Although Madelein Harris has been to pageants in the past, the Miss Hardin County Fair Pageant on Monday night at the Hardin County Community Fair & Horse Show was her debut on the stage as a contestant.

She made the most of the opportunity when she was crowned the 2019 Miss Hardin County Fair.

“I started crying. I did not expect that at all,’’ she said. “I am shocked. I am so grateful and so happy and so excited.”

Harris, 18, daughter of Marla and Marlon Harris of Rineyville, received numerous hugs and cheers from family and friends after she was crowned. Harris said she was nervous and excited entering in her first pageant. She said she made the decision to participate in the contest while at a salon with her mom.

Harris said a pageant coach who works at the salon encouraged her to participate.

“I thought it was something different to do. So I did it, and here I am,” she said, excitement in her voice.

A recent graduate of North Hardin High School, Harris will attend Western Kentucky University next month where she will study early childhood education.

Harris was one of 14 girls competing in this year’s pageant.

Aneisha Cox of Vine Grove was selected as first runner-up and second runner-up went to Carly Brown of Cecilia.

Cox also won the Miss Congeniality award. The People’s Choice award went to Kaitlyn Pike of Elizabethtown, while Miss Photo­genic went to Sheridan Elmore of Elizabethtown.

Harris now will compete against about 90 other contestants in the running for the state crown and will represent the county at a number of community events through the next year.

Harris was sponsored by Jamie Lucas and Beka Ballard, Jme & Co. Salon.

Mary Alford can be reached at 270-505-1741 or malford@thenewsenterprise.com.

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