15 ladies to compete for Miss Annie Oakley


By Ryan Berry


GREENVILLE — The annual Annie Oakley Festival opens on Friday, July 28 and will continue until Sunday, July 30. However, events kick off earlier in the week with the Miss Annie Oakley Shooting Contest. The Darke County Fairgrounds will once again host the festival and the shooting contest. Practice for the 15 girls vying for the title will be held on Tuesday, July 25 and the preliminary round will be held Wednesday, July 26 with the finals on Thursday, July 27. The contest begins at 6 p.m. each day.

Prior to the preliminary round on Wednesday, the Annie Oakley Festival will host the Little Miss & Mister in the shooting area at 5 p.m.

The shooting contest is unlike other pageants that rely on candidates answering questions to determine a winner. The winner of the Miss Annie Oakley title is declared based on the contestant’s ability to shoot a balloon with a BB gun from varying distances. Shooters have two chances to hit the target at each distance before they are eliminated. Generally, half of the field will be eliminated in the first night of shooting and the remaining contestants come back for the finals.

Last year’s winner, Madison Werner, won the event in 15 rounds with the winning shot coming at 95-feet. Not only did she serve as the 2022 winner, Werner had previously served as the 2019 Miss Annie Oakley. If a contestant wins, they are required to sit out a year before they can compete again.

The contest is open to all single, unmarried young ladies between the ages of 12 and 19 in the boundaries of Darke County school districts.

This year’s contestants include Amber Neitzelt, Gracie Dietrich, Alia Hunt, Lexie Shoop, Kiera Spencer, Samantha Beyersdorff, Lauren Wright, Rachael Wright, Isabella Gulley, Kenszie Glass, Alexa Robinson, Lexi Dillman, Lona Dillman, McKenna Yant and Brooklyn Dillman.

The finals will be followed by the annual pilgrimage to Annie Oakley’s grave at Brock Cemtery were the new Miss Annie Oakley will lay a wreath at the gravesite.

To contact Daily Advocate Editor Ryan Berry, email [email protected].

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