Red just might be Andrea Hemphill’s lucky color. The 19-year-old Annawan native was crowned the 2009 Miss Henry County Fair? Queen while wearing a red gown.


Red just might be Andrea Hemphill’s lucky color. The 19-year-old Annawan native was crowned the 2009 Miss Henry County Fair? Queen while wearing a red gown.

Hemphill also captured the pageant’s “best evening gown” title with her dress.

“My mom has always said I?look good in red, and it is one of my favorite colors,” said Hemphill.

The daughter of Rick and Kristine?Hemphill of Annawan, Hemphill was crowned on June 23 after a wild night of weather.

“All day long, it was close to 100 degrees, but when the Little Miss girls went out to compete, we could see rain clouds forming,” she said. “When we did our dance, things started getting really windy and then a thunderstorm broke loose.”

An intermission was taken to let the weather clear, and after temperatures dropped and “things felt pretty good” said Hemphill.

Throughout it all, Hemphill said she tried to put the weather out of her mind. “I was just trying to stay relaxed and keep my nerves down.”

Second runner-up in last year’s pageant, Hemphill said she “knew what to expect” in this year’s pageant. “I just wanted to go out there and have fun.”

In previous years, ?Hemphill has also participated in the Little Miss and Junior Miss fair pageants.

“I’ve always been a part of the fair. I’ve showed pigs since I was young, and I?love the fair atmosphere,” she said.

Though she’s not showing hogs this year, the hog barn was one of the first places Hemphill headed on Wednesday morning.

“Most of my friends show hogs, so when we got there a lot of people were congratulating me,”? she said.

Hemphill also found she had a very young fan during her visit. “There was a baby in the hog barn, and it kept staring at my crown. I think it liked shiny things.”

As the 2009 queen, Hemphill said she’s looking forward to spending the week at the fair.

“The fair is a great place to bring your family. There’s all kinds of things to do, and the 4-H’ers and everyone else have worked so hard on their projects.

“There’s great food as well,” said Hemphill, who said she enjoys eating pork chop sandwiches from the Henry County ?Pork? Producers tent.

“I also have to get a snow cone every year  ... or a corn dog, or a lemonade shakeup,” she added.

Hemphill is a 2008 Annawan High?School graduate who will be starting her sophomore year at Illinois State University in the fall.

A nursing major, Hemphill also works as a CNA in the extended/skilled care units at Hammond-Henry Hospital.

Hemphill’s fair queen court includes first runner-up Alexi Strandberg of Kewanee and second runner-up Gabrielle?Dye of Geneseo.

Rounding out the eight finalists chosen from a field of 18 entries were: Paige Wahlig of Geneseo, Katelyn Huffman of Galva, Kaitlin?Christakos of Kewanee, Amy Stuart of Geneseo and Amelia Martens of Orion.

Emmy VandeVoorde of Annawan is the 2009 Junior Miss Henry County Fair? Queen, and Bradleigh Schaefer of Cambridge is the 2009 Little Miss.