By Leah Williams
After a 33year hiatus, Washington County has crowned its fair queen.
Jaylyn Bower of Nashville was named the new royalty during a pageant held on Sunday, July 7, at Nashville Middle School.
“I was very shocked that it happened,” Bower said. “It has been a non-stop show of support from friends and family with congratulations. It’s hard to describe. One minute you are just living in Washington County, the next you are Miss Washington County.”
Bower said she is looking forward to becoming an active representative during the next year.
“I am anxious to see how I play a part in the fair,” she said. “I am excited to meet all of the little kids who run up to you and look up to you.”
Bower said her favorite part about the fair queen pageant experience was getting to know and work with the other queen contestants.
“Absolutely my friendships with the girls,” she said. “I had an immense amount of support from the girls, all of us just supporting one another. And the camaraderie between us in practices, dress rehearsal and even the day of the pageant. We cheered for one another and helped one another as much as we could.”
During her final speech, Bower spoke about her time at basic training for the National Guard, adding in her often used response “Give all or give nothing, drill sergeant.” Bower said her father and her sister were instrumental in helping her practice with what she was going to say.
“It’s your moment,” she said. “Use it.”
The pageant also crowned Raelynn Kay Marie Pieszchalski as its Junior Miss Washington County Fair. During her onstage interview, Pieszchalski told the crowd she was most thankful for her family “for giving her a place to live” and helping her through the rough times.
Caillyn Grace Maschhoff, 6, daughter of Garrett and Heather Maschhoff of Nashville, was named the Little Miss WWashington County Fair. During her onstage interview, Caillyn said her favorite food is pizza, her favorite color is blue because “it is the color of this town” and that she wants to be a makeup artist when she grows up.
Bower is the daughter of Chuck and Dana Bower and James and Jessica Koelling. She is a sophomore attending Kaskaskia College.
For more photos from this year’s queen pageant, check out our online photo gallery at www.nash-news.com.