This year, 11 girls are vying for the role

NORTH COUNTY — The Miss California Mid-State Fair Pageant will return for its 54th year on Wednesday, July 17, which also happens to be opening day for the California Mid-State Fair. The pageant, always a crowd-pleaser, will unfold on the Frontier Stage at 6 p.m. 

All 11 contestants will participate in an interview asking what they would change or add to make the fair a better experience, their talent, evening gown, and a final question regarding their fair proposal.

This year, there are new scholarship amounts. The crowned queen will receive $2,500, while first runner-up will receive $1,000, and second runner-up will receive $500. In addition, Miss Congeniality will receive $250, and the winners of the interview and talent sections will receive $100.


Paso Robles Press asked this year’s contestants a few questions. Here are their answers:

Neelan Adams, 17

School graduated from: Designs School of Cosmetology

Talent: Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” in American Sign Language

Favorite thing about the fair: Looking at the Home Arts Exhibits

Movie I could watch over and over: “Dirty Dancing”

Hailey Terrell, 17

School graduated from/headed to next:  In the fall, I will be a senior at Atascadero High School. 

Talent: I will be doing a speech on the care and management of a dairy goat herd. The name of my talent is, “All Things Goaty.” 

Favorite thing about the fair: Since I was 5 years old, I have shown both small and large animals at the California Mid-State Fair. I started off showing my rabbit, named Jewels, but soon moved my way up to showing sheep, goats, and swine at the fair. Each year I look forward to showing my hard work that I have put into my market animals with others. 

Movie I could watch over and over: A movie that I could watch over and over is “Secretariat.”  Not only does this movie demonstrate that is doesn’t matter where you come from, but instead, where you end up, it also teaches a lesson about heart.

Kiana Keogh, 17 

School graduated from/headed to next: In the fall, I will be attending my senior year at Paso Robles High School.

Talent in the pageant: My talent is a brief description on livestock judging.

Favorite thing about the fair: My favorite thing about the fair is showing livestock.

Movie you could watch over and over: “50 First Dates,” with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. 

Samantha Hoffman, 19

School graduated from/headed to next: I will be attending Cuesta College in the fall, majoring in welding. 

Talent in the pageant: My talent in the pageant is called Clowning Around. I will be making and showing variousanimals and objects out of balloons while telling some family-friendly jokes. 

Favorite thing about the fair: My favorite thing about the fair is the livestock, and being able to reconnect with friends I’ve made over the years while showing at the fair. 

Movie you could watch over and over: “Cars” from Disney

Megan Pagnini, 18

School graduated from/headed to next: In the fall, I will be a sophomore at The University of Arizona. 

Talent in the pageant: I will be singing “Wide Open Spaces” by The Chicks. 

Favorite thing about the fair: Choosing just one thing is so difficult, but I love that the fair brings people from all over California together. 

Movie you could watch over and over: “Legally Blonde,” because girl power.

Vanessa Pinedo, 18

School graduated from/headed to next: In the fall, I will be a sophomore at Cuesta College.

Talent in the pageant: My talent for the pageant is a traditional Folklorico dance style, Jalisco.

Favorite thing about the fair: My favorite thing about the fair is getting to watch all the amazing kids show their livestock animals.

Movie you could watch over and over: “Ratatouille.” It is a movie I have loved ever since I was a kid. It reminds me to always be imaginative and attempt things you may not always think might work out.

Come back next week to hear from the other five contestants of the Miss California Mid-State Fair Pageant.

Feature Image: This year’s Miss California Mid-State Fair Pageant contests are (from left) Chelsea Hoyt, Hailey Terrell, Bailey Van Huss, Ashlee Holt, Neelan Adams, Samatha Hoffman, Logan Rutherford, Megan Pagnini, Emily McNeal, Kiana Keogh, and Venessa Pinedo. Photo provided by the Miss California Mid-State Fair Pageant.