Kinzee Wilson named 2020 fair queen

Monday, July 13, 2020 ~ Updated 9:48 AM
Having been crowned before a bigger online audience than in person, Miss Putnam County Kinzee Wilson celebrates her first moments as 2020 Putnam County Fair queen. The daughter of Melissa and Chris Wilson, Kinzee is a 2020 Greencastle High School graduate who is bound for the University of Southern Indiana this fall.
Jessica B. Photography/JESSICA BRIONES

It was a Miss Putnam County contest unlike any other.

What would have seemed a compliment any other year is a stark reality in 2020.

Pandemic … social distancing … small crowd … livestreaming.

However, as different as it was, 2020 Miss Putnam County Kinzee Wilson managed to react in much the same way as so many young women who came before her in a contest dating back to 1958.

She was happy for her fellow competitors, felt blessed to have drawn closer to them and humbled by her selection.

“I was definitely really proud of all the work that we’d put in,” Wilson said. “I was so excited for all the girls.”

With only four contestants, there was no suspense left after emcee Jeff Rich named Mackenzie Miles as first runner-up, leaving Wilson as Miss Putnam County by process of elimination.

However, it took a quick reminder from 2019 Queen Nicole Newgent that Wilson had indeed claimed the crown.

“When watching Mackenzie get crowned, Nicole had tapped me on the back and I thought, ‘Oh wait, I’m Miss Putnam County,’” Wilson told the Banner Graphic. “I was so happy for the other girls that I didn’t even think about that.”

Joining Wilson and Miles on the 2020 court are second runner-up Alexia Nobles and Third Runner-Up Lindsey Hood.

Miles was also named Miss Congeniality.

Joining Miss Putnam County Kinzee Wilson (seated) in the 2020 court are (from left) Miss Congeniality and First Runner-Up Mackenzie Miles, Third Runner-Up Lindsey Hood and Second Runner-Up Alexia Nobles.
Jessica B. Photography/JESSICA BRIONES

The 2020 contest offered a unique chance for the contestants. Not only were there only four of them, all four were Greencastle High School graduates who had spent time as cheerleaders together.

“To be up there with three girls who are now my best friends,” Wilson said. “We went through high school together. We cheered together. And now we did this together without really having planned it.”

It wasn’t all the same as years past, though, as the bonding among the contestants couldn’t start immediately.

“We started out our meetings online, so it was kind of hard at first,” Wilson said. “But as soon as you start meeting in person, that bond grows tremendously and very quickly.”

A 2020 GHS grad, Wilson is the daughter of Melissa and Chris Wilson. She has one younger brother, Keifer.

A 4-H member who is about to complete her 10th year, Wilson has been active in the Horse & Pony Club as well as various community building projects.

She will be attending the University of Southern Indiana in the fall to pursue a degree in elementary education, with the hopes of becoming a kindergarten teacher.

At this point, it remains up in the air exactly what “going to college” is going to look like, ranging from in-person classes to online to various possible combinations.

“As of right now, we’re still going to be moving onto campus and going about with masks on our faces,” Wilson said.

Asked about the limited crowd at the queen contest, Wilson said it wasn’t necessarily all bad.

“I don’t have anything to compare it to, but for me, I was less stressed,” Wilson said. “The people who were there were just there to support us. I didn’t really think about the camera at all. You just focus on the people around you.”

With Noah Poynter doing the filming, it was livestreamed via Facebook, where it remains available for those who missed it live.

“Jeff Rich, our emcee, said, ‘Tonight we had 101 people on our live video,’” Wilson recalled. “You think, wow, that’s a big number when most of those are multiple people watching that screen.”

With a week to prepare for the fair itself, Wilson said one of the main things she’s looking forward to is getting even closer to the other three ladies on the court.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how close the four of us on the court can get through the week,” Wilson said. “My biggest goal is to make someone’s day by giving them a smile even if they can’t see it through the mask. I just want them to know that this isn’t just about us. It’s about being there to support the 4-H’ers.”

