The Queen’s Reign

Alivia Beabout and Alysa Kennedy

Shara Coffman is currently a senior at Palestine High School. She is very active in clubs and activities within the school. You can find her holding a position in the Student Senate, reciting her lines for Drama Club, or leading a Pay-it-Forward meeting, and that’s just the start! Here’s a peek into another side of Shara’s life. 

Each year as part of the Crawford County Fair festivities, a pageant is held. Whoever is crowned as queen receives $2,500 and many responsibilities. To hold the title as Crawford County Fair Queen is a huge honor. Not only is it an honor, but is also such a great experience for young girls, to be able to experience what it’s like to hold such responsibility and have to manage time between different things, whether it is school, a job, sports, or having to find time for yourself and for your family. There are so many more things that go into being a queen than most people think. Playing such a big role and leading others teaches these girls responsibility and leadership skills. 

This past July Shara competed in the Miss Crawford County Fair Queen pageant. With a little convincing from her friends, Shara decided this would be a fun experience. This pageant was the start of Shara’s reign as queen, as she was crowned on July 23, 2022. Following the pageant, all that week Shara attended each Crawford County Fair event as royalty. 

Since her crowning moment, Shara has been very busy with her queen duties. Between county and state fairs, multiple parades, zone meetings, and volunteer hours, it seems she has been non-stop. Being crowned fair queen also comes with the opportunity to compete amongst all the other Illinois county fair queens at the state level. The state pageant has just taken place in Springfield, Illinois. 

As soon as Shara arrived at the state pageant in Springfield she was busy attending important meetings and fancy dinners. All week long, Shara had many early morning wake up calls. The fun began bright and early Saturday morning, the day every queen had looked forward to for so long. After all of their preparations in the past few months, it was time for the girls to finally compete. 

Now don’t be fooled — this is not like other pageants. These girls spend all day thinking of the right words to use in their speeches and what they want to make sure they mention in their interviews. 

Perfecting every little detail is necessary for these queens to have their best chance at winning. Just to think, all of this craziness only leads up to one big day of giving it their all. After everything the queens had gone through on Saturday, they had to hold out until the next evening for the big decision. 

This isn’t just anticipation for the girls, but so much anticipation for every single family and friend involved with this pageant. Pageant directors anxiously think back on what they’ve done up until that moment and wonder what they could have done differently. These pageant directors tell their queen what to do and say, how to walk, how to pose, everything. Can you even imagine the pressure they must feel? 

Shara just happened to be lucky (or unlucky) enough to be contestant number 1, so she set the stage for each of the other queens. They say that the 1st contestant is always the most memorable! After seeing pictures and such it looks like she really set the stage well; she rocked it and strutted what she had. 

At the state pageant, Shara had to compete in many different categories. These consisted of interviews, communication, stage presence, and beauty and physique. The amount of practice, wardrobe changes, and hairspray that went into this pageant is astounding. From the outside looking in, it is hard to imagine how much work these constant’s actually put in to make everything just right. 

Shara would like the Crawford County girls to know, “If you are thinking about entering the pageant at the county level, don’t listen to that little voice saying it’s not a good idea, or that you have no chance. You only live one life, live the one given to you in the fullest way possible because if you don’t live now, then when?”

Congratulations Shara, you deserve it!