Photography by Dero Sanford | Makeup by Stephanie Duty with Faces by Stephanie
Joan Warren has the allure of a pageant queen. Her quintessential Southern charm and infectious charisma beckon friendship. It’s no surprise that Joan has warmly welcomed young women to pageant competitions for more than 35 years. As the executive director of the Arkansas State Fair Pageants & Youth Talent Competition, she has successfully increased the cash awards and scholarships for contestants.
Joan was introduced to the pageants through her good friend Randy Demitt – owner and operator of Randy’s Another World, a formal dress shop in Russellville. “We would dress girls competing in Miss America and Miss USA as well as country music stars! I became the traveling companion for Miss Arkansas as well as the official home for Miss Arkansas.” For nearly two decades, she devoted her time + energy to the pageant and enjoyed helping young women realize their full potential. Through this work, she was appointed as a judge for the Arkansas State Fair Pageants & Youth Talent Competition.
Joan has served as head judge for the Arkansas State Fair Pageants & Youth Talent Competition for 25 years. Their family’s commitment to The Natural State and one of the largest attractions of the year is unwavering. Through her leadership the pageant has grown from a $1,000 cash + awards program to more than $180,000 in cash, scholarships and awards. “My vision from the beginning in 2010 was to advance the program into educating the queens and providing scholarships to the youth talent competitors. Through great sponsors, my vision has come to light – growing brighter each year!”
Twin City Food Brokers, a company that Joan and her husband Bill own, provides food services to the Arkansas State Fair. Congruent with this year’s theme, Joan hopes she will See Y’all There at the fairgrounds in October. “We love seeing new and exciting faces at the Arkansas State Fair,” Joan elaborates. “More than 150 young ladies from our great state compete in four regional competitions for scholarship prizes!” These scholarships – currently a four year scholarship to Southern Arkansas University and Arkansas Tech University – support educational opportunities for participants. Additionally, the fair queen receives $10,000 towards her education. “That is the most rewarding aspect for me. I am filled with gladness and thankfulness for the fair queen.”
Joan applauds her staff for their mission-driven dedication as they organize this year’s festivities. “Having the contestants at heart is primary focus for all of us. I have a great team with more than 100 years of fair experience – I could not ask for more.”