HURON — Amber Hulse of Hot Springs was crowned 2019 Miss State Fair, while Hunter Widvey of Rapid City was crowned 2019 Miss Wheel Jam, as well as the Miss Top Talent award, during the pageant held on Saturday afternoon at the 2018 S.D. State Fair. The Miss State Fair Outstanding Teen crown went to Anna Calhoon and Dawn Stempson was crowned Miss Wheel Jam Outstanding Teen, who each received a $200 Scholarship. Miss winners Hulse and Widvey each received a $700 Scholarship each, plus another $100 was awarded to Widvey with her title of Miss Top Talent.
Hulse was recently named first runner up after Carrie Wintle at the Miss South Dakota pageant, which was held last June, she is also a previous Miss State Fair Outstanding Teen title holder, while Widvey was the 2016 title holder of Miss South Dakota Outstanding Teen.
The Judges were dazzled by Hulse’s passionate piano performance during the Talent portion of the pageant, as she played an emotional piece called “Inner Turmoil,” composed by Lisa Frederick, while Hulse demonstrated the intensity of the song during time to express her musical passion. Widvey gave an energetic rendition of the song “Popular,” from the musical “Wicked,” which wowed the judges with her talented vocal abilities as she danced around the stage.
Kaitlin O’Neill left a positive and shining impression on the judges as she received the honor of the Mary Ellen Vaillancourt Kindness Award, as well as being named Miss First Runner-Up, with her Celtic talents and passion for Irish Dance, kind heart and dedication to making the world a better place.
The Miss Congeniality award of a Black Hills gold bracelet was presented to Johanna Haugen, who gave a vocal performance of “The Scientists,” by Coldplay, while contestant Miranda O’Bryan’s dancing and singing of “I Can Hear The Bells,” from the musical “Hairspray,” showcased her theatrical talents.
In the teen division, Calhoon performed a self choreographed color guard routine to the song “A Million Dreams,” from movie “The Greatest Showman,” with great energy and ability to bring an emotional presence to performance. Stempson lit up the stage as she performed a Fancy Shawl Dance in bright colors, which is a Native American style of dance inspired by butterflies accompanied by drums and native chants.
Megan Clark was named Miss Congeniality and Miss First Runner-Up where she received $50 and a sterling silver bracelet for her awards, while other teen contestants Tiffany Taylor and Jaycee Clark showcased their talents with pride and excitement as they pursue their passions.
2018 Miss Wheel Jam, Cameron Schroder welcomed everyone, gave thanks to all who put hard work and effort into making the event possible and provide the Scholarships to the contestants. The judges at this years pageant were Jessica Hotchkiss, Craig Lee, Molly Shelton, Rich Bragg and Kari Westlund, who all ten contestants were eager to impress.
The categories the girls prepared for were the talent performances, private interviews, evening wear, lifestyle and fitness including swimsuit, and the onstage questions. Teens were scored on talent, private interviews, evening wear, onstage questions and fitness, where the girls demonstrated strength and endurance through various work out routines.
Executive Directors Carolyn Knutson and daughter Monica, who is also the choreographer, came from White to direct the Miss State Fair pageant for the previous two years, Callee Bauman Wachter was in charge of the judges orientation, judges host was Cecilia Woodring, Jennifer Schroder and Diane Rasmussen took take of meals and lodging, and Candi Briley the State Fair Coordinator, worked together as the pageant staff to make the event successful.
Extra excitement was brought to the pageant with performances by Schroder, Miss Railroad Junction Outstanding Teen Elizabeth Titze, 2010 Miss State Fair Theresa Edgar, S.D. Outstanding Teen Jessica Benson, Miss Sioux Falls Elizabeth Hofer and Miss Rolling Plains Annie Woodmansey.
Carrie Wintle, 2018 Miss State Fair and recently crowned Miss South Dakota 2018, is currently competing in the Miss America 2019 competition being held in Atlantic City, N.J., while she was missed at the Miss State Fair pageant, the attendees, contestants, personnel and everyone involved are excited for her success and wished her a special thank you and good luck.
PHOTO BY ANGELINA DELLA ROCCO/PLAINSMAN
The four crown winners and new title holders of the Miss State Fair pageant stand together, from left are Miss Wheel Jam Hunter Widvey, Miss State Fair Amber Hulse, Miss State Fair Outstanding Teen Anna Calhoon and Miss Wheel Jam Outstanding Teen Dawn Stempson.