Queen Carli looks back on an exciting year

Tuesday, July 26, 2016
By DANA LARSEN Pilot-Tribune Editor

The last act as Fair Queen for Carli Grau this week was to give a speech about her experience over the past year, before handing off the crown to the newly-minted queen, Brea Baumhover. Grau confided that it had been her dream to serve as queen, ever since she won the Little Miss title at a fair years before. One of the most active of fair representatives, she attended countless events over the year - so many so she literally wore out the official white sash. It will be retained for routine use around the fairgrounds by Queen Brea, but a new blue one was made for her reign, to be reserved for ceremonial purposes. Among Carli's favorite experiences, she said, was appearing at races and tractor pulls, but the many parades were also memorable. "People would shout 'Princess!' at me and do the princess wave. That really made my day," she laughed. She also sought to use her position to help others, assembling what she called "Carli's Cancer Kits" to take to oncology patients at Buena Vista Regional Medical Center. She decided to wear her crown and sash for the visits, to brighten the day for the patients. Representing Buena Vista County in the State Fair Queen pageant was an experience, but Carli had twisted her ankle just before the event. Being expected to walk around the grounds for five hours proved to be a painful experience. Being a fair queen allowed her to make many amazing new friends, she said, the closest of which is the Fremont County Queen - an unlikely kinship, since it is well known that Carli's school, Newell-Fonda, and her friend's, Fremont-Mills, do not get along. She had also taken on the role of fundraiser for the local pageant, making the rounds to collect donations to purchase prizes for the queen and little miss contests this year. Next up, Iowa State University and continuing a career in modeling. Carli confided to new queen Brea that the crown should go with her everywhere, and she had made a gift to pass along of a clear carrying case for Brea's headgear. "It goes by so fast," she told her replacement. Here are some scenes from the fair.