my life... and I’ve wanted to be a Fair Queen since I was really little.”
Bader was also dubbed Little Miss Montgomery in 2004, and was the first recipient of this title to also become fair queen.
When asked how she felt onstage, Bader replied, “I was super nervous, but they had the lights turned on so bright that we couldn’t see the crowd, so it kinda just felt like we were up there by ourselves.”
The lights couldn’t hide the applause that Bader received when her name was called.
“I started laughing. Like, hysterically laughing, and it was a really good friend of mine who crowned me, so… Basically everyone was laughing. And I started crying, so it was great,” said Bader.