McKean County Fair Queen Gretchen Henneman recently placed in the top five for Miss Pennsylvania State Fair Queen.

Miss McKean County, Gretchen Henneman recently placed in the top five for 2020 Pennsylvania Fair Queen in Hershey at the Pennsylvania State Fair Association Convention. During the contest, the Bradford Area High School student participated in a series of interviews, a speech competition and an evening gown competition with 59 other contestants, who were evaluated based on public speaking skills, personality, knowledge of the fair and agriculture industries, and poise and presence.

“It was an extreme honor to be chosen as my county’s representative for the Pennsylvania State Fair Queen Competition,” noted Henneman.

She said she initially became interested in competing after watching the Miss Bradford competition at her school her sophomore year.

“I decided to compete my junior year and was encouraged by friends and family to take part,” explained Henneman. “I competed for the title of Miss Bradford and was awarded the title — a journey that I will never forget.

“I truly believe you can have the heart and personality a fair queen should have whether you are wearing the crown or not,” said Henneman, when asked if she had any tips for aspiring fair queens. “You can do this by treating everyone you meet with respect and working hard in all you do.”

She went on to say that she believes the fear of failure shouldn’t prevent anyone from trying something new or following a new passion, as she was initially nervous to run for Miss Bradford.

“I am so thankful I did because it has rewarded me with an unforgettable and successful journey,” Henneman noted.

Other suggestions she shared were becoming involved in the McKean County Fair and the fair queen program, as well as involvement in extracurriculars because “you never know who you will have the pleasure of meeting and the journey it will take you on or prepare you for.”

As for the future, she has her sights set on furthering her academic and personal career in music.

“I plan to further my academic career through college studying musical theatre,” she said. “I am currently auditioning for universities. I dream to perform professionally and to keep my passion for theatre and for music a part of my everyday career.”