WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP | Britta Ringas, 20, of Chesterton, was crowned the 54th Miss Porter County Fair at the fair’s pageant Friday evening.
Ringas, an apparel merchandising major at Indiana University, accepted the honor in a sparkling champagne-colored evening gown from outgoing fair queen Katelyn Marak.
Ringas first appeared on the stage in “hobby attire” dressed in martial arts garb and demonstrating a karate kick, and later, in “professional wear,” described herself as being “hardworking, driven and easygoing.”
The pageant’s first runner-up was Katelyn Malone, of Valparaiso, while Katie Waltz, of Chesterton, took second runner-up. Waltz was also Miss Photogenic, and Allison McAloon, of Chesterton, was Miss Congeniality.
The 10 young women in the contest were judged on poise, personality and the ability to converse, and had previously undergone individual interviews with the pageant judges.
After walking the stage in their evening gowns, the contestants were asked what three places at the fair they would take a visitor.
Ringas said one place she would take a visitor is to the 4-H building.
“The 4-H'ers do a lot of work all year,” said Ringas. “They should get some props for all the work they do.”
In her farewell speech, Marak, who was second runner-up in the 2012 Indiana State Fair queen pageant, tearfully thanked the Porter County Fair board and administration, and her family and friends.
“I’ve grown up in Porter County, and I’ve never had an experience like I’ve had this last year,” said Marak. “Everyone has been so welcoming with open arms.”
Marak had a special message for the young contestants, just before her successor was crowned.
“My knowledge to each and every one of you ... regardless of what happens in the next 15 minutes ... you are someone’s Miss Porter County. You are someone who can make a difference.”
Ringas is the daughter of James and Tamara Ringas, and was sponsored by Porter County Pet Clinic. She will represent Porter County at the Indiana State Fair Queen Pageant Aug. 16, where she will vie against more than 80 contestants from around the state.