AUGUSTA, NJ - On Saturday, August 1, Sparta’s Aimee Buchanan was named the 2015 Queen of the Fair at the New Jersey State Fair - Sussex County Farm and Horse Show.

Miss Sandyston Aliena Hull was the first runner up, Miss Newton Amelia Macchietto was second runner-up, and the People’s Choice Award went to Miss Franklin Jennifer Slater.

On the night of the pageant, all 20 contestants gave answers to the question, “Why do you want to be Queen of the Fair?” On stage, wearing a pink dress from Enelda’s Happy Brides in Lake Mohawk, Buchanan answered the question in three parts.  

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“First,” said Buchanan, “the title of Queen gives a girl the opportunity to really make people smile, to make them feel special. For me, that’s truly beautiful.”

Second, Buchanan said she would be “humbled to represent the 19 other girls”, and lastly, she hoped to be queen so that she could advocate for causes she believes in and make the community a better place.

Her commitment to community involvement was very apparent at Sparta High School, from which she recently graduated. There, she founded the Feminist Book Club and Mock Trial. She is also a member of the National Honors Society. Buchanan was heavily involved in the high school’s theatre program – playing lead roles in her junior and senior year, as well as directing highly successful shows. 

Buchanan’s passion for community service and involvement grew and strengthened alongside her love of acting. She was able to combine the two through developing the play Defined Lines with DASI and performing it at the fair last year to educate youth in Sussex County about teen dating violence. She also works with the NYC based theatre company Girl Be Heard, where she has created shows to provide education about women’s issues.

 “I am at the fair everyday from ten in the morning until ten at night” says the new queen. She makes appearances at the many different events held throughout the day, and is especially looking forward to the “Through the Decades” Fashion Show on Wednesday. The show will welcome back former queens, including the 1936 Queen of the Fair, whom Buchanan is honored to walk down the runway.

When asked how it feels to be queen, she replies in that bubbly, happy voice that is very distinctly Aimee, “it’s very rewarding. I’m thrilled to be able to meet new people, and put a smile on others’ faces. It’s a fantastic opportunity.”

Buchanan will be attending Drew University in the fall on a community service based scholarship, with plans to study Theatre Arts and History. 

Editors Note: Bridget Higdon is a Sparta High School TAP into Intern.  At SHS she is an AP English student and editor of the school literary magazie Beginnings.