Niles girl crowned fair queen runner-upPublished 8:47am Tuesday, August 12, 2014
BERRIEN SPRINGS — Ever since she was a little kid, Niles’ Alexandria Woods has wanted to be the one wearing the crown, handing out ribbons and trophies to the kids at the Berrien County Youth Fair.
“There was always something exciting about that — seeing the royalty with their crowns and getting a ribbon from them,” she said. “I always thought that was really cool.”
Now Woods knows how it feels.
The 2014 Brandywine High School graduate joined the fair’s royal court when she was crowned runner-up at the Queen and King Pageant Sunday evening.
One of the duties of the royal court is to give the ribbons to the participants in the fair’s many live and still exhibits. They also serve as public relations representatives and attend ceremonies and concerts throughout the week.
Woods got to hand out the awards for the first time Monday.
“I am excited about it because I get to see a lot of the kids looking up to me like I did when I was a kid,” said the 17-year-old. “It has always been something I’ve wanted to do.”
Unlike many of the pageant participants, Woods went in with no experience.
She said she thinks she was the only girl that had never been in a pageant before.
“It was completely new to me, so they told me ‘this is how you do this and this is how you do that,’” she said. “They were really helpful, but it is a whole different world.”
The on-stage question was the most nerve-wracking part of entire night. She was asked if she defines her fair experience by her successes or her failures.
“I’m usually good at winging it, but I was still really nervous,” she said. “For my answer, I said ‘both because I like to look at how I succeed and find out how to better that. For my failures, they show me what not to do so I can figure out a way to do it better.’”
Woods will be attending Southwestern Michigan College to get a degree in business. From there, she plans to pursue a veterinary degree.
She is showing rabbits, chickens and goats at the fair.
Joining Woods on the fair’s Royal Court are Queen Kelsey Griffith, of Benton Harbor; King Tony Sukys, of Baroda; King Runner-up Evan Rieth, of Three Oaks; Prince Jackson Hall, of Dowagiac; and Princess Hadley Matlock, of St. Joseph.