From left to right: Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Summer Robbins, First Runner-Up Charli Decker, Miss Marion County Fair 2013 Lacey Honaker, Newly Crowned Marion County Fair Queen 2014 Morgan Belcher, Second Runner-Up Becky Black, and Miss Congeniality Emily Downs.
Marion County has a new 2014 County Fair Queen, and it's Morgan Belcher of Vernon.
The stands were packed for the Marion County Fair Queen Pageant, where nine girls competed to win the crown of outgoing 2013 Fair Queen Lacey Honaker.
The girls competed in individual interview, swimwear, and evening wear competition in front of a panel of judges to determine who would get to wear the crown, and while each girl was impressive, it was Morgan Belcher who came out wearing the sash and crown.
"I'm overcome with happiness, this has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl. I feel very blessed" said Belcher after she was crowned.
Describing herself as a "relaxed" girl who "goes with the flow", Belcher is the 20 year old Daughter of Greg Belcher and Denise Forehand. She graduated from Kaskaskia College in the Spring and plans to transfer to Greenville College to major in Elementary Education in the Fall.
First Runner Up was Charli Decker of Salem, Second Runner Up was Becky Black of Salem, and the Miss Congeniality Award went to Emily Downs, also of Salem.
The audience included visiting fair queens from Clinton, Effingham, Monroe, Richland, Clay, Fayette, Jasper, and Perry Counties, and most notably Miss Illinois County Fair Queen herself, Summer Robbins of Coffeen in Montgomery County. Robbins says Belcher will be a fantastic ambassador for Marion County.
"She's a beautiful person" said Robbins, "Inside and out."
The fair continues this week with the Rodeo on Wednesday, the Drew Baldridge concert on Thursday, the Demolition Derby on Friday, the NTPA tractor pull on Saturday and the Horse Pull on Sunday afternoon.