Fair royalty crowned

Published 5:50 pm Friday, August 9, 2019

By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

Three young women were named Isle of Wight County Fair queens Aug. 4 as the pageant attempts to grow its contestant base. 

Haleigh Andrew, Madison Lowe and Amelia Pulley were all fitted with a crown out of a field of eight girls, in age categories ranging from nine to 22. 

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Andrew won the Miss category and will receive a $1,500 scholarship. Andrew is from Courtland and attends Coastal Carolina University, according to her Facebook page. 

She is eligible to advance to the Virginia Association of Fairs pageant in January. 

Lowe was named Teen Miss and receives a $150 scholarship, while Pulley won the Junior Miss category and received a $75 scholarship. 

Lowe and Pulley are from Windsor, and attend Windsor High School and Georgie D. Tyler Middle School, respectively. 

Outgoing queen, Maria Tumminello, and pageant court member Alyssa Velez, served as masters of ceremonies during the pageant held at The Smithfield Center. 

The girls opened the competition with a song, and competed in personality wear and community engagement speech, eveningwear and a question. 

The contestants were also interviewed the day before. 

Contestants promoted community engagement ideas ranging from heart health, mental health awareness for teens and the military to alleviating plastic pollution. 

Each category received 20 points. Contestants were judged by Debbie Moulse, Lisa M. Hicks and Susan Trump. 

Also competing were Ariel Hawkins and Naomie Noel in the Junior Miss category (ages 9-12); Taylor Curro in the Teen Miss category (ages 13-16) and Mahari Marshall and Samantha Hollis in the Miss category (ages 17-22).

Hawkins, Lowe and Andrew were also named “most photogenic.”  

Isle of Wight Fair Committee Chairman Danny Byrum said all the girls had one thing in common — courage.

It’s hard to stand up here and be judged, he said. 

Pageant coordinator Regime Walme-Edwards said competing and not winning simply “teaches you to try and try again.”  

The newly-crowned queens will represent the county at numerous events over the next year, including the Isle of Wight County Fair, which is Sept. 12-15 at the Joel C. Bradshaw Fairgrounds in Windsor. 

The annual Isle of Wight County Fair pageant stopped in 2015 due to low turnout and other issues. In the past, the event has attracted upwards of 50 girls and more, with six queens, ranging in age from three to 22, crowned.  

Recently, the event has been held as a scholarship only affair, with one queen chosen, along with several court members. Last year, the girls provided an essay, activities, awards, achievements, volunteer and community involvement for the competition.