OTTUMWA — The Wapello County 4-H Expo isn’t just livestock and work boots. Every year a few lucky participants transform into a prince, queen or maybe even a duchess.
The 4-H Expo opened Monday at Bridge View Center with the Royalty Pageant which features three competition classes. On top of the usual titles of King and Prince and Queen and Princess, the competition featured the Duke and Duchess titles this year. Children from in grades 3-5 are eligible to win the title of Duke and Duchess while children in grades 6-9 are eligible to participate in the Prince and Princess competition. King and Queen contestants are sophomores, juniors or seniors in high school.
“I choose to participate because I could represent my county in a positive way,” said Hannah Aslesen who was chosen as the 2014 4-H Expo Queen.
Aslesen smiled as she accepted her grown and sash from last year’s queen as she prepared herself for the week ahead of her. Since gaining the title, she along with King Paul “P.J.” Cartwright will be handing out ribbons and trophies to winners throughout the expo.
Aslesen has an extra busy week as she will still show her horses and various projects during the fair as well as perform her royal duties.
As King Cartwright will also help out around the fair, but he knows the ropes as he was crowned prince during the 2012 Royalty Pageant. Cartwright said it was “pretty important” to him represent Wapello County and its rich history.
Although contestants were crowned Monday night, they spent Sunday doing one-on-one interviews as well as group activities with the judges. Contestants also spent this time voting on Miss Congeniality for each class. In the Duke and Duchess competition, Lauren Wells’ friendly personality won her the title. In the Prince and Princess competition McKenna Duff received the Miss Congeniality title as well as the Princess crown.