By JEFF SCHULTZ
Even with stifling temperatures, encroaching thunderstorms, and a blown fuse
during the middle of Friday’s Porter County Fair Queen pageant, the most
memorable moment for Chesterton teen Autumn Cole on Friday was when her name
was announced as new fair royalty.
Cole, a 2011 graduate of Valparaiso High School, held a smile in the Park
Place Pavilion tent after being crowned by 2010 fair queen Kayla Bachert.
Joining Cole onstage were Miss Photogenic Katie Hines of Valparaiso, Miss
Congeniality Kristy Oates of Chesterton, Second Runner-Up Erica Wayne of
Hebron and First Runner-Up Logan Rassel of Valparaiso.
“Speak from your heart,” Cole said during her impromptu question asking
contestants what was the best piece of advice they had ever received. Cole
intends to carry this philosophy through her reign.
Queen contestants were judged based on an interview, professional wear,
evening gown and the impromptu question. Twenty girls total competed this
Cole is the daughter of Steven and Pamela Cole of Chesterton.
Her activities include being in marching band and varsity swimming.
She is also a ten-year member of the Liberty Hot Shots 4-H club and is
pursuing her ambition to become a speech pathologist.
Sponsoring Cole is McAfee Animal Hospital.
Hosting the contest was another Chesterton teen who already has had plenty
of experience in the realm of pageantry, Madeline Plesac. Plesac, who is
currently studying communication at Purdue University, represented Indiana
in last year’s national Miss Teen USA pageant.
Bachert in her farewell speech warned her successor the next ten days will
be “sleepless” but couldn’t help describing the positive experiences and fun
she has found over the past year.
“You are writing the next chapter in your life,” Bachert said.
Along with the crown, flowers and sash, Cole will also receive a cash prize
of $500. She will represent Porter County in the Indiana State Fair Queen
Pageant scheduled for Aug. 21.