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Group photo of four of the fair queen contestants.

Samantha Bies, Marieke de Meijer, Bonnie Bairley and Courtney Cook are four of the expected six young ladies that will be wearing a sash during fair week signifying that they are fair queen contestants at the 75thAnnual Chelsea Community Fair.

Marieke de Meijer

They met Wednesday evening at The Depot to learn more about all the appearances they’ll make during fair week leading up to and following the competition, and what their sponsors need to provide.

Contestants are judged on talent, poise, fair activities, community, school and church involvement, appearance, a private interview with the judges and a public interview question during the pageant said Danielle Longe, superintendent for the program.

A $1,000 and a $500 scholarship will be awarded to the queen and the first runner-up.

Sponsors provide things such as a float or convertible for the candidate to ride on during both the Kiddie Parade and the Fair Parade, flowers, signs for the convertible identifying candidate and sponsor and two sashes, Longe said.

Assistants Kelli Knight, Miki Doan and Kelli Uphaus also offered the ladies tips about conduct while wearing their sashes, hair and makeup, conducting themselves during the interviews and how to relax and enjoy the experience.

Bies, 17, a senior at Dexter High School decided to run for fair queen because her mother always wanted her to do it.

Samantha Bies

Sponsored by Roger’s Corner 4-H club, she plans to show one of her sheep in the talent portion of the competition that will be held Friday, Aug. 27at 7 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose Arena.

“I’ve watched it for many years,” she said of the competition that’s open to both Chelsea and Dexter high school students.

The youngest contestant at the first meeting of the young ladies was Chelsea High School freshman de Meijer, 14, who plans to sing for the talent portion.

“I wanted to try something new,” she said, adding that she and her mother had watched the TV show “Toddlers and Tiaras,” and thought it might be fun to give the competition a try.

She said she likes to write music and is sponsored by Cynthia Barton-Spencer of Farm Bureau Insurance.

Bairley, 17, is a senior at Chelsea High School and plans to dance a solo during the talent portion.

Bonnie Bairley


When asked why she chose to participate she said, “I was recruited to run by a friend of my mom’s, Jamie Lane, because she knew I danced and thought I’d make a great addition to the group.”

Bairley is sponsored by the Youth Dance Theater and said she enjoys spending time with her cat named Star and writing.

Courtney Cook

Cook, 18, graduated from Dexter High School this year and is headed to Central Michigan University.

She plans a fashion show for the talent portion of the competition because she’s known as a talented designer and seamstress.

“I made all the clothes and will have other people wear them,” she said.

Cook will show hogs and sheep and is sponsored by Rick Eder from Farm Bureau Insurance.


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6 Responses to “Counting down to fair: Meet four of the fair queen contestants”

  1. Miki Doan says:

    Hi Lisa,
    Great article. I noticed, however, that Bonnie’s last name is spelled both with and without an “r” throughout the article and individual photo. I’m not sure of the correct spelling, but thought you would want to know.

    I enjoyed meeting you last night!

    Miki Doan

  2. Lisa Allmendinger says:

    Hey Miki:
    Thanks for the catch. I have fixed the spelling. Thank you for the eagle eyes.

  3. Susan says:

    Nice article, Lisa!
    Susan Bairley

  4. Lisa Allmendinger says:

    Thank you so much. The young ladies were delightful and I look forward to the fair queen competition.

  5. Harry de Meijer says:

    Hi Lisa,

    As in Miki’s remark, thanks!. The same is true for Marieke’s name (Marieka is incorrect).


  6. Lisa Allmendinger says:

    Oh my goodness, I am so sorry … will fix it immediately.
    Lisa Allmendinger