Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

FEST FALLS INTO PLACE ; Queen Contest, Talent Show, Rides, Food Beckon

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

FEST FALLS INTO PLACE ; Queen Contest, Talent Show, Rides, Food Beckon

Article excerpt

About a month before the rides open and the vats of oil start their frying, a sign goes up over Franklin Street advertising the Fall Festival: "The First Full Week In October." The buzz surrounding the festival heats up as the food booths come out of hiding, the rides roll into town and nonprofits and schools start asking for volunteers to "work the booth." The bands that will be performing are finalizing their routines and tryouts for the talent competitions.

That week finally has arrived. Franklin Street is open to pedestrians only, the Munchie Map is out (Page D6), the rides are set up and the entertainment is lined up for days.

This year, the crowd favorite Queen Contest will serve up some class on Tuesday night and the annual Amateur Hour contest will be shaking things up and providing entertainment for festivalgoers all week long.

The Queen Contest is a Fall Festival tradition, with eight West Side schools represented each year. During the spring semester of their seventh-grade year, incoming eighth-graders use a ballot system to vote for one female and one male student to represent their school as their queen contestant.

"I think any child at that age would be glad to represent their school and have that positive attention," said Jeff Schneider, West Side Nut Club member and this year's chair of the Queen Contest committee.

The eight queen contestants each have chosen an escort for the competition and on Monday at 8:15 p.m. will be judged not just on the traditional pageant criteria of beauty but also on their answers to 10 questions.

"The judges will ask them those 10 questions on life and such and then judge them based on how they answer," Schneider said.

The Queen will receive a tiara, a trophy and a dozen roses and all participants will receive a trophy. Schneider, who has been a West Side Nut Club member since 1994, is looking forward to the contest and the festival. …

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