Miss Hopatcong a Queen in Her Own Right
Alexis Breheny says she learned about confidence from experience at Queen of the Fair.
Alexis Breheny did not grow up doing pageants. She grew up playing basketball, for which she has been awarded a scholarship to St. Thomas Aquinas College.
But that did not stop her from winning Miss Hopatcong 2012 or competing in the Sussex County Queen of the Fair during its run at the fairgrounds in Augusta last week.
"It's different from what I'm used to," she said. "It was a lot of fun. Stepping outside your bounds, trying something new."
Unlike other pageants, both Miss Hopatcong and Queen of the Fair focused solely on a contestant's poise and ability to respond to questions. At Queen of the Fair, the 21 contestants were brought out on horse drawn carriages, then each was asked a question.
After this round, the judges chose six finalists to respond to a second round of questions.
Breheny was asked why she wants to be the Queen of the Fair and what her future aspirations are. Her reason for why she wanted to be the queen was simple: "I've been going to the fair since I was 5 years old, I love the food and rides, and the pig races are my favorite," she said.
As for aspirations, she has many.
"I want to go to college and maybe major in sports management or business," she said. "But also travel the world and see different countries and different cultures, eventually settle down and have a family."
She also wants to eventually coach basketball, the sport she has excelled at since childhood. Next year, she will be playing point guard for St. Thomas Aquinas College. She said she does not expect to start at the position as a freshman, but does expect to get some playing time behind the team's senior point guard.
This summer she has been practicing in preparation for collegiate athletics, and has been playing in a league with her future college teammates on Long Island.
As for her future in pageants, she said she thinks the Queen of the Fair will be her last. But she also said she learned from the experience.
"I learned to be more confident," she said. "There's definitely a difference between confident on the basketball court and public speaking, proper posture, how to walk."
She also met some new friends at the event, including Queen of the Fair 2012 winner Sharon Kleindienst of Stillwater and first runner-up Miss Hamburg Marissa DeOliveira.