Westmoreland Fair queen hails from New Florence
The phrase “third time is a charm” rings true for Hattie Henderson of New Florence who was crowned queen of the 59th Westmoreland Fair on Friday. She was named princess in 2011 and was first runner-up in 2012.
“I think that my being in the contest before helped me a lot,” Henderson said. “I think that the experience of being in it prior to my winning will help me to be a better fair queen.”
Henderson, 18, has been an active part of the fair for many years, showing horses, goats, chickens and lambs. The experience is one that is shared by the entire family, who camps out at the fair for the week every year.
Henderson is the daughter of Carol and Randy Henderson and a graduate of the Achievement House Cyber School. She is attending Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus, were she is seeking a dual major in animal sciences and agriculture business management.
“Most families plan their summer vacations to go to the beach,” said her mother. “We plan ours to stay at the fair.”
Henderson was a standout in the competition for fair queen because of her passion and her presentation, according to the judges.
“She was just so poised,” said judge Jason Probst of Mt. Pleasant Township. “She was confident and poised and she was so sincere.”
For now, Henderson plans to enjoy her new reign, and is thrilled to have seen a long time dream come true.
“I wanted to be the fair queen for as long as I can remember,” Henderson said, adding that she plans to use her new title to all that she can to promote agriculture and the fair itself.” “I have enjoyed coming to the fair for many years and I am so happy that now I have the opportunity to give back.”
Touched by the story of Jessica Rekos, a 6-year-old girl who was killed at the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting who was known for her love of horses, Henderson is collecting new and used children's books about horses and farm animals to donate in Jessica's memory to various Westmoreland County children's organizations.
“I have already collected between 150 to 200 books,” Henderson said. “There has been a lot of interest.”
Henderson said she looks forward to her week at the fair and being an active representative for agriculture in the area.
“I'd like to be able to go to schools and talk to kids about agriculture and about the fair, and I plan to do that when I can.” Henderson said.
Henderson competed in a field of 12 for the title. Her mother said a large cheering section was on hand to support Henderson. They were thrilled when Henderson's name was announced.
“I cried,” said Carol Henderson. “We all cried — aunts, uncles, family and friends. I don't think that there was a dry eye among us.”
In addition to tending to her animals, Henderson stays busy with other activities and hobbies including square dancing, sewing and quilting.
Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.