Altadonna crowned fair queen; Halleran is Little Miss

Pictured is 2014 Little Miss Erin Halleran with 2014 Monroe County Fair Queen Jessica Altadonna. For more photos, turn to page 8A and visit online at (Alan Dooley photo)

Erin Halleran, daughter of Amy and Jim Halleran of Red Bud, was crowned Little Miss. And to cap off the night, Jessica Altadonna, daughter of Kelle Altadonna of Waterloo, was crowned Miss Monroe County Fair. First runner-up was Gina Kowalczyk, second runner-up was Rachel Rheinecker, and Miss Congeniality was Alexis Villarreal.

Halleran is making Monroe County royalty a family legacy as her mom, Amy (Brandt) Halleran, was a Little Miss herself in 1986 to Fair Queen Lori Kealy. And with the crowning of Altadonna, the pageant has its first repeat – Altadonna was the 2001 Little Miss to Fair Queen Jane Schlafly.

“It means a lot to me to be the first Little Miss and Queen. It was a great experience whenever I was Little Miss with Queen Jane and I am overjoyed that I can represent Monroe County again, this time as a more mature young woman,” Altadonna said.

Sunday night’s gorgeous weather could only be upstaged by the 16 beautiful, poised young girls and women who bravely stood in front of the nearly full main grandstand of cheering admirers, answering questions and giving speeches. And at the end of the picture perfect evening, two young ladies, beautiful inside and out, were selected to represent Monroe County at events throughout fair week.

“I am most looking forward to the steer judging, because that is my greatest memory from being Little Miss,” Altadonna, a recent graduate of Gibault, said Tuesday. “As we awarded one of the steers, it sneezed, and since I was the same height as the steer it went all over my face, leaving the newspapers with a great picture and me with a very fond memory of the event. Hopefully this time I will make another great memory — hopefully with less to clean up!”

As part of her prize, Altadonna will have use of a car for the week courtesy of George Weber Chevrolet. She also received more than $1,000 in scholarship money, $70 in fair vendor bucks, and more.

For the second year in a row, a pie auction raised money for a cause dear to the hearts of the queen candidates and 2013 Monroe County Fair Queen Lisa Leifer. The candidates and Liefer baked pies that were auctioned off to the tune of $1,800, which this year was donated to the Mikayla Hoefft Scholarship Fund through the Waterloo High School FFA Alumni organization.

Hoefft was a WHS student and good friend of Liefer who lost her life in a car crash shortly after the 2011 Monroe County Fair.

For a full list of fair events scheduled for this week, visit

Check out our video of the sights and sounds of the 2014 Monroe County Fair!

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