Mercer County once again kicked off “June is Dairy Month’ by crowning the new Mercer County Dairy Princess on May 17 at the Leslie N. Firth Environmental Center, Mercer.
The evening’s festivities began with a Cow-Tail hosted by Jocelyn Snyder, the 2017-18 Mercer County Dairy Princess. She is a daughter of Paula Snyder, Greenville, and the late Todd Snyder. Everyone in attendance enjoyed milk, cheese and crackers and got a chance to mingle with the contestants. Then all enjoyed a sit-down banquet before the coronation.
The contestants vying for the crown met for interviews with the judges, performed a skit, presented a speech and answered an impromptu question before the audience. Christa Ealy, the 2018-19 Mercer County Dairy princess, daughter of Dan and Sherry Ealy, of Mercer, crowned her successor, Rebekah Leise, the 2019-20 Mercer Dairy Princess.
Rebekah is the 17-year-old daughter of Peter Leise of Transfer and the late Elaine Hill Leise. She attends Reynolds Junior-Senior High School.
The other two contestants in this year’s pageant were Emma Devine, daughter of John and Diane Devine, of Sharpsville, and Hannah Sturgin, daughter of Raymond and Paula Sturgin, of Fredonia. These two girls will serve as 2019-20 Mercer County Alternate Dairy Princesses on the court. They will travel and help promote the Dairy Industry throughout Mercer County.
Participating in this year’s pageant were the Dairy Darlings from age 5 to 8. McKinleigh Mase is the daughter of Garrett and Maggie Mase of Cochranton. She read from a dairy-related book. The other Dairy Darling is Anna Brownlee, daughter of Bill and Lynde Brownlee of Transfer. She and her older sisters preformed a dairy-related skit.
The Dairy Delights, ages 9 to12, did a dairy-related skit or presentation. They are Lydia Hill, daughter of Troy and Michelle Hill of Sandy lake; Makenna Mase, daughter of Garrett and Maggie Mase of Cochranton; Abby, Grace and Ruth Brownlee, daughters of Bill and Lynde Brownlee of Transfer; and Katelyn and Grace Kaufman, daughters of Paul and Brandy Kauffman of Greenville.
The Dairy Maids, ages 13 to15, presented a dairy-related speech. They are Callie Whiting, daughter of Maggie Whiting of Pulaski; Alexis Friedl, daughter of Mike Friedl and Lynn Visniesky of Jackson Center; Kallie Prinkey, daughter of Kevin and Carrie Prinkey of Hermitage, and Ava Pruskowski, daughter of Jason and Shannon Pruskowski of Sandy Lake.
The Dairy Ambassador presented a slide show on the dairy industry. She is a daughter of Dan and Kristine Riley of Greenville.
The Mistress of Ceremonies was Lena Aiken of West Middlesex.
Judges for the evening were Cindy Szymanski of Waterford; Amy Leslie of Butler and Ashley Dunlap of Grove City.
The flower presenter for the evening was Piper Williams, daughter of Jason and Nikki Williams of Hadley.