LITTLE ROCK, Ark.– For the last 10 years, a local woman has been directing the oldest running beauty pageant in the state of Arkansas that started back in 1924.

Joan Warren has been the mastermind behind everything you see during the Arkansas State Fair beauty pageant that involves over 100 women of all ages.

Warren has been the Executive Director of the State Fair Pageant for 10 years and judged for 20 years before that.

“I almost think that what makes a good queen. She has to be well rounded,” explains Warren. “In our situation, she has to be able to kind of talk cattle and crowns. So that kind of the two blended together makes the perfect queen. As far as I am concerned.”

Everything you see during the pageant and everything you don’t see behind the scenes is taken care of by Warren and her staff of eight people.

“I really have an amazing staff,” she says. “They help me with everything.”

Warren does everything from coordinating the event and all the contestants to making sure the ladies’ hair and makeup is up to “royal standards.”

The Arkansas State Fair Beauty Pageant has been a staple of the state fair where women from across the state compete in the various stages of the pageant.

However, she isn’t paid for this position she volunteers both her time ensuring these young women across Arkansas are educated.

With some days lasting over 10 hours, she says its the stories off stage that remind her why she loves that fair pageant.

“Her mother was a single mother she had no way to go to college and she had just gotten her college paid for and now she gets her masters,” she explains as she talks about a past contestant who once won. “Then all of sudden it puts in perspective of why you do what you do.”

The New State Fair Queen will receive a four-year educational Scholarship to Southern Arkansas University. 

The pageant features a senior category, a Mrs. category, a Miss category and a youth category to cover all the ages of women who wish to compete to be queen of the Arkansas State Fair pageant.

Joan Warren is the pageant executive and talent director for the Arkansas State Fair.