Jasper County Fair Queen Lauren Probst competed at the State Fair Queen Pageant in Springfield at the Crowne Plaza.

Beginning at the Crowne Plaza early Thursday morning Queen Lauren checked in and spent the afternoon participating in group and individual pictures along with dress rehearsals, dance practice, and a social with all of the queens. On Friday, Lauren had her interview and spent most of the day waiting her turn since she was contestant 67 out of 71. During that time, they ran through the order of events.

On Friday evening, Lauren and her family attended dinner with her pageant directors and the Jasper County Fair Board. On Saturday, the competition was held with a morning practice and then the Grand March was held at 1 pm followed by the afternoon group beginning competition.

Being in the evening group, Lauren did not compete until 7 pm. During the competition, she competed in categories such as evening gown, swimsuit, and communications. On Sunday morning, a final rehearsal was held at 8 am, devotional service and a brunch with all of the Queens and the State Queen gave her farewell speech. In the evening, the top 15 finalists were announced and they competed for the crown.

When asked about the hardest part of the pageant she states, “The hardest part of the event for me was the production number. Learning the dance moves was difficult at times because of my bad dancing skills. I still managed to have a lot of fun learning the dance and share laughs with the girls next to me. Performing the dance was rewarding. All of our long practices paid off and the crowd loved it!”

When asked what she learned from the event and what she has brought back with her she states, “The most important thing I learned was to trust in God. He is in control and has a plan. Sometimes our plan doesn’t work out but only because He has a bigger one for us. Secondly, the outcome is not reflective of your worth. Although I didn’t take home another crown, it was an amazing experience and I still left a queen. Lastly, I learned not to compare myself to the other girls. Every girl there was special in there own way. Each one was beautiful, smart, and talented and that is what makes them who they are.”

Lauren concluded with, “Through this event, I have felt so much love and support of everyone throughout the county. This event has made me realize how lucky I truly am. By preparing for state pageant I have improved my communication skills, health and fitness, and also gained confidence in myself. I hope other young women will see what how pageants can improve their everyday life.”