Dressed in their best with smiles to match, the young contestants in the 2012 Junior Miss and Little Miss Lake County Fair shined at Thursday's pageant.
A whopping 23 girls competed for the title of Junior Miss Lake County Fair, but only one walked away with the coveted crown, Palombi Middle School eighth-grader Teaghan Callaway, a pageant veteran who was Junior Miss Lake Villa 2011.
"I'm so excited!" she said after being crowned. "I've been trying for three years (to win the Junior Miss Lake County Fair Queen title)."
Newly crowned Little Miss Lake County Fair, Mia Rose Modell, a Millburn Central School third-grader, was equally as excited about her win.
"I feel awesome! This is so great!" said Modell, a 2010 Little Miss Lindenhurst.
Callaway and Modell will serve as fair hosts alongside newly crowned Queen Kristen One, and represent the county at upcoming pageants and events.
Callaway, who is president of her school's National Junior Honor Society, said the best part of the pageant was the "pop question," which she nailed.
When asked who she would write a letter to if she could choose anyone, Callaway said she would address President Barack Obama to thank him for keeping our country safe and for his family's efforts to promote good health.
The most nerve-wracking part of the pageant, she said, was the pre-pageant interview, "because it counts for the most points and you never know what they're going to ask."
Callaway, who wants to one day run for Congress and become a Broadway star, is looking forward to competing in the 4-H Club's "Battle of the Barns."
A queen can get dirty, she said.
Finalists in the Junior Miss Lake County Fair Queen pageant included: Allison Nelson, a Highland Middle School eighth-grader, who was first runner-up; Allison Belmont, a St. Patrick School seventh-grader, who was second runner-up; Grace Christian, a Hawthorn Middle School eighth-grader; and Brittany Gallarneau, a Palombi Middle School eighth-grader.
Finalists in the Little Miss Lake County Fair Queen pageant included: Teaghan's sister, Olive Martin School second-grader Brighton Callaway, who was first runner-up; Rowan Michelle Birch, an Olive Martin School third-grader, who was second runner-up; Chloe Lichtenberger, a Wauconda Grade School second-grader; and Tricia Olsen, an Emmons School third-grader.
Other Junior Miss Lake County Fair contestants included: Kelly Kreulach; Madison Hartwig; Avaree Gordon; Regan Harmon; Antonia Michelle Garamoni; Samantha Thibault; Alexis Roberts; Ashley Garver; Madison Bailey Pierce; Nicole Casler; Lauren Wood; Maggie Abernathy; Molly Bartlett; Tabitha Wozniak; Samantha Scott; Lauren Magri; Olivia Michelle Gonzalez; and Madison Point.
Other Little Miss Lake County Fair contestants included Eleanor Celia Escobedo, Ashley Villalobos and Isabel Ward.
Click here to read about the crowning of the 2012 Miss Lake County Fair Queen: