Hannah Singleton crowned this year's Queen of the Fair
By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on October 4, 2009 2:00 AM
Hannah Singleton, third from left, won the 2009 Queen of the Fair contest Friday night, as well as the talent award and tied as Miss Congeniality. Also pictured, from left, are Sarah Judy, second runner-up, Victoria Taylor, first runner-up; Miss Singleton, last year's winner, Holly Jones, and Taylor Graham, third runner-up and tied for Miss Congeniality.
From the moment the contestants hit the stage in the "Queen of the Fair" contest Friday night, one stood out as a crowd favorite.
Contestant No. 7, Hannah Singleton, a senior at Spring Creek High School, had a groundswell of support from the audience. By evening's end, she had won over the judges as well, becoming 2009 queen of the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair.
But her popularity did not end there. She won the Nicole Painter Talent Award for having the highest overall score in the talent portion of the competition, then tied with Taylor Graham, a senior at Southern Wayne High School, for Miss Congeniality, voted on by their fellow contestants.
"It tells you this is a really nice group of girls," said Jay Sauls, emcee for the program, as he announced the winners. "You are all so nice, you couldn't decide who was the nicest."
For her talent, Miss Singleton performed a lyrical dance.
Despite all the cheers throughout the three-hour contest, she admitted the win came as a shock.
"I really, really wasn't expecting to win," she said afterwards. "All the girls were so great. I had so much fun. My family and friends were here to support me. I'm just really happy and surprised."
The event featured a good representation of the county's schools, Sauls said, including the county's newest high school, Wayne Early/Middle College High School, as well as private school Wayne Country Day School.
"A lot of times we have just the public schools," said Sauls, celebrating his 15th year as co-director of the contest with Gay Hare.
"I can't believe it's been 15 years," he said. "We have tried to make it evolve over the years, tried to individualize it a little bit so the girls can reflect their own personalities.
"We used to have them draw a question out of a bowl, about politics or another subject. Now we have them fill out a fact sheet with their hobbies, future plans, etc. We ask them a question based on that. I think it lets the judges know them a little bit more personally."
Sauls said this year's contestants were a good group to work with, and seemed to have a lot of fun during the experience.
In addition to prizes donated by area businesses, Mount Olive College offered scholarships to each of the top winners. Miss Singleton received a $2,000 renewable scholarship, while the first runner-up was awarded a $1,500 scholarship; $1,000 went to the second runner-up; and $500 to the third runner-up.
Victoria Royall, a senior at Eastern Wayne, who sang "Some People" from "Gypsy," was named first runner-up.
Second runner-up was Sarah Judy, a sophomore at Southern Wayne, who sang "Victorious."
Miss Graham, third runner-up, sang "Crazy."
Rounding out the list of 15 contestants were Laura Vinson, Rosewood High; Lawren Ham, Goldsboro High; Michaela Denton, Wayne Early/Middle College; Elizabeth Rowe, WEMCH; Davetta Darden, Spring Creek; Edie Hooks, Wayne Country Day; Anna Davis, Rosewood; Diamond Smith, Goldsboro; Tara Warren, WEMCH; Chelsea Jackson, Charles B. Aycock; and T'Keyah Hagans, Southern Wayne.