The 2019 Box Butte County Fair Royalty has not had the Royalty Season that other ladies have had in the past due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. Usually the Fair Royalty has a busy fair season filled with parades and appearances leading up to handing over their crowns.

Due to COVID-19 those events were cancelled.

“We had a meeting the other night and it was clear that the girls were disappointed that they weren’t able to do any of those activities,” said BBC Fair Queen Contest Coordinator Barbie Applegarth.

“They feel like they really missed out on a lot. They were able to do some fundraising and will be presenting funds back to the Fair Board.”

The 2019 Box Butte County Fair Queens are: Queen - Samantha Carrillo from Alliance, 1st Attendant - Jacobi Stumpff of Hemingford, 2nd Attendant - Keressa Ojeda of Alliance and Miss Congeniality - Ellicia Weare of Alliance.

“I think it’s been a great opportunity to represent the town I grew up in and over this last year I have been able to be part of our town’s traditions,” Queen - Samantha Carrillo said.

“It’s a wonderful experience actually participating and helping out with the events that take place around town. I’ve met lots of amazing people around the Box Butte area that I would have not otherwise met. Being on the court this year was a new experience and I’ve learned a lot and I’m taking lots of memories away from this. The most important thing I’m taking away from this experience is the value of tradition and heritage.

“It’s been an awesome experience to represent Box Butte in a whole new way,” said 1st Attendant - Jacobi Stumpff.

“I am so used to being in the show ring so it was really special to step out of that setting and experience fair and our county in a new setting. It was a remarkable experience to be such a key role model for the younger girls. I’ve gained a lot from this experience but what meant the most to me was gaining a better understanding about how important it is to grow no matter how old you are because at one point someone else didn’t know that either.”

Stumpff added, “It was honestly really hard to be active after February. Heritage Days has been the first event we have been able to make an appearance at since the Horspice Fund Raiser in February. Due to COVID events such as parades, fundraisers, and much more have been cancelled due to social distancing.”

“If I had to choose one word I would choose honorable,” said Miss Congeniality - Ellicia Weare. “It was a great experience. When I younger watching the queen contest I looked up to those four gals in the crowns and now I was one of them. It was just simply awesome.”

“This whole covid season hasn’t been fun for anyone. Our year basically ended early. We had huge plans on helping the community but nothing was going on. We are just the court that survived the COVID season. I love the girls I wouldn’t want it any other way,” Weare added.

“I am excited to pass my crown off to the next person,” Weare said. “It’s just bitter sweet.”

“We have nine great girls and it’s going to be a really great contest,” Applegarth said.

“We’re going to try to keep it as normal as we can,” she added. We’ll have the luncheon at 5 p.m. where the interview judging takes place. Then when we get out to the grandstands they will introduce themselves, change into their hobby outfits, and then change into their formal. It’s going to run as close to normal as we can. I think everybody needs something fun and close to normal.”

This year’s Box Butte County Fair Queen Contest will be held on Wednesday, August 5th at 8 p.m. at the Grandstands.

Sponsors this year include: Hemingford Ledger, Hemingford Community Federal Credit Union, JM & Associates, P.C., Nebraska Total Office, PREMA, Williams Jewelers, Carters Home & Hardware, A&T Electric, Pat’s Creative, Mobius Communications/Hemingford Cooperative Telephone, Ashley Dudden of Studio A, Deb Theims of Special Stitches, Alliance Floral Hoffhaus, Bluebird Flowers and Gifts, Barb’s Blossoms (Becci Braun), Indulgences by Melisa Turek, Tera and Annaka Digmann, and the Alliance Times Herald.

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