On Saturday, Aug. 14, members of the community gathered together at the Cottage Event Center in Roanoke for the 2021 Miss Roanoke Fall Festival Scholarship Pageant, where the Roanoke Fall Festival Queen was crowned.
This pageant marked the first time that a Roanoke Fall Festival Queen was crowned since 1976, when Nancy Lutz was crowned the winner. Of the three contestants for 2021 - which were Addison Dennis, Jordan Hofmann and Christine Niccum - it was Hofmann that took the crown for the evening. Dennis took first runner-up and Niccum took second runner-up.
The pageant was emceed by Corynn Barton, who was named Miss Queen of the Lakes earlier this summer. Barton is a Huntington North High School graduate and currently attends Huntington University.
The pageant started with a parade of contestants and a sponsor recognition, during which each of the three contestants wore a costume that represented their sponsors.
Dennis, who was sponsored by Dennis Grain Company, Inc., wore an outfit fit for the farm, and rode to the stage on a small pedal tractor. She spoke of the impact that the company has had on her life and the background of the five-generation farm.
“Farmers truly feed the world,” Dennis said. “And without them, our world would be in shambles. I am so blessed to come from the background that is agriculture and cannot wait to extend the legacy that is Dennis grain.”
Contestant number two, Hofmann, was sponsored by Andrews Community Helpers. Hofmann shared that she had been involved with the organization for much of her life, helping with several different projects and volunteering with her mother over her childhood. She wore a denim shirt with painted hand-prints on it, to display the helping hands of Andrews Community Helpers.
“Most recently, we assisted four families who suffered from a fire in their apartment complex,” Hofmann recalled. “We assisted them with clothes and home goods to help them get back on their feet.
Niccum, who was sponsored by the Parkview Boys & Girls Club of Huntington County, spoke of how the organization creates world-ready students. She wore a blue Boys & Girls Club shirt.
“The Boys & Girls Club is where children belong,” Niccum said. “At the club, world citizens are made by instilling values of respect toward the environment and onto others.”
The next portion of the pageant featured professional wear, in which the contestants modeled business attire that would be worn for their future career ambitions. While contestants modeled their outfits, contestants recited a short description of their chosen career field.
Dennis will be attending Ball State University to study nursing. She plans to become a nurse practitioner with the specialty of pediatrics or family medicine.
Hofmann plans to become a financial advisor to help people prepare savings for their children and retirement goals. She is currently attending Purdue University Fort Wayne, studying financing.
Niccum desires to be a school social worker, working with children that have disabilities. She is a Huntington University student, studying social work.
The next portion of the pageant featured an evening gown competition. During this portion of the competition, the contestants drew a random question from a basket and were asked to answer on the spot.
Dennis, who was asked about a quality she possessed that she would pass on to younger generations, stated that she would pass on her ability to speak to people face-to-face.
“So many times these days, I feel like social media and phones have taken over and you really can’t talk to someone face-to-face anymore,” Dennis said. “So many of these kids just want to text or FaceTime, but I think it’s really important to be able to talk to somebody, and that is definitely the quality that I would want to pass down from myself to future generations.”
Hofmann was asked to share advice to a younger girl that will one day compete in the Roanoke Fall Festival Pageant.
“The advice I would give to a younger girl . . . would be, not to do it for the money, or the crown, but to do it to network with the fellow girls you’re competing with, and do it to have fun,” Hofmann said.
Niccum was asked to share what motivates her to do her best in life.
“What motivates me to do my best is the fact that I need to keep going,” Niccum said. “If I keep going, then I know that something great is going to be at the end.”
Judges for the evening were Leanne Center, Taylor Martin and Hope Turcheck.
Hofmann, being the evening’s winner, will now compete in the Indiana State Festival Association Scholarship pageant in November of this year.
The Queen will preside over the Roanoke Fall Festival, which will take place Sept. 9 through 11.