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Lexi Van Utrecht, a 2022 graduate of North Mahaska High School, is wearing a new crown. The 2021 North Mahaska homecoming queen is this year’s Southern Iowa Fair Queen. Van Utrecht was crowned at a ceremony Monday night to open the fair.

Van Utrecht is the daughter of Mike and Julie Van Utrecht from New Sharon. She was selected from a field of nine candidates by judges Deann DeGroot, Cara Roquet and Adam Brink. Allie Van Donselaar of Cedar was first runner-up. She is the daughter of Dan and Melissa Van Donselaar.

“I am blessed with this opportunity and just hope I can represent our county this week and at the state fair,” said Van Utrecht. “I’m looking forward to going to all the events, meeting the people and interacting with the children.”

It has been a very busy few days for Van Utrecht and her family. She met with the judges on Thursday for interviews and has been preparing her projects for show at the fair. Her duties this week will be presenting ribbons at some of the events and attending many of the grandstand events.

2022 Southern Iowa Fair Queen Lexi Van Utrecht.

Other candidates included Rylie Sytsma, Raegan Rozenboom, Kira Doty, Abby Drost, Isabelle Larson, Raeann Elliott and Teale Pose. Each candidate did an on-stage interview with emcee Marvin Knoot. Trisha Van Donselaar, the 2021 queen, presented the tiara and sash to Van Utrecht.

Van Utrecht will have about three weeks to prepare for the trip to Des Moines to compete for the title of 2022 Iowa State Fair Queen.

“I look forward to meeting the other girls,” said Van Utrecht. “I have talked to other fair queens about what to expect, but it is exciting.”

This year the Southern Iowa Fair Board presented a new award to the girl who the judges felt has given back to their community and volunteered in many aspects. The winner, Abby Drost, was awarded $200, $100 in cash and $100 to a charity of her choice.

It took very little time before young ladies gathered around Van Utrecht for a photo, a sign her reign has begun.

Van Utrecht will attend Grand View University this fall to major in nursing and be a member of the dance team.