Ibberson, Hunt, Carriker named county royalty
By Eric Becker
CARLINVILLE (July 5, 2018) – It was a bit warmer than probably most would prefer, but at least the rain stayed away.
The backdrop of the 60th annual Macoupin County Fair pageant Wednesday night included three newly crowned pageant winners for Miss Macoupin County, Junior Miss Macoupin County, and Little Miss Macoupin County.
A total of 41 competed in the three pageants, with Virden native Anni Ibberson, daughter of Jim and LouAnn Ibberson of Virden, being crowned Miss Macoupin County, 2018.
She is a 2017 graduate of North Mac High School and was overwhelmed when her name was called of the final two, outlasting Maya Marcacci, daughter of Mike and Susan Marcacci of Benld.
Last year, Ibberson was first runner-up to Colleen Nichols of Girard. This time around, she got one step further and became county queen.
“I didn’t believe it,” said Ibberson. “It feels great and I’m happy to represent my county.”
Ibberson wants to make herself known to the communities and the area.
“We’re going to go to lots of pageants and parades coming up,” Ibberson said. “State is coming up in mid-January so that will be here closer than I know.”
Self-confidence and making friends were two of the big things taken away by the pageant for Ibberson.
“We learn so much about ourself and you make a lot of friends,” Ibberson said. “Getting the confidence to being on stage and learning about yourself and each other. I’m very excited the judges chose me.”
Finishing second runner-up was Nina Moutrie of Gillespie, daughter of Donna Schmid and John Moutrie. She was one of the crowd’s favorite judging from the applause. Third runner-up went to Malissa Huddleston, daughter of Ken and Lisa Huddleston of Staunton.
Alexandra Casey, granddaughter of John R. Henry of Plainview, was fourth-runner up, and Mikka Davis, daughter of Diane Combs and Mark Davis of Carlinville, was voted Miss Congeniality.
Also competing were Taylor Daughtery, daughter of David and Carrie Daughtery of Carlinville; Madalynn Robinette, daughter of Bart and Monica Robinette of Girard and Patricia Walch, daughter of Ryan and Debbie Walch of Atwater.
Ibberson also answered two on-stage questions, including what she would do to gaining improvements/sponsorships for the fair.
“As the Macoupin County Fair Queen, we’re the advocate for Macoupin County,” Ibberson said. “We can go around to small businesses around Macoupin County and ask for donations and sponsorships. Macoupin County is such a close-knit county that we support each other very well.”
Her random question asked how women (only five percent currently) can close the gender gap for being the heads of Fortune 500 companies.
“As women, we’re intelligent, we’re beautiful and we’re talented,” Ibberson said. “That five percent represents the women who are reaching those goals. If women decide to run for CEO, they definitely can reach that gap.”
Of the 13 competing for the Junior Miss Macoupin County title, it came down to Ryleigh Hunt and Alissa Bennett as the two finalists.
Hunt would capture the title with Bennett selected as first runner-up. Hunt is the daughter of Michelle and David Chingman and Dustin Hunt of Carlinville. Bennett is the daughter of Matt and Jodi Bennett of Atwater.
The second runner-up would be Amelia Howell, the daughter of Brandon and Jennifer Howell of Girard. Third-runner-up was Acadia Dyer, daughter of Wally and Michelle Dyer of Carlinville.
Fourth-runner up was Makenna Lutz, daughter of Janey Boehler and Jason Lutz of Girard.
Chloe Velasquez was selected as Miss Congeniality for the Junior Miss Macoupin County pageant.
Also competing included Avery Boatman, daughter of Emily and Travis Accord of Carlinville; Clara Boyette, daughter of Casey and Sarah Boyette of Carlinville; Alyssa Carriker, daughter of Brad and Amber Carriker of Standard City; Claire Eccles, daughter of Chris and Katie Eccles of Gillespie; Cassie Loftis, daughter of Danny and Julie Loftis of Virden; Madeline Lowrance, daughter of Jamie Lowrance and Dale Lowrance of Carlinville; and Brilee Meyers, daughter of Rex and Angela Meyers of Carlinville.
There was even more competition in the Little Miss Macoupin County, where out of 19 contestants, Molly Carriker was selected as Little Miss Macoupin County for 2018. She is the daughter of Brad and Amber Carriker of Carlinville.
