Calumet County Woman Selected State Fairest Of The Fair

Wisconsin State Fair organizers are excited to introduce the 2016 Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs, who was selected yesterday evening at the 93rd annual Wisconsin Association of Fairs Convention in Wisconsin Dells. A field of 38 talented contestants from county and district fairs throughout Wisconsin participated in the competition, and Gloria Kesler, 20, representing the Calumet County Fair, took home the coveted Fairest of the Fairs crown.

The Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs program was designed to select an ambassador for the Wisconsin Association of Fairs, which represents all 76 Wisconsin county, district and state fairs. This year marked the 50th crowning of the Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs, and 30 of the 49 former winners attended and were honored at this year’s banquet.

Each year, the Fairest of the Fairs travels throughout the state promoting the variety of educational, agricultural, social, cultural and commercial opportunities available at Wisconsin’s great fairs. It is a position of responsibility to the citizens of Wisconsin and the winner must showcase excellent speaking, writing and listening skills as well as organization, professionalism, time management and above all, a passion for Wisconsin’s fair industry.

Kesler will serve a one-year term beginning immediately, and her responsibilities will include making appearances at fairs throughout the state, working with media and promoting the educational, social and economic importance of Wisconsin’s fair and agriculture industries.

In addition, she will serve as an ambassador of the 2016 Wisconsin State Fair, presented by U.S. Cellular, which will take place Aug. 4 – 14. This includes greeting fairgoers and special guests, performing as master of ceremonies for several events during the fair, participating in various contests and representing the fair during select media appearances.

Kesler was selected from a field of incredibly talented young women, and replaces the 2015 Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs, Deanna Schlies of Brown County. The Fairest of the Fairs is chosen by a panel of three judges representing the fair, communications and agriculture industries. This year’s judges were Bob Meyer, Stacie Crystal and Gail Zastrow.

Meyer has been a farm broadcaster and morning radio show host for 30 years and has covered events across the country and throughout Wisconsin. This is his third year as a judge for the Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs Competition. Crystal is the Director of Sales at Aloft Hotel in Green Bay Wisconsin where she also serves on various boards and is involved in the Green Bay Chamber of Commerce. Zastrow was formerly the Fair Secretary at Jefferson County Fair Park for 20 years and serves on various committees such as the Jefferson County Agri-Business Club. 

The daughter of Robert and Lucy of Menasha, Wis., Kesler is a junior at the University of Wisconsin – Platteville majoring in Agriculture Education with a minor in Public Relations. Kesler is involved in the University’s Pioneer Farm where she assists the Wisconsin Beef Improvement Association with livestock, training beef cattle for show, data collection and more. She also works on her family farm. In her free time, she stays involved in her community through her church, 4-H activities and teaching youth about photography and public speaking. She also won the Miss Congeniality award, which is voted on by the contestants.

Sydney Endres, 21, representing the Lodi Agricultural Fair, was named first runner-up. She is the daughter of David and Patty Endres of Lodi, Wis. and is a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying Dairy Science and Life Sciences Communication.

Emily Watson 23, representing the Walworth County Fair, was named second runner-up. She is the daughter of Nathan and Diane Watson of Elkhorn, Wis. and is a junior at Gateway Technical College and hopes to become an Agriculture Educator.

Jenna Franseen, 23, representing the Racine County Fair, was named third runner-up. She is the daughter of David and Julie Franseen of Racine, Wis. She is double majoring in Marketing and International Business at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Emma Wagner, 19, representing the Marquette County Fair, was named fourth runner-up. She is the daughter of Clark and Pat Wagner of Montello, Wis. and is pursuing a degree in Life Sciences Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“Each year the Fairest of the Fairs becomes an integral part of the team at the Wisconsin State Fair and the Wisconsin Association of Fairs,” stated Rick Frenette, CEO of Wisconsin State Fair Park. “We look forward to working with Gloria and having her serve as an ambassador for Wisconsin Fairs. Congratulations to the 2016 contestants, all of whom showed a great passion for the fair and agriculture industry in Wisconsin.”

Individuals interested in competing in future Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs contests may contact their county or district fair board for more information, or visit

The 2016 Wisconsin State Fair, presented by U.S. Cellular, will take place Thursday, Aug. 4 – Sunday, Aug. 14. The State Fair offers a unique experience to all who attend and is an exceptional value with 30 FREE entertainment stages, exciting rides and games in SpinCity, thousands of animals, endless family activities, events, contests, vendors and culinary delights. For the most up-to-date information, “stick with us” at or/WiStateFair on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest, and /theWIFair on YouTube.