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WEEPING WATER – Seven Cass County residents showed why they are positive role models in their communities with their actions at the fairgrounds Wednesday night.

The local students took part in the Cass County Fair Queen Contest at the Open Air Auditorium. Miss Elmwood Sydney Kunz, Miss Louisville Carsen Knott, Miss Manley McKenna Jones, Miss Murdock Morgan Mills, Miss Murray Riley Zimmerman, Miss Plattsmouth Riley Fitzpatrick and Miss Weeping Water Taylor Essary appeared on stage during the evening.

Several previous Miss Cass County royalty members also participated in the event. Miss Cass County 2018 Sophia Svanda delivered a speech about her activities over the past year. She also joined Miss Cass County Princess 2018 Olivia Minchow on stage for a presentation about this year’s community service project.

Miss Cass County 2011 Loxley Grafe-Drahn organized all of this year’s activities. The event included a daytime luncheon and face-to-face interview session with a panel of three judges. The same three judges also evaluated contestants at the evening pageant.

Master of Ceremonies Brian Harvey introduced each of the contestants as they walked to their chairs on the stage. All seven young women then gave speeches to the crowd that focused on this year’s Cass County Fair theme of “Country Fun for Everyone.” Each speech lasted from three to five minutes.

Harvey called each person in a randomly-selected order to give her speech. Fitzpatrick was the first candidate to talk to the large crowd. Knott, Essary, Mills, Zimmerman, Jones and Kunz then walked to the front of the stage for their addresses.

The contest continued with the fishbowl question portion of the evening. Each candidate had to draw a random question written on a piece of paper out of a fishbowl. They examined the question for about 30 seconds and then had to deliver an answer on the spot.

The questions dealt with a range of topics. These included describing Cass County with a single plant or animal, talking about what the biggest challenge in their life was and what they would do if they had a week away from all of life’s responsibilities.

The panel of judges then left the Open Air Auditorium to begin their deliberations. They considered each candidate’s actions during the luncheon, interview session, speech and fishbowl question portions of the day. They spent more than 30 minutes away from the stage before returning with their decision.

The judges crowned Fitzpatrick as Miss Cass County Queen and Essary as Miss Cass County Princess. Both beamed when their names were called. Minchow presented Essary with a tiara, sash and rose, and Svanda presented Fitzpatrick with a crown, sash and bouquet of roses.

Fitzpatrick is the daughter of Travis Fitzpatrick and Teresa Fitzpatrick and the stepdaughter of Chris Gee. She graduated from Plattsmouth High School in 2019 and is planning to study nursing in college. She will attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln this fall.

Essary is the daughter of Jeremy Essary and Pam Hensley. She graduated from Weeping Water High School in 2019 and is planning to study nursing in college. She will attend the University of Nebraska-Omaha this fall.

Fitzpatrick, Essary, Kunz, Knott, Jones, Mills and Zimmerman will all take part in various activities at the fairgrounds over the next few days. All seven will appear in the grand parade at 6 p.m. Saturday.

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