Pageants were nothing new for the freshly crowned Miss Franklin County Fair, Krissie Hogan.
But sheep shows? That’s a different story.
“I’m used to the fluffy sheep – these ones look like they’re wearing leg warmers. They’re ‘80s sheep,” joked Hogan, who couldn’t stop giggling as she handed out ribbons to Tuesday night’s sheep show winners.
Pageant director and fair board member Patti Cross said that fun attitude is one of the reasons why Hogan was given the tiara Monday night.
“She has the perfect personality to go out and put up with all the odd things we put her through,” Cross said, as she watched Hogan, clad in a pink dress and high heels, maneuver her way around the ring.
Sheep shows are just one of the many items on Hogan’s agenda this week, as she fulfills her duties as Miss Franklin County Fair. The 19-year-old bested seven other girls for the title at Monday night’s pageant.
While she’s no stranger to pageants – having competed in Miss Franklin County High School and in last year’s Miss Franklin County Fair – Hogan said Monday was the first pageant she had actually won.
“I was so excited … I couldn’t believe it,” Hogan said. “There were so many pretty girls on stage – it could’ve been anyone up there.”
To add to the experience, Hogan’s close friend, Miss Franklin County Fair 2011 Briana Pastrano, was the one to hand out the crown.
“That was really special, to be crowned by one of my best friends,” Hogan said. “She was almost crying,” she added with a laugh.
Hogan said she was encouraged to get into pageants by her mother, Lisa, who also used to compete. In high school, Hogan entered the Miss Franklin County High School pageant three times, winning the Miss Talent, Miss Interview and Miss Congeniality awards her senior year.
That year, Hogan was also crowned Frankfort Junior Miss, and she went on to place in the top 12 in the 2011 Kentucky Junior Miss scholarship competition.
Hogan said the pageant experience, especially the interview portion, has boosted her confidence and improved her people skills, something that didn’t go unnoticed at Monday’s pageant.
“Krissie really stood out … One of the judges told me they knew she was the one right when they met her,” Cross said. “They said they found something really special when they interviewed her.”
Outside of pageants, Hogan stays busy between school and work. Hogan teaches zumba at Fit-Time for Women and Capital City Dance Studio, where she took dance classes for 16 years. Once a week, Hogan interns at Sen. Mitch McConnell’s Lexington office.
In the fall, she’ll return to Eastern Kentucky University to start her sophomore year. Hogan is majoring in public relations with a minor in broadcasting, and said she hopes to work in news media one day.
But for this week, Hogan will spend her nights at the fair handing out ribbons and making appearances.
Someone who won’t get to see her fulfill her fair duties is her father Stephen, who’s overseas in Afghanistan serving as a general for the National Guard.
“That’s one person who I definitely missed having in the audience (Monday) night,” Hogan said. “But he texted me as soon as it was over.”
Unlike her mom, Hogan’s dad was more apprehensive of the pageant experience, worrying that she would be upset if she didn’t win.
“My dad was always nervous … he didn’t want me getting my feelings hurt,” Hogan said. “But I’ve always been OK … you got to go out there and have fun. That’s what I did last year, and I didn’t win anything. So I thought, why not try again? And look what happened.”
Hogan said she hopes to transfer that attitude to other girls interested in getting into pageants. In the extension office, where Miss Teen Franklin County Fair contestants were gathering for their interviews Tuesday night, she told the girls not to be nervous and to focus on having fun.
“It definitely pays off when you go into things thinking of having fun and not focusing on the win,” she said.
“If you don’t win, big deal. At least you went up there, and you shined.”
Hogan will represent Franklin County in the Miss Kentucky State Fair pageant this January.