Former Lamar Fair queens will be introduced tonight during the Fair Queen Contest, which will kick off the annual Lamar Free Fair.
Among those will be KODE News Assignment Editor Leisha (Maupin) Beard, who was crowned 20 years ago (it certainly doesn't seem like two decades have passed).
I remember that contest well since it was one of 16 I covered while working for the Lamar Democrat and Carthage Press. I always tried to guess who the queen was going to be so I could get a reaction shot when the name was announced.
At that time, the Ladies of Rotary, who are in charge of the event, made that task difficult. The finalists were not on stage. All contestants were seated, half of them on side of what was then the high school gymnasium and the other half on the opposite side.
I pegged Leisha as the winner, snapped the camera when her name was called by master of ceremonies Edison Kaderly...and unfortunately, as was usually the case in those days, the picture was out of focus.
We ended up using the traditional posed picture of the queen, taken after the coronation ceremony. Congratulations to Leisha and the other former queens who will be honored tonight and best of luck to the 30 contestants for this year's crown.