Fairest of the Fair

A photo essay.

Texans generally don’t cotton
to royalty, except for when it’s local: Each year, almost every town across the state crowns a young queen at its community festival. These lovely sovereigns preside over the annual celebration of their region’s bounty—whether it’s grapefruit in the Valley, peaches in the Hill Country, roses in the Piney Woods, or rattlesnakes in the Panhandle—and act as ambassadors of their towns throughout the year. As women of poise, ambition, and service,


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