Miss McHenry County Jordyn Butler will complete her reign Wednesday when the crown is passed down to the next queen in the Miss McHenry County Fair Queen contest.
She has attended every practice for this year's event to help prepare the contestants.
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The other side of the pageant is very different, she said; it is very rewarding to be able to help the ladies.
"It takes someone who is really dedicated ... someone who is really proud of who they are," Butler said.
Butler, 21, will be a senior at Northern Illinois University in the fall. She reflected on last year's pageant and said she practiced a lot on her own, something she believes helped her win.
"The hardest part is the work, but it's obviously rewarding," Butler said.
The McHenry County Fair Queen Contest will crown a queen to begin this year's festivities at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1.
This year, 16 young women will compete for the title. The queen will win a $2,000 scholarship and the opportunity to compete for the Miss Illinois County Fair Pageant at the Illinois State Fair.
Pageant Director Linda Zielinski said for some young women, this is the first pageant they have ever competed in. Some women had to win their town's pageant first to be sponsored for the county level pageant. Zielinski has been directing the show since 1987. "I like watching how much they learn, how much they grow," she said.
Butler said Zielinski is a big part of the success of the show. She coaches the women in almost every aspect possible.
The pageant committee and the contestants started meeting and practicing June 21 and have been preparing for the big event since, Zielinski said. The women are taught how to walk and pivot properly in heels, dress and speak at an interview, and present themselves to a crowd.
The woman are judged in three categories -- swimsuit, evening and interview. Zielinski said the interview is worth the most points.
"We have a lot of young ladies this year that are very talented," Zielinski said.
Although the women will not perform a talent, Zielinski said many of them sing or dance or play sports.
The first and second runners-up will also receive scholarship money of $750 and $250, respectively.
Pat Beard, committee member, said the participants learn confidence, speaking skills and self respect.
"The poise that they learn from this is magnificent," Beard said.