HERSHEY, Pa. — Huntingdon County Fair Queen Mikara Anderson, of Three Springs, Pennsylvania, was crowned the 2019 Pennsylvania fair queen on Saturday, Jan. 26, at the annual joint convention of the Pennsylvania State Association of County Fairs and Pennsylvania State Showmen’s Association.
“Pennsylvania’s agricultural ambassadors help to make the connection between farm and fork — producer and consumer — and nowhere is that intersection more prominent than at our county and community fairs,” said Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “Mikara is the latest representative chosen to tell her agricultural story — and the story of volunteers, vendors, and exhibitors at our fairs — to a statewide audience. I look forward to working with her over the coming year.”
Anderson, 18, is the daughter of Gerald and Holly Anderson. She is a senior highest honors student at Southern Huntingdon Area High School, where she is active in sports, music and academic clubs. As a member of the Southern Huntingdon County FFA Chapter, she secured first place in the National FFA Sheep Production Proficiency contest for her flock of registered sheep.
In owning, managing and exhibiting sheep at local, state and national expositions, she has earned multiple awards including supreme champion at the Pennsylvania Farm Show and Top Gun honors in the Nationwide All-American Sheep Show. A promoter of sheep, wool and dairy, Anderson is also a member of her fair’s junior fair board. She will attend the Penn State this fall to major in animal science, followed by law school, with plans to become an agricultural attorney.
Anderson will receive a $2,500 scholarship from the Pennsylvania State Association of County Fairs at the end of her reign in January 2020. She was crowned by outgoing Pennsylvania Fair Queen Elizabeth Voight of Fredericksburg, Lebanon County.
Each of the 59 contestants prepared a brief speech highlighting why people should come to her county or community fair and wrote an essay about the fair’s significance in her life and local community. Each queen also gave a stage introduction during the fair convention annual banquet and was interviewed by three judges. Five selected finalists then explained how they would use their crown as Pennsylvania fair queen as their microphone to promote change.
“I would use (the Pennsylvania fair queen crown) as a shining microphone to spark change in the agricultural community and at our county and community fairs,” Anderson said. “With a crown and banner, I could be more of an advocate than I already am, and I could reach more people using that state title.”
Wyoming County Community Fair Queen Madison Sickler, 17, of Meshoppen, Wyoming County, was selected as alternate 2019 Pennsylvania fair queen. The daughter of Elwood and Kimberly Sickler, Sickler is a member of the junior fair board and a poultry enthusiast with 79 chickens. She is a senior at Elk Lake High School studying business at her local career and technology center, with plans to continue her education in banking and finance at Pennsylvania College of Technology.
Other top five finalists were: Allentown Fair Queen McKenzie Hagenbuch of Emmaus, Lehigh County; Centre County Grange Fair Queen Amelia Miller of Howard, Centre County; and Clinton County Fair Queen McCartney Register of Lock Haven, Clinton County.
Kimberton Community Fair Queen Dana Moore of Spring City, Chester County, was named Miss Congeniality by her fellow contestants.
Pennsylvania is home to 108 county and community fairs. Mikara, the 33rd state queen, will travel the state this year representing Pennsylvania’s rich agricultural heritage and serving as an ambassador for the fair association.
The contest judges were Ashley Boteler with the Shenandoah County Fair, Maurertown, Virginia; Lisa Lamoureux of Meriden, Connecticut, with the Association of Connecticut Fairs; and Maria Lucero with New York’s Erie County Fair, Springville, New York.