Palo Alto County's annual celebration of youth and summer is just around the corner as the 2013 edition of the Palo Alto County Fair will open on Thursday, July 18 at the Fairgrounds in Emmetsburg. As in past years, one of the highlights of the Fair will take place on Thursday evening at 8:30 p.m. in the open-air pavilion with the crowning of the 2013 Palo Alto County Fair Queen.
Here is a chance to get to know the four young women who are in contention for the honor of Palo Alto County Fair Queen.
Katie Olesen is the 17-year old daughter of Steve and Rhonda Olesen of Graettinger. A junior at Graettinger-Terril High School, Katie has been active in Basketball, Track and Field, Volleyball Speech, FFA and National Honor Society. A member of the Graettinger Pirates 4-H Club and the Cantering 4-H'ers, Katie is also a member of the 4-H Youth County Council. She earned Senior Showmanship Champion honors in the 4-H Horse Show at the 2012 Palo Alto County Fair and also had an exhibit selected for the Iowa State Fair, receiving an Outstanding Exhibit Award.
In her community, Katie is active in her 4-H Club activities, as well as working at Lulu's Pizza. She is also active in her church activities at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.
Spare time activities for Katie include riding horses and playing basketball and spending time with her friends.
After graduation in 2014, Katie plans to attend a community college to continue her education.
Heather Brown is the 17-year old daughter of Larry and Renita Brown of West Bend. A junior at West Bend-Mallard High School, Heather is active in the Fern Valley 4-H club and its activities and is currently a member of the 4-H Youth County Council. Heather has received numerous awards for her sheep projects, along with sewing and home improvement projects, including Superior Project Awards for Sheep, Sewing and Needle Arts. Additionally, Heather has received a 4-H Leadership Award for her efforts.
In the community, Heather is active in her church activities and CCD at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, as well as serving as a vacation bible school leader. Heather also works at the Wagon Wheel Caf in West Bend.
Hanging out with her friends and family is one of Heather's favorite things to do in her spare time, Heather also enjoys golfing, cake decorating, working with children, reading and sewing.
After graduation in 2014, Heather plans to attend college to obtain a business degree and then open her own small business and see where life takes her.
Brooke Hoffman is the 17-year old daughter of Duane and Kim Hoffman of Graettinger. A junior at Graettinger-Terril High School, Brooke is active in Softball, Basketball, Golf, Student Council, FFA and is a member of the National Honor Society. Brooke has earned numerous academic recognitions along with All Conference Athletic Awards in Basketball and Softball.
As a member of the Graettinger Pirates 4-H club, Brooke is active in the club's community activities and is also a member of the 4-H Youth County Council and has been active in council activities such as mud volleyball, Ag Olympics, Win it in a Minute, the Watermelon Eating Contest and other activities during the year. In the community, Brooke is active in the activities of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, helping with the annual church chicken dinner and participating as a worship server.
In her spare time, Brooke likes to spend time with her family and friends, watch movies and play sports.
When she graduates in 2014, Brooke plans to attend a four-year college, but is undecided on her course of future study.
Lydia Reding is the 17-year old daughter of Fred and Suzanne Reding of Cylinder. A junior at Bishop Garrigan High School in Algona, Lydia is active in the Christian Leadership organization, as well as Speech, Musical, Art and Spanish. She has taken part in the school's trip to Spain and served as a judge's helper at State Speech Contests. As a member of the 4-H County Youth Council, Lydia is active in County Council events, helps with the George of the Jungle project at the fair and Fair Clean Up Days and also serves as a youth member of the Palo Alto County Fair Association Board. Lydia is the recipient of the Danforth "I Dare You" Award and has earned awards in Citizenship, as well as project awards for her Swine and Beef projects, as well as record keeping, Sewing and Needle Arts and the Award of Merit. At the Palo Alto County Fair, Lydia has exhibited several State Fair qualifying exhibits, as well as cattle and swine projects.
In her community, Lydia has helped with the annual Easter Egg Hunt, cleaning of road ditches, helping with the annual Easter Egg Hunt, volunteering for Parish Families Against Hunger, serving at Mass, and working on the family farm.
Favorite activities for Lydia include scrapbooking, 4-H activities, hanging out with friends and going to movies.
Following graduation in 2014, Lydia plans to attend Iowa Lakes Community College for two years and then transfer to Iowa State University to complete her degree.
The queen contestants will be introduced at 6:45 p.m. Thursday, July 18, onstage in the open air pavilion at the Palo Alto County Fair and the queen will be crowned at 8:30 p.m.