The Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs held its 112th annual convention at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Springfield, Illinois Jan. 20-22, 2023. 

One of the highlights of the annual event is the Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Pageant that was Jan. 22.

Paige Van Dyke of Lewisville, IL, 20, was crowned the 63rd Miss Illinois County Fair Queen. Paige represented Clay County at the 112th Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs Convention on Sunday.

Caroline Smith of Edgar County was named the first runner up, Avery Osman of Union County was named second runner up, Kyla Epplin of Perry County was named third runner up, and Charlie Weishaar of Schuyler County was named fourth runner up.

The top 15 finalists were: Allison Stewart of Macon County; MacKenzie Moyer of Macoupin County; Charlie Weishaar of Schuyler County, Bailie Krause of Mason County; Madeline Blaesing of Warren County; Abby Riechmann of Okawville Fair, Caroline Smith of Edgar County; Avery Osman of Union County; Mollie Bennett of Henry County; Paige VanDyke of Clay County; Kyla Epplin of Perry County; Faith Maxwell of Pana Tri-County; Lauren Phillips of Christian County; Naomi Dolan of Vermilion County and Selah Brimmer of Coles County.

Non-finalist awards went to: Bekkah Schemonia of Williamson County, Ruby Crum Memorial Award; Maci McCoy of Boone County, Best Personal Interview; Morgan Wilderman of Bond County, Best in Communication Skills; Julia Kerkhoff of Moultrie-Douglas County, Best in Stage Presence; Anna Cerrell of Effingham County, Best in Beauty and Physique competition. Sydney Schnitker of Washington County was the People’s Choice Award Winner.

Earlier at the IAAF annual convention, Talent Show winners were chosen. Winner in the senior division went to Cristian Gibbs of Lake County with a vocal solo; second place went to a dance theater team from Mercer County with Autumn Marston, Laney Baugh, Josie Bruning, Sophia Carlson, Mikella Cornell, Karlee Gerber, Lexi Glancy, Leah Johnson, Zaydee King, Malaynie McIntosh and Kaylee Plohr;  third place went to Sierra Lucie of  Hancock County with a tap dance solo; fourth place went to  Lydia Cunningham and Norah Willis of Schuyler County with a vocal duet.

In the Junior Division Talent Show, Macy Waters of Calhoun County was the winner with a jazz dance; second place went to Jaycee Bates of Morgan County with a lyrical dance; third place went to Autumn Skye Braxton of Boone County with a vocal solo; fourth place went to Molly Lindeman of Clay County with a vocal solo.  

In total, this year’s convention had more than 2,500 in attendance.