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Great memories to look back on
By Katie Hurd
Miss Annie Oakley 2016

This last year of 2016 was a roller coaster of events with the Miss Annie Oakley contest. I had finally won after 3 years of trying, and countless hours of practicing.

This year was the best year for me to win it. Why? I had just gotten my license, so my parents were happy to not have to drive me everywhere and just let me go to the places I needed to be at.

The first three weeks after winning were the most stressful. The day after winning, you must spend that Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and the York Woods dressed in the Miss Annie Oakley costume (mine was made of 8 yards of material). I shook many hands, took many pictures, and heck, even a few I liked. I read to children to try and spread the story of how Annie overcame hardships and became one of the most empowering females in our history.

Then, you have the Heritage Days in Union City the week after. I rode in a parade (it was so hot out) and waved and smiled as kids pointed and waved at me, screaming Annie Oakley. It still brings a smile to my face.

After that was the Fair parade, which was small and quiet, but enjoyable. I walked around part of one day at the Fair as Annie and took several pictures there.

Then I did more parades, which I don't quite remember; it's all such a blur. I remember visiting the Village Green, a rest home that my grandmother was in, and I spoke with many of the elderly, who appreciated that young people cared enough to remember Annie in this way. There were paintings of Annie on the wall.

The Horse Parade was so cold; I was frozen. I needed more layers besides my eight yards of material. The horses and lights, however, were gorgeous.

I did a few more parades and I even judged the Bradford Kids Pageant last year, which was fun.

I can say that being awarded the title of Miss Annie Oakley in 2016 has opened many doors for me. Not only have I gotten to meet other folks in the community, I got to put a smile on the faces of many here in Darke County. It also happens to look good on college resumes too.

Even though it takes a lot of time, being Miss Annie Oakley sure is worth it in the end, and will give some great memories to look back on. I'll never forget them.

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