Carbon County Fair is looking for young women to participate in the 2012 Queen Program.

Contestants must reside in Carbon County or West Penn Township (Schuylkill County) and be a female between 14 and 17 years of age by Aug. 7, 2012. This is not a beauty contest. Contestants will be judged on an essay, personal interview and speech presentation.

Madeline Ligenza, pageant coordinator, said judges look for the candidate who they believe will best represent the fair, while effectively promoting agriculture.

The 2012 queen will be crowned during the opening ceremony of the fair, at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 7. At the completion of the queen's reign, a check will be given to each finalist.

Applications are available at www.carboncountyfair.com [1] or by calling Ligenza at (570) 325-3912. Applications must be postmarked by May 15.

Last year's fair queen was Kalyn Lehr, daughter of Linda and William Lehr of Lehighton. She attends Palmerton Area High School. She participates in the Palmerton Community Band, where she plays several instruments, and is involved in chorus, and Girl Scouts. She is a member of Palmerton Against Animal Cruelty. She enjoys music, hunting, fishing and reading.

The 2011 first runner up was Maura Kelly of Weatherly, daughter of Pat and Kevin Kelly. She attends Weatherly Area High School and dances with Fabergé Follies, Hazleton. Kelly plays flute with the Weatherly Band and volunteers at her church picnic. She is a member of Science Olympiad and Carbon County Envirothon. She enjoys dancing, reading, friends and shopping.

The Carbon County Fair will be held Aug. 7-11 in Palmerton.