Eleven young ladies to vie for title of Sweet Corn Queen

Four candidates in this year’s Sweet Corn Festival Queen Pageant, left to right, are Hannah Ambler, Megan Thibodeau, Emme Bottom and Kassidy Barkman. (Photo courtesy of Mendota Chamber of Commerce)

Private event to be held on Aug. 7

MENDOTA – Selecting the queen to reign over Mendota’s 73rd Annual Sweet Corn Festival will not be an easy task. There are 11 beautiful young ladies in this year’s pageant. The girls have been selected by Mendota not-for-profit organizations to represent them in this year’s pageant.

This year’s pageant will be a private event to meet LaSalle County Health Department guidelines. The pageant will be held Friday, Aug. 7 at 8 p.m. Each candidate will be allowed only two tickets. No additional guests will be allowed to this event. The Mendota Chamber of Commerce will be livestreaming the pageant on its Facebook page. WGLC will also be doing a live stream. The Chamber thanks everyone for their cooperation and understanding.

Preparations for the event are underway, as the candidates have recently been practicing for the upcoming pageant. Pageant Co-Chairperson and former Sweet Corn Festival Queens, Rachel Buchanan (2010) and Alison Wasmer (2000), will be working closely with the candidates in preparation for the big night. Each of the Sweet Corn Queen hopefuls will be very busy during the next few weeks, rehearsing stage presence, and getting ready for their interviews with the judges.

Now let’s introduce the first four candidates vying for 2020 Sweet Corn Festival Queen title.

The Kiwanis Club has selected Hannah Ambler as its queen candidate. She is the daughter of Carl and Susan Ambler of Mendota. She has blue eyes and brown hair, and stands 5-5.

Ambler is a 2020 graduate of Mendota High School, where she was active in several sports including tennis, basketball and cheerleading. She was a member of the MHS Band where she served as president and was the 2019 Marching Band Drum Major. In addition, she has served on the Student Council, National Honor Society, National Honor Society president and is an Illinois State Scholar.

This summer you can find Ambler working at Beck’s serving ice cream. She will also be vacationing with friends and preparing for college in the fall.

Her plans for the future include receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Graduate Degree specializing in school psychology. She also hopes to work with students with learning disabilities and serve as a mental health counselor for high school students.

Ambler loves forming new friendships, helping whoever she can, and focusing on becoming the best person she can be.

Megan Thibodeau will represent the Mendota Booster Club in this year’s pageant. She is the daughter of Holly Phalen and Curtis Thibodeau. She has blonde hair and brown eyes and stands 5-4.

Thibodeau is a 2020 graduate of Mendota High School, where she was involved in cheerleading all four years. She was also a member of Student Council, Prom Committee and Spanish Club.

She will be attending Illinois Valley Community College starting this summer. She is seeking an Associate of Science degree specializing in business.

This summer you will find Thibodeau working at Walmart as its department manager of online grocery pickup. She will also be vacationing with close friends.

Her goal is to graduate next summer with an Associate of Science degree and then transfer to NIU to earn a degree in business.

Emme Bottom will be representing the Mendota Quarterback Club. She is the daughter of Rick and Jody Bottom of Mendota. She stands 5-5 and has brown hair and green eyes.

Bottom graduated from Mendota High School this year, where she was a varsity cheerleader all four years and was captain her senior year. She also took part in Student Council and Yearbook for four years. She was an honor roll student for three years and baseball manager three years. She was also a member of the Spanish Club and Academic All-Conference Team.

Bottom plans to attend Illinois Community College where she will study digital design.

This summer you will find her working at Anytime Fitness and working with her dad at his business. She will also be taking senior photos of her classmates.

Bottom enjoys spending time with her friends and family. She also likes to make custom vinyl work (cruicut), drawing and designing artwork.

Her future plans after college are to stay creative with her job and eventually open her own business to create digital art and marketing.

Bottom loves living in a small town and always looks forward to seeing everyone at the Sweet Corn Festival.

The Mendota Optimist Club has selected Kassidy Barkman as its queen candidate. She is the daughter of Sandy Barkman and Darren Barkman. She stands 5-5 with blonde hair and brown eyes.

Barkman is a 2020 graduate of Mendota High School where she played softball all four years. She also participated in volleyball and was also on the honor roll.

She will be attending Illinois Valley Community College in the fall. She is seeking a degree in the medical field.

This summer you will find Barkman working at Liberty Village in Princeton as a dietary aide.

She enjoys being with friends and playing softball.

Barkman’s plans for the future include graduating from college and pursuing a career as a nurse or in the veterinary field.

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