BERRYVILLE — As the five contestants stood on stage Sunday night, a woman in the grandstands said what everyone was thinking.
“That’s going to be a tough choice.”
One hour and three outfit changes later, 18-year-old Stephanie Miller of White Post was crowned Miss Clarke County Fair 2019.
“This is the first pageant I’ve won,” said Miller, who has been competing since first entering the fair’s Junior Miss pageant six years ago.
Miller is a lifelong Clarke County resident and said she can’t imagine a better place to be.
“I love living here,” she said, adding that her favorite place in the county is the State Arboretum of Virginia at Blandy Experimental Farm. “The scenery there is beautiful.”
Miller is about to start her freshman year at Virginia Tech, where she will major in human development.
She was challenged for the Miss Clarke County Fair title by four other contestants:
Lauren Gibson, 17, of Berryville.
Mikayla St. Clair, 18, of Berryville.
Audra Genda, 17, of Berryville.
Olivia Hummer, 18, of Clarke County.
Hummer was selected as second runner-up, and St. Clair was named first runner-up. The title of Miss Photogenic was awarded to Genda.
Miss Clarke County Fair 2018 Chelsea Trenary presented flowers to each of the winners after tearfully telling the audience how much she enjoyed her reign.
“Thank you guys for coming out tonight,” Trenary said.
Two other pageants were held earlier in the evening Sunday at the Clarke County Ruritan Fairgrounds near Berryville. Joselynn Tyler, 8, was named Pre-Teen Miss Clarke County Fair, and Briyani Thomas-Jones, 15, was crowned Junior Miss Clarke County Fair.
The pageants were the headline events for the opening of the 65th annual Clarke County Fair, which runs through Saturday. For more information, visit clarkecountyfair.org.