Pennell crowned at Interstate Fair and Exposition

PARKERSBURG – Harrisville resident Jessie Pennell was the winner of the 2014 Miss West Virginia Interstate Fair and Exposition Scholarship Pageant on Saturday at Blennerhassett Elementary School in Parkersburg.

Pennell, 16, said she was shocked she won the pageant from among the 11 contestants.

“I didn’t even think I was going to get it,” she said.

Pennell, the daughter of Bob and Pat Pennell of Harrisville, said she didn’t think she would be in the top four in the pageant, let alone the queen for the 2014 fair.

“I’m kind of young, so I wasn’t really expecting it at all,” she said. “There were so many other pretty girls here; it’s a honor really.”

Christy Piggott, the 2013 queen, crowned Pennell who will reign at the 2014 Interstate Fair and Exposition which runs July 15-19 in Mineral Wells.

Pennell will also compete as the fair’s representative in the Miss West Virginia Association of Fairs and Festivals pageant during the association’s annual convention next January in Charleston.

Runners up were: fourth, Anna Moriah Alfred, 17, of Spencer; third, Kristyn Leigh Starcher, 19, of Mineral Wells; second, Brandee Prater, 20, of Ripley; and first runner up was Chelsy Nichole Cain, 16, of Mineral Wells.

Miss Photogenic went to Kacie Taylor, 16, of Parkersburg. Miss Congeniality went to Cain and the Spirit Award went to Rebecca Lynn Rhodes, 17, of Mineral Wells.

Also competing in the pageant were Mahkayla Queen, 17, of Williamstown; Asia Syrece Richmond, 18, of Morgantown; Soumia Yasmine Smiri, 20, of Parkersburg; and Tessarae Thompson, 19, of Wharton, W.Va.