MENDOTA – Judging this year’s Sweet Corn Festival Queen pageant will be Andrea Bryan. Bryan is no stranger when it comes to the Sweet Corn Festival pageant stage – she won the title in 1966. The former Andrea Simpson of LaMoille was asked by the Mendota Athletic Boosters to represent them at the pageant. “I hadn’t thought of being in it before that, but I was honored,” she said.
There were 26 contestants vying for the crown that year.
Runners up, Vicki Anderson and Connie Davis, both of Mendota, served as her attendants. “I remember we had to take a photo eating corn, but we were wearing long white gloves and didn’t know if we should take them off or leave them on. I think I just left mine on,” she laughed.
When Andrea was asked to judge this year’s pageant, she didn’t hesitate. “I think it will be fun,” she said.
As a judge, she will be looking for the contestants to be poised and natural. They should have a good attitude and have represented the community well, too.
Remembering her time on stage, she offered some advice: “I think everyone gets a little nervous; you just have to try to be yourself.”
Andrea went on to be a Mendota Area Chamber of Commerce president and then executive director. “I was happy to serve. We accomplished a lot,” she noted.
Now, Andrea and her husband, Jerry, live in Florida. They often return to Mendota to visit family and friends and have traveled extensively throughout the United States, as well.
Also judging this year’s pageant will be Aaron Hancock, director of operations of Del Monte Foods in Mendota; and Nancy Hypki, vice-president/sales of Eureka Savings Bank in LaSalle. Both are major sponsors of Mendota’s Sweet Corn Festival.
The evening will begin with pre-pageant entertainment featuring Illinois Army National Guard’s 144th Army Band Jazz Combo on the First State Bank Stage on Rt. 34, downtown at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 11. The pageant will follow at 7:30 p.m.