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Mills County Fair Queen loses her title due to Facebook photo

Posted at 6:53 PM, Aug 16, 2022

MILLS COUNTY, Iowa (KMTV) — It was a dream come true for Maggie Begbie when she was named Mills County Fair Queen.

"I worked really hard for this. This was my third year running and I ran for the Junior Miss contest and I ran middle school for that. It has a really big impact on my life," Begbie said.

But less than a week after she won her crown — she was dethroned.

The Mills County Fair Board of Directors called for an emergency meeting on July 11 after board members received a photo of Begbie holding a mini liquor bottle. Since Begbie is 19 and underage the board was concerned she wouldn't be a good role model, but Begbie insists the photo was misinterpreted.

Begbie was a bridesmaid at a wedding posing with the other women when the photo was taken.

"In the photo, they're all drinking it. You can tell by their faces. And I was given an empty shooter bottle. No alcohol in it whatsoever. I was holding it up in the air, not even close to my face. It's quite obvious I'm not drinking in the photo," Begbie said.

She says the board didn't talk to her or hear her side of the story before removing her title. That's why she hired a lawyer to reclaim the title and finish her duties.

"We do things in the moment, we're human. I wasn't gonna think about this. I would have never guessed this all would have happened," Begbie said.

3 News Now reached out to a board member and the fair board's attorney for comment. Both declined to speak on camera but one board member says they "hated" doing it. The board did send the paperwork that shows whoever holds the title is required to uphold certain standards.

While Begbie has hired a lawyer, she's not sure how far she'll take her fight.

"It's just constantly in the back of my mind and it honestly eats me alive," Begbie said.

She hopes that when people hear her story they take away a message to be true to themselves.

"Fight for yourself when people are assuming the wrong thing. I'm an advocate for yourself and sticking up for yourself," Begbie said.

She says the fair board didn't appoint anyone new to replace her.

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