LEHMAN TWP. — If you only went to the Luzerne County Fair to see the animals and ride the rides, there’s a chance you missed some of the pint-sized princesses taking part in a pageant Saturday afternoon.
The Princess Pageant is an annual tradition that mimics, in a smaller way, the crowning of the Luzerne County Fair Queen, crowned before the fair starts each year.
The pageant is for girls in the age range of kindergarten to first grade, but organizers make it clear this isn’t a beauty contest.
“It’s more about personality and how well they’re able to communicate,” said Charlotte Williams, event chair. “And cuteness is a contributing factor, too.”
The young contestants were given plenty of opportunity to show off that cuteness, being paraded before the judges and being asked questions about what they like and what they want to do when they grow up.
Maci Stehle, 5, of Lehman Township, had a particularly charming answer to that question.
“I don’t know what I want to do, but I know I want to be the boss,” Maci said.
While the judges met privately to determine which of the contenders was to be crowned this year’s princess, the attention turned to last year’s princess, Arabella Simms, 5, of Lehman Township.
Williams asked Arabella if she had anything she’d like to say to the hopeful royalty. Arabella confidently took the microphone and stated, “I have two dogs,” bringing a laugh from the audience.
Eventually, the judges returned, announcing Maci would be this year’s princess. Arabella helped crown her.
Maci’s parents, Rob and Erika, said the pageant is a bit of a tradition for the family.
“I won the pageant when I was little,” Erika said. “And she thinks I’m a real princess because of it.”
It’s not too late to get in on the fun of the fair. Sunday will be the final day, with the grounds opening at 11 a.m. and closing one final time at 9:30 p.m.
You might even consider participating in the Barnyard Olympics at 3:30 p.m.
But you might have to get there early, since Princess Maci Stehle is guaranteed a place in the games.