What would a country fair be without crowning a queen? For forty-three consecutive years, the Quotarians of Magnolia, Arkansas, have sponsored the Columbia County Fair Queen Pageant, a popular event in their Quota community.
Held annually on the third Monday in September, pageant planning takes months of preparation. Publicity starts in August with ads in the local newspaper, on the two radio stations, on television, and in flyers in schools and businesses.
The festivities begin with a party to meet all of the contestants. Pageant contestants are introduced to one another as well as the director. The excitement mounts on pageant day with a parade honoring contestants. Following the parade, Quota club members host a dinner party for everyone involved, which gives the judges a chance to interview each candidate. Following the banquet, contestants are given a police escort to the fair grounds, and the pageant begins.
The winning contestant is honored with a cash prize, a bouquet of roses, a silver tray, and her portrait.