Marion County Fair Queen photo

From left, 2016 Marion County Fair Queen, Paige Anderson, 2017 Marion County Fair Queen, Ashlee Dethrow and 2017 runner up, Natalie Montgomery.

KNOXVILLE – Persistence paid off for this year's Marion County Fair Queen, Ashlee Dethrow, of Knoxville, Iowa.

After the announcement of the winner by Spencer Dirks, Dethrow was crowned by the 2016 Marion County Fair Queen who also presented her with a bouquet of flowers.

Dethrow said she ran for Fair Queen two years ago, but didn't make it. She figured there is no giving up and ran for Fair Queen a second time.

“I tried again this year, and I felt way more confident,” Dethrow said.

Running a second time gave Dethrow the the extra boost of confidence which she said helped her in getting crowned queen.

Dethrow said she has worked hard in the past few years to get where she is today. It came with challenges along the way to become queen.

The day leading up to the crowning came with many interviews. The process is long she said, but that was not her biggest challenge.

“A challenge I had to overcome was speaking in front of everybody about me,” Dethrow said. “I feel like when I talk about myself personally, it makes me feel more emotional. I have gained more confidence [since the last time I tried out for queen,] and it was not as bad this time.”

Besides in the classroom, Dethrow has been involved in many extra-curricular activities, 4-H, FFA, Marion County Council, football cheerleading, competition cheerleading, track, yearbook and Red Rock Riders Equestrian Drill Team.

Outside of school and her extra-curricular activities, Dethrow enjoys riding horses, fishing and spending time with family and friends.

She plans to attend William Penn University in the Fall.

Runner up for Marion County Fair County Queen was Natalie Montgomery of Knoxville.

Music for the competition was provided by Pianist, Rachel Humeston.

The three judging the competition were, Kathy Enyart, executive director of the Iowa State Dance Team Association and the Director of the All-Iowa Honor Dance Team, Linda Klepinger, Executive Director of the Centre for Arts and Artists and Jamie Jo Walhert, an early Childhood Special Education teacher and dance instructor at Westside Dance Academy in Waukee, Iowa.

Ethan Goetz is a general assignment reporter for the Knoxville Journal-Express. He can be reached in the newsroom at 641-842-2155, ext. 19, or via email at Follow him on Twitter @Ethan_Goetz.

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