It was quite a week for Elsberry’s own Jesse Knox, who took first runner up in the 2013 Lincoln County Fair Queen Pageant.
When Knox was first approached with the idea of running in this year’s pageant she never could have guessed what would come of it. As far as she was concerned it was going to be a simple process of dressing up, looking pretty and waving hello to a lot of people. She couldn’t have been any more wrong.
“I was just happy placing in the top five and whenever they announced I was the first runner up I wasn’t expecting it at all,” said Knox. “There were so many girls there and all of them were so very talented. They put their heart and soul into it. I mean I did to, but I just wasn’t expecting to be named runner up.”
According to Knox, there were up and downs in everything throughout the process, which started the first week of June when they all met on the Lincoln County Fair Grounds.
“We made these flower buckets and went over everything we would being doing for the weeks to follow,” said Knox. “We met once or twice a week and practice everything we would be doing, which was a lot.”
Part of the process included a talent show, where all the candidates showed off their individuality. Knox, accompanied by Bo Young sung, “Let it be,” by the Beatles. However, it was her getting first place interview that possibly sent her over the top because it was most certainly not her dancing ability.
“I am not a dancer, like at all,” said Knox. “So the choreography was definitely my low point and it seemed like the practices lasted forever. There were a few that lasted till midnight and frankly it was just hard dancing around in heals all the time.”
Knox said whenever a person goes through something like this, and they see all these girls, they think, “this is my competition. I have to beat this person or that person.”
“We hung out a lot and got close, but there was also a lot of work and dedication that had to be put into it all,” said Knox. “I was not expecting it to be anything like this. When I first thought of doing this I was like, it’s just a pageant, you have to be pretty and walk around. I couldn’t have been any more wrong. They make you work and they make you work a lot.”
However, in a sense Knox had more expected of her than many runner-ups in the past, as she had to sing the national anthem for the demolition derby and prior to the start of Jerrod Niemann taking the stage.
“I actually didn’t know I was going to be singing until after the pageant,” said Knox. “I found out on Sunday that I would be singing it for the demo derby. I also sang it before the livestock auction Thursday, but only had a 45 minutes notice I was going to sing it before the main acts on Saturday. I was surprised I didn’t lose my voice.”
Out of everything she experienced throughout this process, Knox said the one thing she cherished the most was the friendships she made. She didn’t think she would become as close to the other candidates as she did.
“That and being able to represent Elsberry itself at the fair, as well as the FFA Chapter, was just an amazing experience,” said Knox. “I’ve never sang the National Anthem for anything before. I mean how many times in a person’s life will they be able to go through something like this and take away the memories I have. Again it was just amazing.”
Knox was sponsored by Peoples Bank & Trust – Elsberry.
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