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Fairest of the Fair 2018

Pictured in this undated photo are runner-up Jana Mattison, 2017 Fairest of the Fair Julia Nunes and 2018 Fairest of the Fair Molly McIlquham.

The Northern Wisconsin State Fair has selected the woman who will be the face of the 2018 celebration. Chippewa Falls native Molly McIlquham was awarded the title at a Jan. 6 Fairest of the Fair gala.

McIlquham, who edged out finalist Jana Mattison for the honor, will be the tenth woman to wear the crown, a press release said. A spokesperson for the Fairest of the Fair program was not available for comment Tuesday.

“I am very honored to represent something that was such a staple to my summer. Through this opportunity I hope to inspire other young women to give back to their communities, while I gain skills that will benefit me later in life,” McIlquham said. The 2018 Fairest of the Fair winner will appear at this summer’s Fair and other local events.

McIlquham was a member of the Chippewa Falls Senior High School equestrian team that took a Division A state title in 2014. She has showed horses and pigs at the fair, and placed first and second in several animal showing categories in 2016.

McIlquham is succeeding 2017 winner Julia Nunes, a Tilden native and 2015 Chi-Hi graduate.

The Fairest of the Fair selection process involves “personal interviews, a self-introduction, and a radio ad promoting the fair as well as impromptu questions,” the press release said.

The 2018 Northern Wisconsin State Fair will run July 11-15, and will feature country singer-songwriters Frankie Ballard and Chris Lane, with more musical guests yet to be announced. Fair tickets start at $10 for one-day gate admission. For more information and to purchase tickets for the 2018 Northern Wisconsin State Fair, visit

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Dunn County News editor

Sarah Seifert edits and reports for the Dunn County News. Contact her with tips or story ideas at 715-450-1557 or at

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