A new Rice County Fair Queen will be crowned Tuesday night on the Sellner Midway Stage during a milestone event.

It's the 40th year of the Fair Queen Pageant started by legendary KDHL Farm Director Dean Curtis.

More than 100 past royalty were invited and more than 50 responded saying they plan to be at Tuesday's opening night of the Rice County Fair.

Among the returners is the first Queen, Cyndy Greibel, crowned in 1976.

2015 Queen Breannca Bussert and her First Attendant Hannah Thompson and Second Attendant Jane Ludwig will be back to crown their replacements for the new year.

The six ladies hoping to be the new Queen include:

  • Courtney Albers: 17-year-old daughter of Lee and Jillene Albers of Faribault. Courtney will be a senior at Faribault High School this fall and is a cashier at Ace Hardware in Faribault. Activities include Student Council, Link Crew, Orchestra, Volleyball, 4H. Albers is also a member of the Faribault High School Trap Shooting Team. She enjoys working at the 4-H food booth in the Curtis Building and at the Dairy Association Malt Stand. Courtney enjoys snowmobiling and traveling. Courtney's sponsor is Flom Disposal and her escort will be Kyle Flom.
Courtney Albers


  • Michelle Hohrman: 19-year-old daughter of Christina and the late Brad Hohrman of Northfield. Michelle is a 2015 graduate of Northfield High School and works at Ace Hardware in Northfield. Interests include violin, volleyball and 4-H. Hohrman raises rabbits and poultry and is studying biology and pre-veterinary medicine at the University of Minnesota-Morris. Michelle's sponsor is Faribault Veterinary Clinic and her escort will be Jesse Sanbulte.
Michelle Hohrman


  • Miranda Pautzke: 19-year-old daughter of Curt Pautzke of Faribault. Miranda is a 2015 graduate of Faribault High School and attends North Dakota State University where she is studying music education and theater. Pautzke works at Godfather's Pizza in Faribault and Spicy Pie in Fargo. Activities in school included choir, theater, Student Council, Jazz Choir and STEP. In college, Miranda is in the women's choir and on the improv team. Interests include singing, art and photography. Miranda is sponsored by Godfather's Pizza of Faribault and will be escorted by Brad Price.
Miranda Pautzke


  • Emily Reuvers: 18-year-old daughter of Gary and Gloria Duban-Reuvers of Faribault. Emily is a 2016 graduate of Bethlehem Academy in Faribault and will be attending the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph this fall. Reuvers works at Barista/Bluebird Cakery and does summer work at McNeilus Trucking and Manufacturing in Dodge Center. Activities in school were cheerleading, volleyball, Strive and Key Club. She enjoys drawing, 4-H and photography. Emily is sponsored by Reliance Bank and will be escorted by Jesse Marshall.
Emily Reuvers


  • Tara Van Thomme: 19-year-old daughter of Wayne and Rosie Van Thomme of Faribault. Tara is a 2015 graduate of Faribault High School and attends the University of Minnesota where she is studying international business. Tara works at Hy-Vee Pharmacy in Faribault. School activities included DECA, Theatre Troupe, pep band, choir, and swimming and diving. She enjoys exercising, camping and baking. Tara is sponsored by KDHL Radio and will be escorted by KDHL Farm Director Jerry Groskreutz.
Tara Van Thomme


  • Lexi Wetzel: 17-year-old daughter of Mike and Lisa Wetzel of Faribault. Lexi will be a senior this fall at Faribault High School and works at "Let's Ride." Actvities include 4-H, Medford FFA, National Honor Society, volleyball and basketball. Lexi enjoys showing livestock, livestock judging, being with family and friends. Wetzel was a senior champion 4-H Market Lamb Showman at the Minnesota State Fair. Lexi is sponsored by Reliance Bank of Faribault and will be escorted by Art Madson.
Lexi Wetzel

This year's Rice County Fair Queen Pageant will be broadcast on Power 96 Radio 95.9 FM beginning just before the scheduled start of the pageant at 7PM. Past Fair Royalty will be introduced and, with more than 50 returning, the event could run a little longer than usual.

We should all be very appreciative of the hard work put in by Pageant Coordinator Kathy Cap every year, but this year, more than 100 invitations were sent to past royalty and all but one was located and invited to return in this 40th year of the Queen Coronation.

Rice County Fair Queen Pageant Coordinator Kathy Cap with 2015 Royalty Hannah Thompson, Breannca Bussert and Jane Ludwig L to R

I'm honored once again to be the emcee of the pageant on the Sellner Midway Stage on the Rice County Fairgrounds in Faribault.