About

Illinois Festival Pageants are held in August during the weekend of the Decatur Celebration – Illinois’ largest street festival – in the Decatur Civic Center.  We pride ourselves on showing our titleholders how to volunteer and give back to their community!  You do not need any previous pageant experience to enter – we will teach you everything in order to be confident on stage.  Step outside of your comfort zone and try something new!

We offer a Queen division, Junior Miss, Pre-Teen and Princesses. Admission into all four pageants is $7.00. We hope to see you there!

We are an “open” pageant system with no residency restrictions. The Decatur Celebration is the largest street festival in the state of Illinois.

We are so glad you are willing to enter a pageant! Pageants are no different than sports, art or music. Put yourself out there and try something new!

Pageants are Positive!

~ build self confidence ~
~ learn how to interview ~
~ learn public speaking skills ~
~ polish your stage presence ~
~ have fun and meet new friends ~
~ get involved with your community ~

Learn more about how pageants can improve your skills and build self-confidence.


The Pageant Directors

Call us Lucy & Ethel; Laverne & Shirley or Thelma & Louise …… we prefer to be called the DYNAMIC DUO!!! Melissa Muirheid and Anne Sadowski became friends when Anne’s granddaughter entered the 2004 Macon County Fair Little Miss Pageant and won! They have been volunteering together ever since.

Melissa directed the Macon County Fair Queen and Little Miss pageant starting in 1996. In 2006, she added a Junior Miss division and later added the Adorable Baby Contest. She traveled extensively with each titleholder throughout the state visiting numerous fairs and festivals teaching them about agriculture, farming and county fairs.

Each January Melissa chaperoned the County Fair Queen at the IAAF Convention spending four days in Springfield. Out of her 17 Queens, 10 of them walked away as a Finalist or received special awards out of numerous county fair queens competing for the title of Miss Illinois County Fair.

  • 1997 Tiffany Pfeiffer Douglass Top 12 Finalist
  • 2000 Randi Carroll Sheets Beauty & Physique Award
  • 2004 Samantha Carroll Aversa Top 12 Finalist
  • 2005 Heather Grant Top 12 Finalist
  • 2007 Emily Beck Miller Communication Skills Award
  • 2008 Mackenzie Knop Schlicht Top 12 Finalist
  • 2009 Adrianne Mandrell Top 12 Finalist
  • 2010 Brittany Childress Acree Top 12 Finalist
  • 2012 Allison Mowry Top 15 Finalist
  • 2013 Hannah Wolfe 3rd Runner Up

When the fair queen pageant opted to sit out a year, Melissa decided to continue the tradition of Pageants and everything positive it brings and put together “Miss Macon County” held during the Decatur Celebration. It gave an opportunity for the titleholders to crown a new winner! Sophia Schwalbach was our new Queen and Lydia Hubbard was our Junior Miss. They crowned Kristen Batte & Kylie Nichols in 2015 but when the fair pageant returned in 2016, the titles were too confusing so we are now called Illinois Festival Pageants. It makes sense! Our pageant is held in conjunction with Illinois’s largest street festival in Decatur, Illinois – the Decatur Celebration! Technically, our first Illinois Festival titleholders are Graysie Cook, Morgan Hollon and Izzy Cutler.

Melissa is the Pageant Director and her Assistant, Anne (fondly called the Purple Lady) direct the Illinois Festival Queen Pageant, Junior Miss, Pre-Teen and Princess pageants on Sunday of the Decatur Celebration. The Adorable Baby Contest is held on Saturday.

Melissa enjoys judging local festivals, county fair pageants as well as State and National level pageants. She continues to coach and prepare young ladies for other pageant systems because she believes in the positivity of pageants. She is a certified judge for the Miss America system and has judged all over the state of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Kentucky for their scholarship programs. Melissa loves makeup and is known as the lipstick Nazi; she loves jewelry, taking pictures, retail therapy and is easily distracted by shiny objects!

Anne has three grandchildren, wears the color purple every single day and enjoys supporting titleholders by watching them play volleyball, basketball and cheerleading.

Anne and Melissa are both die-hard Chicago Cubs fans! When they are not traveling to a pageant, they can often be found at Wrigley Field.