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CHAMPAIGN — Carson Robinson said her favorite thing to do each summer is watch the tractor pull at the Champaign County Fair.

This year, the Sidney woman will be presenting awards to the winners.

On Sunday afternoon, Robinson, 19, was crowned the 2019 Champaign County Fair Queen by the 2018 queen, Gracyn Allen, at The City Center in Champaign.

“Not only do I want to be an ambassador for our county, but I want to show our county a different, unique and determined queen,” Robinson said.

She was actually a multiple winner. In addition to earning the tiara, Robinson also won Miss Congeniality, the People’s Choice Award and the Communications Award.

The daughter of Jim and Denise Robinson of Sidney said she was surprised when her name as called out as the new queen.

“I thought, oh my God, I can’t believe this is happening,” she said. “I am so excited.”

What was the most challenging part of Sunday’s pageant for her?

“Probably the swimsuit competition, since I am sometimes very self-conscious,” she said. “It was a challenge standing in front of everyone with my butt on the back.”

The Sidney woman wore a coral bathing suit and a navy blue evening gown with sparkles.

The Unity High School graduate is currently a sophomore at Parkland College, where she is studying agriculture education.

“I want to become an ag teacher,” she said. “Farming is a tradition in my family. My grandparents have a farm.

“My grandpa is one of the great inspirations to my life. Not only is he a hard worker, but he puts his family first. He pushed me to become the best version of myself.”

A self-described “outdoor girl,” Robinson said her hobbies are shopping, hunting and fishing.

One of her goals over the coming year is to increase fundraising for the fair by seeking out new sponsors.

The theme of her pageant speech was doing “what you can with what you have where you are at.”

“All across the Midwest, including our very own Champaign County, farmers have struggled daily with planting options, varying from planting only corn to planting nothing at all,” she said.

Robinson said farmers’ decisions affect everybody.

“Where does your food come from? Farming. Where does your fuel come from? Farming. And where to the fibers that make up this very suit I am wearing come from? You guessed it — farming,” she said. “Farming is a way of life for both you and me, whether you put the seed in the ground or simply benefit from the food, fuel and fibers.”

She said Sunday’s pageant was unforgettable for her.

“It has been such a good experience from day one,” she said. “All of these girls have become friends to me, and that is the most important part.”

What is her advice to young girls who aspire to become a county fair queen?

“Challenge yourself,” Robinson said. “You’ll never know what is going to happen.”

Spencer McFarland, 7, of Champaign, was crowned the 2019 Little Miss Champaign County Fair.


Tim Mitchell is a reporter at The News-Gazette. His email is, and you can follow him on Twitter (@mitchell6).