Miss Samantha Nelson from Higbee was named the 2018 Missouri State Fair Queen in a ceremony held on opening day Thursday, Aug. 9. Miss Nelson received the highest score of 48 contestants vying for the title in the two-day competition held in the Mathewson Exhibition Center. Miss Nelson will reign over the remaining State Fair events and be an ambassador for the State Fair and Missouri agriculture throughout the coming year.

Missouri State Fair

Miss Nelson is 18 years-old and studies Nursing at Moberly Area Community College. As Queen, she will receive a $2,000 scholarship to continue her education. She entered as Miss Howard County and is the daughter of Neil and Angie Nelson.

“As Missouri State Fair Queen, I am most excited to experience new things that I have not been exposed to during the 18 years I have attended the Fair with my family,” Nelson said.

Participants in the queen pageant were judged in multiple areas including interview, speech, talent and evening gown.

Miss Scotland County Sadie Davis was named first runner-up and will receive a $1,000 scholarship. Second runner-up went to Miss Cooper County Sarah Oerly, who will receive a $500 scholarship. The third runner-up honor went to Miss Henry County Kayla Taylor, who will receive a $350 scholarship, and the fourth runner-up honor went to Miss Boone County Ashley Voeller, who will receive a $250 scholarship.

Recognition plaques went to contestants ranking highest in each of the four competitive categories: Davis received top ranking in Interview; Missouri Beef Queen Miss Kenadee Barnitz received top ranking in Evening Gown; Nelson received top ranking in Speech; and Voeller received top ranking in Talent.

News release from the Missouri State Fair