Fair Queen 2.0

Southern Iowa Fair/Iowa State Fair Queen Hannah Koellner (left) enjoys the time as Queen, as she poses with a coloring contest winner on Wednesday.

Oskaloosa, Iowa – If 2020 has anything going for it, it’s certainly added a twist to our traditions.

The Southern Iowa Fair Queen and Iowa State Fair Queen Hannah Koeliner is serving her second term as the Southern Iowa Fair Queen and will be serving an additional year as the Iowa State Fair Queen.

Koeliner is the first person to be named from Mahaska County as the Iowa State Fair Queen, and she also is the first to be Queen two years in a row.

The Iowa State Fair Board came to Koeliner ahead of time, asking her if the Iowa State Fair happened to cancel if she would be willing to continue her reign for an additional year. “I was more than happy to.”

Koeliner praised the volunteers that make up the State Fair Board, “I know they had to make one of the toughest decisions.”

“A lot of the senior board members are still dealing with that decision because it means so much to them,” added Koeliner.

On top of the Iowa State Fair Queen, Koeliner also represents the Southern Iowa Fair Queen crown an additional year. She shares that the thought was, since the Iowa State Fair wouldn’t be having their queen contest, the next girl selected locally wouldn’t get her experience of Queen Week and competing for the state title.

Locally, Koeliner will continue her duties being the community’s face and trying to help out people where they need it around the fair, doing such things as handing out ribbons and getting to know people.

For Koeliner, she’s also experienced the canceled or postponed events, and the extra year allows her to experience those more fully.

Part of the experience is bringing a positive light when it’s so easy to get down Koeliner says. “In a time when it’s so easy to get down. The last few months haven’t been what we planned for 2020, but I think we’re trying to make the most out of what it is, and see the light at the end of the tunnel. Kind of like how the Southern Iowa Fair is doing this week. Trying to keep things as normal as possible, but also be safe and healthy for everyone.”

Koeliner doesn’t really have a least favorite thing about being Queen, other than the “fair 15” that comes from enjoying all the favorite foods at Iowa’s fairs, “That’s definitely very easy to get on.”

Before COVID-19, Koeliner tried to make her way around the state by going to different children’s hospitals, and “just come up with different ways to help people I could.”

The State Fair Crown certainly does help open some doors to help “make the difference that you want to, whether it’s in your community in Mahaska County or the State of Iowa.”

Veterans ceremonies and children’s hospitals have been at the top of Koeliner’s list.

If there are things that Koeliner would like to achieve yet as Queen, it’s reaching out to the state’s youth at local schools and 4-H clubs.

Koeliner has also been doing this while being a full-time student at William Penn University. “It’s definitely a lot of time management,” and taking a break when you need a break. “Definitely, some days can be a little harder than others.”

Posted by on Jul 22 2020. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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