Illinois Festival Pageants are held each August at the Decatur Club!  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 –  Step outside of your comfort zone and try something new!

We offer a Queen division, Teen, Junior Miss & a Pre-Teen division.   Admission to view all four pageants is $10.00. Visiting Royalty from other pageant systems are welcome wearing crown/sash and will get in at no charge along with one chaperone at no charge.  We hope to see you there!

We are an “open” pageant system in Illinois with no residency restrictions. Our biggest requirement is that you MUST make at least 9 quality appearances (volunteer) in your community!

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 Director


Melissa Muirheid  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 Macon County Fair Queen to 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 Trottier Top 12 Finalist
  • 2010 Brittany Childress Acree Top 12 Finalist
  • 2012 Allison Mowry Bollier Top 15 Finalist
  • 2013 Hannah Wolfe Top 15 Finalist / 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! Technically, our first Illinois Festival titleholders are Graysie Cook, Morgan Hollon and Izzy Cutler Schilling crowned in 2016.

Melissa directs the Illinois Festival Queen Pageant, Junior Miss, Junior Teen & Pre-Teen pageants.

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!

Melissa is a die-hard Chicago Cubs fans! When she is not traveling to a pageant, she can often be found at Wrigley Field.


Social Media Director

Meet Brooke Burke ~ our 2019 Illinois Festival Queen who continues to help (tremendously) with our pageant and runs all of our social media!!  Brooke recently graduated from Law School but will still continue to help IFP!  She is a wealth of knowledge and can help answer any of your questions because she was a former titleholder.