List of Putnam County Fair Queens

2020: Kinzee Wilson

2019: Nicole Newgent

2018: Raegan Bowling

2017: Hannah Cunningham

2016: Lauren Johnston

2015: Kristen Stevens

2014: Brittany Birt Pell

2013: Madison Marstellar

2012: Sarah New

2011: Paxton Stephenson Mitchel

2010: Stephanie Berry Alcorn

2009: Chelsea Clark Neier

2008: Cheryl Mitchel Crosby

2007: Tara Thornburg Trent

2006: Jordan Zaring Kean

2005: Tabitha Clifford

2004: Caitlin Taylor Cooper

2003: Brandy Noll Ames

2002: Shelby Neier Cadwell

2001: Lindsey Harwood Roberts

2000: Brianne Rowan

1999: Ashlee Neier Craiger

1998: Kyleen Jensen Bushroe

1997: Jennifer Chestnut Blagg

1996: Joanna Clodfelter Chestman

1995: Joy Albin Rader

1994: Tricia Woodall

1993: Kelly Layton Gerling

1992: Jackie Campbell Miller

1991: Shannon Trout

1990: Tara Regnier Baugh

1989: Jenney Jessup Taylor

1988: Angela Staley Satterfield

1987: Jennifer Quigly Sappenfield Brown

1986: Leanne Mitchem Kirsch

1985: Vanessa Baird Norsworthy

1984: Julie May

1983: Tara Gasaway

1982: Becky Wedemeyer

1981: Sue Nonweiler

1980: Karen Roberts Stoker

1979: Roberta Means

1978: Dixie Keller Turner

1977: Patsy Hall

1976: Janice Smiley

1975: Vicki Maulsby

1974: Rhonda Carter

1973: Linda Everman Carrington

1972: Jenny Summers Richard

1971: Jean Michael

1970: Christy Surber

1969: Vicki Wallace Brewer

1968: Rhonda Sutherlin Richardson Stites

1967: Vicki Judy Steele

1966: Melanie Priest Fasone

1965: Janice Barrett Vanek

1964: Roma Brooks Holt

1963: Carolyn Blue Milner

1962: Pam McKenna Harwood

1961: Nancy Hazel Hammond Baumann

1960: Carol Parker Conner

1959: Diane Gardner

1958: Deanna Goff

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  • The judges did exactly what I feared they would: Picking a 2nd and 3rd runner-up when there was only 4 contestants. They could have spared some feelings by having just one runner-up this year. How would they feel being chosen dead-last? Big mistake in my opinion.

    -- Posted by Ben Dover on Sun, Jul 12, 2020, at 1:37 PM
  • Ben I don't think this group of girls feels that way. They have been friends and cheered several years together. I think all 4 needed the recognition so they are all apart of the fair, as best they can to hand out ribbons and show support to 4h kids.

    -- Posted by mom67 on Sun, Jul 12, 2020, at 6:15 PM
  • The judges were probably instructed on how many places to award. Also, if Miss Congeniality wasn’t the queen or first runner-up, that would make 3 on the court and totally leave one girl out. Just too bad that we have so few girls participating in the contest each year. Other counties have lots more girls in their contests than Putnam County does.

    -- Posted by howsthishappen on Mon, Jul 13, 2020, at 12:29 AM
  • Congratulations to all the girls!

    -- Posted by Queen53 on Mon, Jul 13, 2020, at 9:46 AM
  • Ben.....Can't you just be happy for these girls. Stop being so negative and heartless.

    -- Posted by Queen53 on Mon, Jul 13, 2020, at 2:54 PM
  • @Ben--you must be the result when "participation trophies" were given to everyone.

    "when there was only 4 contestants". It should read, "when there were. . "

    -- Posted by donantonio on Mon, Jul 13, 2020, at 3:55 PM
  • Queenie: Negative and heartless? I'm trying to stick up for the unfortunate girl who apparently finished last in the voting! And weren't you the one who said "why bother" having a contest with 4 contestants?

    -- Posted by Ben Dover on Mon, Jul 13, 2020, at 9:20 PM
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