princess crown

VENANGO — After 10 years, the Miss Crawford County Fair Queen Pageant is no more.

Citing the struggle to attract contestants, the Crawford County Fair Board voted 5-1 to end the pageant that first began in 2009. The vote came at the board's annual meeting Wednesday at the Venango Valley Inn.

"It's not because I don't want do it. I just can't get people to participate," Diana Perry, a member of the Fair Board and the pageant's volunteer coordinator, told the board before proposing the pageant's elimination.

"It will break my heart because I've been involved 10 years, but sometimes things have to come to an end," Perry said.

The contest was open to girls ages 16 to 20, with the winner tasked to promote the fair.

Perry said it has been a struggle to find young girls willing to participate in the pageant.

"They have to do an essay, do interviews, have to do a skit," Perry said. "There's a lot to it, and it's just been a problem."

Bill Winters, president of the Fair Board, agreed it has been a challenge.

"Some years we've had three contestants," Winters said.

Fair Board members Perry, Bill Good, John Lasko, Bill Davis and Ken Hyde voted to eliminate the pageant while George Deshner was the lone vote against it. Winters, as president of the board, doesn't vote unless there is a tie and Fair Board member Ron Kerr was absent from Wednesday's meeting. There is one vacancy on the board due to the recent passing of Bruce Hills.

Deshner said he was in favor of keeping the pageant due to the fair's size — since it is said to be the largest agricultural fair in Pennsylvania — and its esteem among other fairs in Pennsylvania.

Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at kgushard@meadvilletribune.com.

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