HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Drew An Brubaker of Lancaster has been crowned the 2012 Pennsylvania Fair Queen. She was crowned Jan. 21 at the annual joint convention of the Pennsylvania State Association of County Fairs and Pennsylvania State Showmen's Association.
"Pennsylvania fairs are a celebration of our state's rich agricultural heritage," said Agriculture Secretary George Greig. "The 57 contestants in this program are the faces of the fairs and are exceptional ambassadors for our industry."
Brubaker, daughter of Andrew and Pamela Brubaker, is a 17-year-old senior at Lampeter-Strasburg High School. She is involved in the National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Students, student tutoring, choir, swing dance club, school musicals and the school newspaper, among other activities. She works at Meck's Produce, is active in her church and enjoys reading and song-writing.
Brubaker, representing the West Lampeter Fair, received a $2,000 scholarship from the state fair association and was crowned by outgoing Pennsylvania Fair Queen Claire Werkiser of Chester County.
Each contestant prepared a brief speech highlighting the activities at her county or community fair. They also wrote an essay about the fair's personal significance in their life and local community. Each individual also gave a stage introduction during the fair convention annual banquet and interviewed with three judges.
The contestants are evaluated on their public speaking skills and knowledge of the agricultural industry, as well as on their poise and personal presentation in an evening gown competition.
Five finalists were chosen and gave an impromptu answer on the legacy they would like to leave at the end of their reign as fair queen.
Amanda Mitcheltree, 19, of New Castle, Lawrence County, was first runner-up. She is the daughter of Scott and Marlene Mitcheltree and is a sophomore at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University where she is studying dairy and animal science. At college, she is active in Leadership Tech, Dairy Club, the Big/Little Program and is the advertising chair of the Showcase Sale. Mitcheltree exhibits dairy cattle at the Lawrence County Fair, milks cows at a local dairy farm and works at a local ice cream shop.
Rounding out the top five finalists were: Laura Metrick, Butler Fair Queen; Krystal Wasson, Centre County Grange and Encampment Fair; and Elizabeth Leasure, Washington County Agricultural Fair.
Aimee Beth Gillispie, of the Jacktown Fair in Greene County, was named "Miss Congeniality," an award voted on by the other contestants.
The three judges were returning judge Becky Brashear of Frederick, Md.; Dennis Hazzard of Harrington, Del.; and Dr. James Howe of Oley, Berks County. The master of ceremonies was Kevin Bieber, also of Oley.
The Pennsylvania State Association of County Fairs is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2012. Brubaker will serve as the 26th state queen.
Pennsylvania is home to 113 county and community fairs. The fair queen travels the state representing Pennsylvania's rich agricultural heritage and serving as an ambassador for the fair association.
Media contact: Nicole L. C. Bucher, 717-787-5085
Editor's Note: Visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us and click on "Media" then "Photo Gallery" and "2012 PA Fair Queen" for high-resolution photos.
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture