HARRISBURG – Rachel Duke, 2016 Clearfield County fair queen, will be traveling to Hershey to take part in the 31st annual Pennsylvania State Fair Queen Competition held during the Pennsylvania State Association of County Fairs Convention.
The contest will begin Jan. 19 and concludes with the queen’s coronation on the evening of Jan. 21. Duke will be one of 60 contestants competing for the Pennsylvania State Fair Queen title.
Duke is the 20-year-old daughter of Amy and Dave Duke of Clearfield. She is a 2015 graduate of the Clearfield Area High School. She is currently a sophomore at Penn State University majoring in agricultural science.
The PSACF consists of 109 agricultural fairs, associations or societies across the commonwealth with a focal point on education and showcasing agriculture, horticulture, tourism and more. More than 5.5 million fairgoers attend Pennsylvania fairs each year.
Since being crowned the 2016 Clearfield County Fair Queen on July 31, Duke has been busy preparing for the state competition.
Over the past five months, Duke has represented the Clearfield County Fair at several events and has hosted fundraising endeavors on behalf of the Clearfield County Fair “Queens for a Cause” charity, which donates money to the Children’s Miracle Network and other local charities.
While participating in the 2017 Pennsylvania State Fair Queen Contest, Duke will be judged in four different categories. First, a 300-word essay written on the topic “What My Fair Means to My Community” was previously submitted for judging in November.
The essay is judged on content, grammar and spelling and accounts for 15 percent of the total score. Thirty five percent of the overall score comes from the personal interview with all three judges.
During the interview, the judges look at the queen’s conversational ability, her answers to questions, appearance and poise, activities and overall knowledge of the fair industry.
Third, a three- to-five minute persuasive speech on the topic “Why You Should Come to My Fair” will be judged on speech content. This will include agriculture, speech format, conveying a message, public speaking ability and poise and presence. The speech accounts for 30 percent of the total score.
Finally, in the evening gown portion of the contest, a 15- to 20-second personal introduction is given by each queen. The evening gown portion is conducted on stage to close to 1,000 individuals, including all three judges and the judging criteria consist of content, stage presence and overall appearance. The evening gown portion accounts for 20 percent of the overall score.
Members of the Clearfield County Fair & Park Board, as well as the Clearfield County Fair Queen Committee, wish Duke the very best of luck during the competition and are very proud to have her representing the fair.