Meet the 45th annual Wisconsin Fairest Of The Fairs!
The 45th Annual Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs was selected from 36 young women and one young man currently representing their county, district and state fairs as Fairest. The Fairest of the Fairs was unveiled Wednesday evening during the 88th Annual Wisconsin Association of Fairs Convention taking place this week in the Wisconsin Dells.
The Fairest of the Fairs will represent the 76 Wisconsin county, district, and state fairs in 2011. The newly crowned Fairest begins her one-year term immediately and will carry out her duties through the conclusion of the Wisconsin Association of Fairs Convention in January of 2012. Fairest's responsibilities include traveling to the county, district and state fairs throughout the state as the spokesperson for the Wisconsin Association of Fairs, and she will as serve as the official hostess of the 2011 Wisconsin State Fair, presented by U.S. Cellular, August 4 through August 14. Throughout her term, the Fairest of the Fairs will promote educational, agricultural, social, cultural and commercial opportunities offered at Wisconsin’s county, district and state fairs.
Alexis Nickelotti, 20, representing Vernon County Fair was crowned the 2011 Fairest of the Fairs. Alexis is the daughter of Steve and Gina Nickelotti of Genoa. As a junior at UW-Plateville, she is majoring in Business Marketing with a minor in Biology. Over the years, Alexis has actively exhibited in swine, corn, silage, ceramics and alfalfa at Vernon County Fair while also participating as a 4-H Food Stand waitress for more than a decade. At UW-Platteville, she has been a member of both the Cheer & Stunt Squad and the university’s All Stars since 2008, the Pre-Medical Society since 2009 to the present, and is a member of the Relay for Life Planning Committee. Further, at UW-Platteville she has been recognized with the Housing Rising Star Award in 2009, Housing Master Communicator in the fall of 2009 and spring of 2010, and is a three-time recipient of the Cheerleading Spirit Award among other accolades. Additionally, she is a Resident Assistant and is a resource for 31 residence hall students, while enforcing university policies, facilitating group interactions, providing programming and resolving conflicts.
Alexis was selected as Fairest of the Fairs from a field of 36 qualified young women and one qualified male, and replaces the 2010 Fairest of the Fairs, Natalie Salkowski of Ozaukee County. “Each year there is an impressive and talented field of contestants competing for Fairest of the Fairs, and the counties they represent should be very proud of these exceptional young people,” stated Joan Behr, the director of communications for Foremost Farms who served on the panel of judges. Behr continued, “I was so very impressed by the pool of candidates, their existing knowledge of the fair industry, their passion, and their willingness to enhance and increase their knowledge of both the fair and agriculture industries.” The Fairest of the Fairs was selected by a panel of three judges representing the agricultural, fair, and media industries. In addition to Joan Behr, the panel was comprised of former Wisconsin Association of Fairs president Harry Nienaber of Marshfield and WTMJ-TV Channel 4 Consumer Reporter Karen Stiles.
Amy L. Manske, 20, representing Waupaca County was announced as the first runner up. Amy is the daughter of Matthew and Kathleen Manske of New London. A junior at UW-Green Bay, Amy is majoring in communications.
Mary Pat E. Speerstra, 19, of Trempealeau County was named second runner up. Mary Pat is the daughter of Jack and Mary Speerstra of Whitehall. A sophomore at Chippewa Valley Technical College, Mary Pat is majoring in Dairy Science.
Kayln Krebs, 20, of Washington County was named third runner up. The daughter of Russell and Sheilah Krebs of Hartford, Kayln is currently a junior at St. Norbert College and is studying Natural Sciences.
Kristin Kohlmann, 19, representing Fond du Lac County Fair was selected fourth runner up. Kristin is the daughter of Wally and Leigh Kohlmann of Fond du Lac. A sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Kristin is a certified nursing assistant and is studying Genetics.
Kasey Jean Kowaleski, 19, representing Rusk County, was bestowed with Miss Congeniality by her fellow contestants. Kasey is the daughter of Ben and Kelly Kowaleski of Ladysmith. She is a sophomore at University of Wisconsin - Baron County.
“The caliber of young women who participate each year is quite impressive, and this year is no exception” stated Patrice Harris, director of public relations and communications of the Wisconsin State Fair. “Each year, our staff, Fairgoers and exhibitors are excited to meet Fairest and the management is proud to have her as the Official Hostess of the Wisconsin State Fair. We are very much looking forward to working with Alexis and aiding in her development on both a personal and professional level.”
Individuals interested in competing in the Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs contest may contact their county, district or state fair board for more information or visit www.wifairs.com.
The 2011 Wisconsin State Fair, presented by U.S. Cellular, will take place Thursday, August 4 through Sunday, August 14 at Wisconsin State Fair Park in West Allis.