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64th Miss County Fair Queen crowned

(Fourth runner up, Maci Kingren of Ford County; Second runner up Audrey Moran of Clinton County; 2023 Queen Paige VanDyke, 2024 Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Natalie Evans; First runner up, Tessa Sargeant of Hancock County; Third runner up, Elaina Kessler of Clay County)

The Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs held its 113th annual convention at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Springfield, Illinois January 12-14, 2024. 

One of the highlights of the annual event is the Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Pageant, held Jan. 14.

Natalie Evans of Jacksonville, IL, 19, was crowned the 64th Miss Illinois County Fair Queen. Natalie represented Morgan County at the 113th Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs Convention on Sunday. Evans is the daughter of Sean and Amy Evans and is currently attending Murray State University majoring in pre-veterinarian with a minor in chemistry. She hopes to complete her education at the University of Illinois and become a large animal vet.  

Evans will be a summer employee of the Department of Agriculture. She will travel to about 30 county fairs and will be the official hostess of the Illinois State Fair in Springfield and the DuQuoin State Fair. As queen, Evans’ main duty is to emphasize the importance of agriculture and county fairs to Illinois. 

Tessa Sargeant of Hancock County was named the first runner up, Audrey Moran of Clinton County was named second runner up, Elaina Kessler of Clay County was named third runner up, and Maci Kingren of Ford County was named fourth runner up.

“I’m a passionate girl,” said Evans. “I love cows, my family, the Lord. I hope I can follow in Paige’s (Van Dyke, her predecessor) footsteps and continue to show cattle while I’m queen.”

When Evans isn’t showing Red Angus cattle, you can find her boating, swimming, going to concerts, Bible studies, spending time with family or playing with her four dogs. She also is self-employed at Natalie’s Pet Services. She’s also an 11-year 4-H member and attended Routt Catholic High School.

“I’m the first state queen from Morgan County – I’m proud to represent Morgan County,” she said. “I was so surprised when they called my number. I thought I did well, but I was honestly surprised.

The top 16 finalists were:  Morgan Binder of Macon County; Ella Luna Drone of Fisher Fair in Champaign County; Addisyn Switzer of Warren County; Cayla Krueger of Washington County; Maggie Goodson of Bond County; Natalie Evans of Morgan County; Londen Fulks of Henry County; Tessa Sargeant of Hancock County; Klare Flynn of Brown County; Belle Carlock of Cass County; Railan Clark of Williamson County; Reggan Smith of Moultrie-Douglas County; Lily Troyan of Lake County; Brook Stuebs of Sangamon County; Maci Kingren of Ford County and Audrey Moran of Clinton County.

Non-finalist awards went to: Kaitlyn Banning of Marion County, Ruby Crum Memorial Award; Ella Sievers of Calhoun County, Best Personal Interview; Ava Leitze of Heart of Illinois Fair in Peoria County, Best in Communication Skills; Hailey Durham of Pana Tri-County, Best in Stage Presence; Lillian Russell of Mercer County, Best in Beauty and Physique competition. Kaitlyn Banning of Marion County also was the People’s Choice Award Winner.

(2024 Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Natalie Evans)


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