Henderson Crowned 2024 Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs

Wisconsin State Fair officials are proud to introduce the 2024 Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs. A group of 35 talented contestants vied for this coveted position, and Kelsey Henderson, 21, representing the Racine County Fair, was crowned.  

The Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs program was created 58 years ago to select an ambassador for the Wisconsin Association of Fairs, which represents 75 county, district, as well as state Fairs in Wisconsin. 

Each year, the Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs travels throughout the state promoting the educational, agricultural, social, cultural, and also commercial opportunities available at Wisconsin’s Fairs. The winner must possess outstanding communication skills as well as organization, professionalism, and above all, a passion for the Fair industry. 

In addition, she will serve as an official ambassador of the 2024 Wisconsin State Fair, presented by UScellular. The fair will take place August 1 – 11 in West Allis. This role includes greeting Fairgoers and special guests, performing as the master of ceremonies for events, participating in various contests, and also representing the State Fair during special media appearances. 

Henderson will serve a one-year term, and her responsibilities include appearances at Fairs and events throughout the state, working with media, and also promoting the importance of Wisconsin Fairs. 

Henderson is the daughter of Craig and Sue Henderson of Kenosha, Wis. She is currently studying Agricultural Business at Iowa State University. Beginning in 2025, she is expected to take a full-time role at John Deere as a Marketing and Customer Support Development Program Representative. Henderson was an active 4-H member for 10 years and FFA member, and also held a variety of leadership positions.

“We are excited to have Kelsey take on this important role as Fairest of the Fairs,” said Shari Black, CEO of Wisconsin State Fair Park. “Kelsey’s education, experience, and participation in Fairs will serve her well as she travels throughout Wisconsin, promoting the Wisconsin State Fair as well as Fairs around the state.” 

Ellie Szczech, 20, representing the Waukesha County Fair, was named first runner-up. She is the daughter of Pam Szczech of Wales, Wis. She is currently earning a degree in Speech Language and Hearing Science from the Minnesota Twin Cities. Szczech looks forward to pursuing a career in children’s speech therapy in the future.

Amalia Draxler, 19, representing the St. Croix County Fair, was named second runner-up. She is the daughter of Mike and Rebecca Draxler of Glenwood City, Wis. She is attending University of Wisconsin–Madison, working towards a degree in Agriculture and Applied Economics. Draxler has served as FFA Chapter president and as well as her class president.

Aubrey Schlimgen, 20, representing the Dane County Fair, was named third runner-up. She is the daughter of Tony and Jackie Schlimgen of Marshall, Wis. She is working as a dairy farmer on her family farm where they have 300 head of cattle.

Aleah Hunter, 19, representing the Trempealeau County Fair, was named fourth runner-up. She is the daughter of Mark and Dee Ann Hunter from Galesville, Wis. While currently studying nursing at Viterbo University, she works at a hospital and at the Great American Honey Company.

Henderson takes over for the 2023 Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs, Sharlene Swedlund from Green County.