History of the Unionville community fair pageant
In 1936, the board elected to have a Queen preside over the Farm Show. Elizabeth Heitebeitel (married name – Clark) was chosen and crowned the first Harvest Queen. She was showered with applause from the audience as the girls walked down the aisle to the stage.
In 1937 the queen contest halted and was replaced by an Amateur Hour. However, the student body and visitors alike expressed their interest in having a Queen continue to reign over the Fair, so 1938 saw the Harvest Queen contest re-instated. Ten girls were selected by vote of the student body from the Jr. and Sr. classes. The winner selected by 3 judges, applause was considered, but the judges decision would be final. Each of the girls selected received $1.00. Bette Hughes (m. - Anderson) was queen in 1939, her sister Dot Hughes (m. –Todd) was chosen Queen 2 years later, there have been other sisters over the years to each hold the title. Bette was the mother of past president Bonnie Musser and Dot was Bonnie’s aunt. Laura Case (m.- Deckman) was Queen in 1940, her daughter Shirley Deckman (m. – Corkran) was Queen in 1961. Laura is the grandmother of Fair President Deb Deckman and Shirley is her aunt. Barbara Simpers (m. – Richards) and her daughter Amy Richards were both Queens as well.
No contestants expressed interest in the 1955 Fair, and consideration of why and what could be changed had to be addressed. Beginning in 1956, The Harvest Queen contestants were chosen by a speech about the Fair and/or the local rural community in which they lived.
The 1960 pageant brought about even more change, featuring a talent, evening gown, focusing on poise, answering questions and interviews with judges. In 1996 – the Queen Pageant transitioned to the Unionville Community Fair Queen Pageant and was based on the rules of the Pennsylvania State Association of County Fairs (PSACF). The contestants are judged on their presentation of a speech about the Fair, poise and interviews with the judges. The winner of UC Fair Queen pageant now goes to the PSACF convention in January to compete there with up to 80 other girls from the Fairs across the state.
The Unionville Fair Queen of 2010, Claire Werkiser was chosen as the PA State Fair Queen for 2011.Claire traveled all over the state visiting other Fairs, opening the PA State Farm Show with the Governor, meeting with other state officials and speaking at many of these events.