COLUMBUS — A local queen took to a bigger stage Thursday night in Columbus.
The 2018 Miami County Fair Queen Kelci Cooper on Thursday participated in the 94th annual Ohio Fair Managers Convention & Trade Show’s Ohio Fairs’ Queen Pageant at the Columbus Convention Center.
Reigning over the county fair this past season gave the Piqua resident the opportunity to attend the statewide pageant where 79 queens from fairs across the state joined her to compete.
The president of the A Bunch of Hair 4-H Club, who was not chosen to move on to the top five on Saturday, said she still enjoyed competing.
“It’s been heartwarming to meet over 70 fair queens,” said the Houston High School senior. “Meeting with all of the young women and being able to see how we’re building the agriculture industry into the future has been amazing.”
Cooper, who hopes to study agriculture education at The Ohio State University in the fall, said she has made many new friends during the process, and about 20 participants even have a group chat going to check on each other.
“It’s just been such a great experience to be here,” said Cooper, who plays volleyball and cheers in school.
Other accomplishments to Cooper’s credit include vice president of FFA, vice president of FCCLA, school theater, yearbook editor, College Credit Plus student, and she works with a canned food drive with the National Honor Society.
Cooper, the daughter of Charlotte and Todd Cooper of Piqua, also donates blood, volunteers at the Miami County Sheriff’s Office Youth Camp, a Shelby County soup kitchen, and at dog and horse shows.
The county royalty shows poultry and market and fancy chickens at the Miami County Fair, and encourages other girls to take chances in their lives, even if it’s outside their comfort zone.
“Go for it even if it’s not comfortable,” Cooper said.