First runner-up was Claire Vinyard, daughter of BJ and Ashley Vinyard of Carlinville. Second runner-up was Taylor Harding, daughter of Sam and Krissy Harding of Carlinville.
Third runner-up was Madalyn Beasley, daughter of Alex Beasley and Ashli Bell of Shipman. Most raffle tickets were collected by Ashlynn Gooding, daughter of Danika Pratt of Carlinville.
Others competing included Shalyee Cooper, daughter of William Cooper of Benld; Jenna Barger, daughter of Brian Breeden and Sarah Lake of Virden; Jaydin Laurent, daughter of Steven Laurent and Matyka Inman of Mt. Olive; Lydia Lowry, daughter of Kyle and Deanna Lowry of Gillespie; Brynlee Clevenger, daughter of Jasen and Lauren Clevenger of Hettick; Lidiya Ribble, daughter of Dusty and Kara Ribble of Hettick; Saylor Nicholson, daughter of Steve and Katie Nicholson of Carlinville; Shelby Lehman, daughter of Larry Lehman and April Ewin of Gillespie; Addyson Gulley, daughter of Nathan and Nicole Narup and Ross Gulley of Staunton; Sylvie Motsinger, daughter of Alex and Rachel Motsinger of Brighton; Elleighna Burgess, daughter of Jason and Amanda Burgess of Girard; Kinzie Haulk, daughter of Matt and Jessie Haulk of Carlinville; Brooklyn Wood, daughter of Chris and Becca Wood of Brighton and Avielle Spudich, daughter of Derek and Heather Spudich of Staunton.
This was the 60th anniversary of the Miss Macoupin County Pageant; 11th annual Junior Miss Macoupin County Pageant and 35th annual Little Miss Pageant.
Several past county fair queens returned and were recognized at the pageant Wednesday night.
Among those returning were Hannah Ruffatto of Plainview; (2016 Miss and 2010 Jr. Miss); Miranda Bearden of Virden (2015 Miss); Madalyn Rogers of Carlinville (2009 Jr. Miss, 2014 Miss); Kimmy Dworzynski of Carlinville (2013 Miss); Kate Scheller of Mt. Olive (2011 Miss); Hilary Garner-Lutz of Virden (2007 Miss); Whitney Clagg of Palmyra (2005 Miss); Ashley Gibbel of Carlinville (2003 Miss); Erica Pompeo of Girard (2001 Miss); Kristi Fox of Girard (1991 Miss); Jane Evans of Virden (1979 Miss) and Carla McNaught of Girard (1971 Miss).
It was an emotional farewell for the reigning 2017 Macoupin County queens – Nichols, Braylee Gillmore of Carlinville and Lyla Brown of Carlinville.
All three spoke highly of the others as they gathered one last day after 353 days representing the county and taking great pride in the county fair scene.
“I’ve been around this fair since I was born,” said Gillmore. “Going around to all of the fairs, I still have to say the oldest county fair in Illinois, this one, is the one I love most and am proud to call Macoupin County my home.”
Nichols took pride in everything that transpired in the past year and the friendships that were made.
“I have been able to pack in so many great memories and adventures into that year that I will carry on with me for the rest of my life,” Nichols said. “We may not have been the most conventional bunch of county queens, but I know for a fact we had the most fun. I will forever cherish all the laughs that we made until we cried or snorted. I will miss you blondies more than anything.”
They are, and always will be, the 2017 Little Miss, Junior Miss and Miss Macoupin County Fair Queens.
Little Miss Macoupin County 2018, Molly Carriker, Miss Macoupin County Anni Ibberson and Junior Miss Macoupin County Ryleigh Hunt were crowned queens Wednesday night at the Macoupin County Fairgrounds grandstand.
Ryleigh Hunt appears shocked as she discovers she is the Junior Miss Macoupin County queen, edging out Alissa Bennett, at left, for the crown.
Molly Carriker stares into the audience after being named the Little Miss Macoupin County Fair Pageant queen Wednesday night.
The retiring county queens, Colleen Nichols, Lyla Brown and Braylee Gillmore welcome the audience to the county fair pageant Wednesday night.
Little Miss Macoupin County contestants Madalyn Beasley, Jenna Barger and Shaylee Cooper wave to the audience during the opening ceremonies.