MacKenzie Lynn Head, a 14-year-old freshman at Deming High School, was crowned SWNMSF Queen for 2012 Thursday night in the contest that traditionally signals the start of the Luna County fair's weekend run.
Head joined 14 contestants that practiced and rehearsed for four weeks in preparation for the fair royalty contest.
"Every year this contest builds up for me and I learn more about how I can encourage girls to participate in this event and build character and self esteem," said contest CO-coordinator Alicia Parra. "I get so attached to these girls and I see them mature each year."
Head is a member of the National Junior Honor Society, Luna County 4-H, FFA and the Las Cruces Horseman's Association.
She enjoys rodeo horseback riding, ranching, hunting, farming and showing animals.
MacKenzie is 4-H Secretary, all-around champion of SWYRA and Reserve All-Around Champion in the LCHA.
"I felt my heart beating and my stomach in knots," Head said while on stage before the queen winner was announced. Once her name was read out over he PA system, she said her breathing stopped.
"Alicia and Mia (Gallosa) helped me through this," Head said. I was nervous and shy, but they supported me and gave me the courage," Gallosa was a fellow contestant.
Stacy Swope, 13, was crowned Princess, Jasmeen Aldaco, 9, was crowned Junior Princess and Josie Erives, 6, was crowned Pee Wee Princess at the contest.
"I will do my best to represent the fair and I will always support the fair," Head said.
She also gave a special heart-felt thanks to her parents, Courtney and Brian Head, her grandparents and her aunt.
Billy Armendariz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter: @demingheadlight.