TONASKET – Katie Keane will be crowned 2019 Okanogan County Fair Queen Sunday, Sept. 9 at the fairgrounds. She will take over the title from 2018 Queen Shelby White from Twisp.
A 15-year-old sophomore at Tonasket High School, Keane is the only contestant this year, but will still participate in the pageant, which includes giving a speech, modeling and answering questions about the county.
“I’ve never done anything like this before,” said Keane. “I’ve always gone to the fair, since I was six years old. Everyone in my 4H had been fair queen, and I always wanted to and now I’m finally old enough.”
Contestants must be at least 15 years old.
Keane was born and raised in Tonasket, and lives with her parents Emily and Eric Keane and her younger brother Dan.
A former member of the 4-H group Range Riders and now a participant in the Dusty Boots 4H group, Keane said she has taken a horse to the fair the last nine years.
“I’ve had several over the years, and now I have a thoroughbred,” said Keane. “I was in FFA with a pig for three years, so this year I will show both the thoroughbred and a pig.”
She said she was especially looking forward to showing her horse, Dealer.
“He can carry flags, so last year at the fair rodeo we carried the American flag,” said Keane, who has been riding horses since she was four years old.
“Dealer and I barrel race, so I have to ride him daily,” said Keane, who keeps busy outside the arena as well. “I’m very active in FFA and with the student body.”
School sports Keane participates in are Cross Country and Track and Field. Last year as a freshman, Keane qualified for State in the 100-meter dash, pole vaulting and the 4x1 Relay, with the relay team placing fifth overall in 2B State.
She also keeps busy working in Fred Fowlers gardens, where she picks corn and tomatoes.
“As fair queen, I will go to different rodeos and do arena runs representing the county,” said Keane. “I’ll also go to banquets and other events, I don’t have to be on a horse all the time. I’ll go to rodeo queen coronations and the May Day Parade and can participate in auctions.”
Keane said travel as the queen would mostly take place in Okanogan County.
“I encourage everyone to come to the fair and watch the pageant,” said Royalty Advisor Marcie Howell.
The pageant is Thursday, Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. The coronation takes place Sunday, Sept. 9 at 2 p.m. Both will be on the main stage.