Ready to give up the crown


OREGON – It has been quite a year for Grace Mongan.

Not only has the 18-year-old Oregon native been active in cheerleading, tumbling, 4-H and FFA while graduating with honors from Oregon High School, she has done it all while serving as the Ogle County Fair Queen.

She will hand off her crown to the next queen at the fair on Wednesday, July 31. But before she does, Mongan – the daughter of Jean and Dan Mongan – sat down to answer some questions about her time wearing the crown.

 Question:  Is it hard to believe your time as fair queen is coming to an end?

Answer: It is kind of crazy my time is almost over as queen. I truly don’t want to end the “Royal Treatment” I’ve received from businesses, the Fair-board, and the media. However, I am ready to pass down my crown to the next deserving young woman and watch them grow in many ways as their own year progresses.

Q: What was your initial reaction to being selected as queen?

A: I was crowned Jr Miss Ogle County 2016 and had participated in the Miss America Organization as Miss River Valley’s Outstanding Teen. So, I knew I wanted to participate in the Miss pageant. Even if I didn’t win, I planned to continue pageantry in some capacity. When my name was called as Miss Ogle County 2018 of course I was ecstatic, but more excited for this wild adventure of a year I knew I would take on.

Q: What was your favorite part of being the fair queen for the past year?

A: My favorite part of my year as queen was participating in the state pageant and being named 3rd Runner-Up out of 71 contestants. Hearing the loud cheers from my posse every time I took the stage and being named the first ever Miss Ogle County to place in the top 5 made this experience truly one of a lifetime. Leaving for the state pageant I knew I had a decent chance with my past pageant experience and training, but the outcome was fairly unexpected as it spiraled many media interviews and TV appearances.

Q: What advice do you have for the next queen?

A: I’m commonly asked how someone is to win Miss Ogle County 2019, but it is truly unwritten. The best advice I have is to truly be yourself. No one else can possibly be the same as me or any queen that has come before me. Truly make it your own and show the audience who you are, not who you think they want to see.

Q: Finally, what is next for you? What are your future plans?

A: After I crown the new Miss Ogle, I am headed to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to study Aerospace Engineering and Astronomy while on the Co-ed Cheerleading team there. I strongly believe my time in pageantry has molded me for my future career. I’ve learned so much about perseverance, interview skills, communication, and how to work hard for my goals. I am so thankful for the pageant crew I have acquired and have supported me on this wild year, but I’m glad to have them in my corner for many years to come!