The Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs held its 111th annual convention at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Springfield, Illinois January 14-16, 2022.
One of the highlights of the annual event is the Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Pageant, held Jan. 16.
Addisyn Calloni, 19, of Royalton was crowned the 61st Miss Illinois County Fair Queen. Addisyn represented Perry County at the 111th Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs Convention on Sunday. She is currently attending Southern Illinois University-Carbondale as a biological sciences major and hopes to enter a Physician Assistant Program. Calloni will be a summer employee of the Department of Agriculture. She will travel to about 30 county fairs and will be the official hostess of the Illinois State Fair in Springfield and the DuQuoin State Fair. As queen, Calloni’s main duty is to emphasize the importance of agriculture and county fairs to Illinois.
Grace Markovitz of McHenry was named the first runner up, Kaylee Phillips of Effingham was named second runner up, Rachel Williams of Warren was named third runner up, and Katie Noyd of Henry County was named fourth runner up.
“I’m excited to learn more about agriculture,” Calloni said. “There are no farmers in my family, but we’re surrounded by cornfields.”
Calloni had to pinch herself when her name was announced as the winner. “My first thought was, ‘Am I alive or am I dead right now?’ I feel great, but I know anyone up there would have been deserving. This has been such a great experience, even if I wouldn’t have won.”
Addisyn is a barista at Penny’s Perks in Dowell. She enjoys golfing, baking and spending time with family and friends. She plays the ukulele and the electric guitar for her church.
The top 15 finalists were: Rachel Williams of Warren County; Lydia Lansaw of Green County, Addisyn Calloni of Perry County, Katie Noyd of Henry County, Grace Markovitz of McHenry County, Lauren Woodward of Pike County, Taylor Main of Knox County, Taylor Ferguson of Richland County, Erin Anderson of Iroquois County, Kaylee Phillips of Effingham County, Isabell Rivero of Heart of Illinois Fair in Peoria County, Jersey Hesse of Adams County, Macey Haselton of Shelby County, Karis Hortin of Moultrie-Douglas County and Sydney Geyston of Sangamon County.
Non-finalist awards went to: Alyssa Gellarneau of Lake County, Ruby Crum Memorial Award; Briana Ulmer of Bond County, Best Personal Interview; Hannah Davis of Menard County, Best in Communication Skills; Sara DeGroot of Cass County, Best in Stage Presence; Layni Andrews of Lawrence County, Best in Beauty and Physique competition. Laney Renth of Washington County was the People’s Choice Award Winner.
Earlier at the IAAF annual convention, Talent Show winners were chosen. Winner in the senior division went to Mitchell Galyen with a piano solo; second place went to a dance theater team from Scott County made up of Macy Waters, Avery Wyatt, Kayde Rennecker, Allison Woods, Addie Gwartney, Adyson Davis, Ella Conkright, Carlen Harrison and Alysa Bareis; third place went to Nathaniel Williams of Bond County with a vocal solo; fourth place went to Mikella Cornell of Rock Island County with a dance tap solo; and fifth place went to Quinn Perez of Jersey County with a vocal solo.
In the Junior Division Talent Show, Ella Draege of Marion County was the winner with a vocal solo; second place went to Lilliana Marachioro and Mallory Fox of Sangamon County with a dance contemporary; third place went to Autumn Braxton of McHenry County with a vocal solo; fourth place went to Macy Waters and Avery Wyatt of Calhoun County with a dance jazz duet; and fifth place went to Lily Hickox of Scott County with a dance lyrical.
In total, this year's convention had more than 2,500 in attendance.