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EssenpreisCongratulations to 2021 Miss Clinton County Fair Queen Mia Essenpreis, who was crowned by retiring fair queen Hannah Hill. Mia is the daughter of Bart and Michelle Essenpreis of Breese. She is a graduate of Central Community High School in Breese and is attending Kaskaskia College to become a registered nurse. Ten lovely ladies competed for the title of fair queen in the annual pageant held Saturday afternoon at Mater Dei Catholic High School in Breese. First runner-up was Claire Kampwerth of Carlyle, and second runner-up was Lillian Wright of Albers, who was also chosen as “Miss Congeniality.” Photo by Kelly Jo Ross    Mia Essenpreis of Breese was crowned 2021 Miss Clinton County Fair on July 24.
    The pageant was filled with entertainment, excitement and emotion as the 10 contestants vied for the crown. 
    Held at Mater Dei Catholic High School in Breese, the event began with an introduction from the Mistress of Ceremonies Madeline Wieter (Miss Clinton County Fair 2016) and the singing of the national anthem by 2019-2020 Miss Clinton County Fair, Hannah Hill.
    Following that, Hill and the contestants — Essenpreis, Heather Dieckmann of Carlyle, Tara Kellermann of Hoffman, Claire Kampwerth of Carlyle, Sally Albers of Breese, Regan Kluemke of St. Rose and Carlyle, Reagan MacCauley of Aviston, Lillian Wright of Albers, Alexandria Twitchell of Carlyle and Faith Stone of Breese  — performed a dance routine sparking up the audience and leaving them anxious for the competition to begin.
    The contestants took part in a series of competitions in pursuit of the title of 2021 Miss Clinton County Fair.  
    The categories of competition included beauty and physique in swim wear, formal speaking, and evening gown. The judges hosted the interview portion of the competition prior to the pageant.
    After a great deal of anticipation, the judges announced Essenpreis as 2021 Miss Clinton County Fair queen. Overwhelmed with emotion, the new queen embraced her fellow contestants and graciously accepted the crown from Hill.
    Mia is the daughter of Bart and Michelle Essenpreis of Breese. She is a graduate of Central Community High School in Breese and is attending Kaskaskia College's nursing program to become a registered nurse. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends in any capacity, and loves to swim, tan, and do everything summer-related. She also loves relaxing at home with her dog.
    Mia volunteers at the Clinton Countay Humane Society, walking dogs and caring for cats. She also volunteers as a cheerleading coach at Hugz and Fitz Gym in Breese and volunteers as a math tutor. She also helps with the blood drive at school.
    Mia's personal platform is mental health awareness. When asked who she admires the most, she answered, "my mother, because she is the glue that keeps the family strong and independent."
    The new queen was sponsored by HMG Engineers, Inc., Mike Luebbers & Son Construction, and Applebee's, all of Breese; and Building Blocks Daycare in Aviston.

    As the new queen, Essenpreis received many gifts from local businesses and organizations, including a floral bouquet; an engraved glass vase; sash; scepter; a $1,000 educational scholarship and a trip to the Illinois State Fair pageant with a $500 state fair clothing allowance from the Clinton County Fair Association; a crown, compliments of Traditions Portrait Design of Carlyle and owner Lori Kuhl Jansen, 1986 Miss Clinton County Fair Queen; a photo session and photos for the state pageant with Traditions Portrait Design in Carlyle; a scholarship to Kaskaskia College in Centralia; and much more.
    Claire Kampwerth was named first runner-up, and Lillian Wright was named second runner-up. Wright was also named “Miss Congeniality.”
    Prior to Hill taking her last walk on stage, she gave her farewell address to the crowd, thanking everyone for their help, especially during a global pandemic. "July 20, 2019, was the best and worst  day of my life," she said. "I was not only crowned the 2019 Miss Clinton County Fair, but I also lost my great-grandmother in a tragic house fire."
    In an emotional ending, she then sang and dedicated the song "How Great Thou Art" not only to her great-grandmother, but to those who lost their lives the past two years.
    "Bear with me; this is going to be hard, but this is something I feel I need to do," she said.
    In addition to the crowning of Miss Clinton County Fair, 20 Little Miss participants were also crowned. 
    The Little Misses were Sydney Cameron of Carlyle; Andi Cooper of Trenton; Alice Clemens of Carlyle; Norah Clifford of Carlyle; Madison DeCamargos of Carlyle; Callie Gebke of Carlyle; Carlee Gray of Carlyle; Jansen Gray of Carlyle; Peyton Hilmes of Breese; Kelsie Horton of Carlyle; 
    Hattie Kerwin of New Baden; Lucinda Kuper of New Baden; Olivia Lloyd of New Baden; Quinn Peters of Germantown; Rayna Pigg of Breese; Avree Rose of Carlyle; Harper Thorson of Carlyle; Vayda Timmermann of Carlyle; Hayden Voss of Carlyle; and Teagan Voss of Bartelso.
    This year’s pageant wasn’t just about high heels and hairspray. The queen contestants and Little Miss participants learned about the importance of fitness and becoming service leaders. 
    They hosted a Who's the Fairest 5K Run/Walk on July 14 to kick off the 2021 Clinton County Fair and raise money for the pageant program. Each contestant and Little Miss were challenged to assemble a team of walkers/runners to help achieve the goal. 
    The Little Miss participants with the largest race teams were Quinn Peters and Hattie Kerwin. Quinn and Hattie were named Fairest 5K Princesses and each get to choose a parade to ride in with the newly crowned fair queen.
    The contestant with the largest race team was Claire Kampwerth and she will receive a $50 cash award.
    Essenpreis, Hill and the entire Fair Board would like to thank everyone who supported the 2021 Miss (and Little Miss) Clinton County Fair.

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