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Keiara Denny Reflects on Her Time as Miss Mercer


Keiara Denny Reflects on Her Time as

Miss Mercer

The Harrodsburg Herald/Wesley Bird The 2021 Miss Mercer County Fair and Horse Show Keaira Denny has just a few days before she crowns the new queen. Denny has enjoyed her time as Miss Mercer, “The things I enjoyed most about the process is the fun you get to have and the chance to meet some new friends.” Denny was grateful to her family, friends and coaches along the way who helped her win her title.

David Carpenter

Herald Staff

Keaira Denny didn’t have plans to be the 2021 Miss Mercer County Fair and Horse Show. Although she grew up performing in pageants, Denny left the pageant world behind eight years ago to pursue other interest. Last spring, her mother made a post asking her Facebook friends and family to encourage her to signup for the 2021 Miss Mercer County Fair and Horse Show pageant. Denny’s reluctant agreement would lead to her being crowned Miss Mercer County. 

Needless to say, her year has not gone as expected, but she has enjoyed the journey the last year has been. She has enjoyed representing her home and community, but even more so she has enjoyed meeting people along the way. 

She remembers the friends she made while competing last year.

“The things I enjoyed most about the process is the fun you get to have and the chance to meet some new friends,” said Denny. Later she praised the leadership of the Mercer County Fair Pageant, “Also, you have the best directors.” 

Her preparation for the pageant introduced her to more friends. Lindsay Cocanougher, Denny’s coach was instrumental in her success in 2021. 

“She [Cocanougher] coached me about a month or so before the pageant on how to walk” she said about her coach. “I would not have done as well if it wasn’t for her!” 

She also had the help of Mona Curtsinger preparing for her interview at last year’s pageant. Her new friends, coaches and family helped motivate her to return to the pageant world after a 13 year hiatus with their support and encouragement.

During her trip to Louisville to represent Mercer County in the Miss Kentucky County Fair pageant she was able to meet  and make friends across the state. She has fond memories of forming relationships with contestants and judges there. She was excited to tell others about her home town and why representing it was important to her. 

As Denny serves her final days as Miss Mercer County, she reflected on her favorite parts of the past year. 

“Something I will miss about being Miss Mercer County is helping out my community.” 

The Harrodsburg Herald/Wesley Bird Miss Mercer County Fair and Horse Show Keaira Denny signs a pledge along with several Mercer County Kids at the Healthy Kids day hosted by MAFEW on Thursday, May, 19 2022.

Denny has spent much of her reign promoting literacy in Mercer County. From Mercer Elementary, to Main Street to the Mercer County Public Library, where Denny helped with their Bench Project, Miss Mercer County 2021 has spent her time investing in her community and loved every minute of it. 

“It meant so much to me to do everything I have done for my little town,” she said. 

On Monday, July 25, Denny will perform her final act as Miss Mercer County as she crowns her successor. Denny hopes to help the next Miss Mercer County in any way she can. When asked what advice she would give to the future Miss Mercer County Fair and Horse Show pageant winner Denny said, “Wear your sash and crown with respect, it means more than just a crown and sash wherever you go in Harrodsburg. Think of things to help out and go do them.” 

Denny wants people to see the beauty and friendship she has eloquently represented for Mercer County to continue to be represented in her successor. 

“Represent this county with honor and respect like all of our previous Queens have done.”

As Denny wraps up her reign as Miss Mercer County, she returns to pursuing her life goals. This fall she will be attending Campbellsville University for her sophomore year of college where working to fulfill her dream of becoming a nurse. 

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