CENTRE HALL — Brittany Etters remembers watching the Grange Fair queen coronation as a young child and dreaming she would wear the tiara and sash someday.
For Etters, that day was Thursday as she won the title of queen of the 2012 Centre County Grange Encampment and Fair. It was her third attempt to win the contest.
“It means so much to me,” Etters, 18, of Howard, said. “(The fair is) really a tradition for me and my family.”
She wasn’t able to remember her first trip to the fair, but said some of her family and friends have memories of her as an infant wrapped in blankets being held by her parents — a stark contrast to the blue evening gown she wore Thursday.
Etters and eight other contestants adorned the Southside Stage, each being judged on components including an essay, interview, evening gown and the speeches that each gave to the audience.
Before announcing that Etters edged out Selena Richards to win the contest, master of ceremonies Tor Michaels said he thought something was missing.
“I always think there should be a drumroll,” he said.
But ceremonial percussion introduction or not, Etters is just happy to get the chance to walk around the fair for the rest of the week and educate attendees about agriculture.
She plans to attend as many events as possible throughout the week and talk to as many people as she can.
But the pageantry and queen duties would have to wait until today. After she finished taking countless pictures and getting congratulated by friends and family, she said her plans for the rest of the night consisted of going back to her camper and resting before hitting the fair again to look for some food.
The winner is also given $500 in cash and gets the chance to participate in the state competition in January.
Last year’s queen, Krystal Wasson, was a top-five finalist in that contest.
Matt Morgan can be reached at 235-3928. Follow him on Twitter @MetroMattMorgan