Of the many perks that come a fair queen's way, free French fries might be hard to top.
"Cullers fries: I get them for life," SHELBY SIMMONS said. "All I have to do is show them my bracelet at any fair I'm at."
Simmons was named 2014 Miss Fisher Fair Queen on Tuesday night. A day later, she still looked the part.
"I thought about sleeping with my crown on," the recent St. Joseph-Ogden High grad said. "Then I got worried that I might bend it, so I took it off. But it was back on at 5 a.m."
As fair queen, Simmons will spend the rest of the week wearing the crown — and many hats. She'll hand out prizes, announce competitions and mingle with the cotton candy crowd. It's something she had dreamed of since working as a stagehand alongside her mom at the 2011 Champaign County Fair.
"I saw what it was like," she said. "It became my ultimate goal."
Her next stop: the Miss Illinois County Fair competition in January. There, she'll be introduced as a fair queen, not as an all-state volleyball player. A hard-hitting star at SJ-O, Simmons won't play volleyball in college (the 18-year-old begins Parkland Pathway to Illinois in August).
"Last night kind of closed the chapter on that part of my life," Simmons said. "And it opened a new chapter."