Kristi Rodgers of Jim Thorpe, the 2009 Carbon County Fair Queen, had an exciting year representing the fair through her participation in various parades, appearances and radio interviews. The 2010 Carbon County Fair Queen Contest is now under way.

To participate in the contest, contestants must reside in Carbon County or West Penn Township (of Schuylkill County) and be a female at least 16 years of age, but not over 20 years of age by June 1.

Contestants will be judged based on an essay, personal interview and speech presentation. Madeline Ligenza, pageant coordinator of the fair association, noted that the judges are looking for the candidate who they feel can best represent the fair, while effectively promoting agriculture. She emphasized that the fair is about the youth and this is one way of keeping teens involved in the county fair.

Prospective contestants can e-mail the fair at or call (570) 325-3912 for more information or an application. Additional information regarding the pageant is also available from each high school guidance counselor's office. It can also be found on the fair's Web site at Application deadline is May 29. There is a small non-refundable application fee to enter; although, obtaining a sponsor to defray this cost is encouraged.

The winner will be crowned during the opening ceremony of the Carbon County Fair at 4 p.m. on Aug. 11. In addition, a trophy and sash will be presented. The first and second runners-up will also receive a trophy. At the completion of the queen's reign, a check will be presented to each of the three finalists.

The fair will be held on Aug. 11-15, on Little Gap Road in Palmerton. For more information, visit the Web site listed above.