Rossville teen keeps Vermilion County Fair Queen title in the family

via The News-Gazette

Being crowned fair queen was just one highlight of Megan Brown’s whirlwind 2018 Vermilion County Fair experience.

“At the sheep show, I won senior showmanship,” said the 18-year-old Rossville area native. “And I competed in the master showmanship contest and won reserve master showman out of the four barns. I was super happy with that.”

The utter “shock” she admitted to feeling upon being announced as queen took a while to get out of her system.

Announced as the winner on a Wednesday night, she was awake until 2 the next morning.

“But I had to be up at 6 a.m. to show my rabbit at 9 a.m., sheep at 4 p.m. and swine at 6 p.m.,” she said. “It was going to be a big day anyway, but then I had all these appearances to make at the fair as queen, so I kind of had to rely on my brother and mother to help me get my lamb and sheep ready.”

News-Gazette Staff writer Tracy Crane caught up with the newly crowned queen for a conversation about the fair, her future, Thumper the rabbit and more:

The Vermilion County Fair is a Brown family affair, but what about the pageant?

My sister, Katie Brown, was crowned Vermilion County Fair Queen in 2016. Being her sister, I had friends asking me when I was going to compete, and I decided I might as well just to hang out with my friends, not expecting in the slightest to win anything.

Did your sister give you any advice?

She tried. She wanted me to practice my speech all the time. I wasn’t super worked up about the pageant. I relaxed and just wanted to go out and do my best. I didn’t really practice my speech every day. It was a story from my heart, and I was afraid if I practiced too many times, it wouldn’t be genuine.

What was your story?

When I was 5 years old, my uncle gave me $5 to buy cotton candy at the Vermilion County Fair, and on my way, I ran into a fellow 4-Her carrying a giant rabbit in his arms that was for sale after the rabbit show. I asked him how much, and he said $5.

So I bought the rabbit and took it back to our camper and let it go, to the surprise of my parents. And she was my first 4-H livestock project. She was amazing. Her name was Thumper, and she got me started in the whole livestock portion of 4-H.

What’s next?

I will take classes at Danville Area Community College this fall and apply to Parkland College to study veterinary medicine. I want to be a veterinary technician.

What do you look forward to the most during your reign as fair queen?

Going to other county fairs and all of the parades, especially parades in my area. I’m just really excited to represent the Vermilion County Fair. It truly is my second home.

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