WOLF LAKE — In a Wolf Lake Onion Days first, there is now a second generation Miss Onion Days.
Mckenlee Jones was crowned Miss Onion Days Friday at the festival Friday. Her mother, Jessica Jones, had worn the sash as titlist in 2001. Organizers said it was the first time a Miss Onion Days had been the daughter of a former Miss Onion Days.
“I thought it would be a fun thing to do, and it would help the festival,” Mckenlee said.
The younger Jones will be a freshman at Central Noble High School this fall. She plans on participating in volleyball and choir.
Savannah Phillips was the first runner-up. Ami Hernandez was second runner-up.
The three competitors raised more than $1,700 for the festival by setting up donation cans around the area.
Jessica Jones still has her sash from when she won the crown in 2001.
“It was a lot of fun,” she said of her time holding the title.
Jessica and her daughter traveled the same path Jessica had done in soliciting donations for votes.
“We went to people we knew and businesses,” Jessica said. One of the businesses they went to remembered donating for Jessica’s cause and also donated to her daughter’s campaign, she said.
Jessica said her daughter set a goal of helping to raise more than $1,000 for the festival.
“It was a lot of work to get it done,” Mckenlee said. “But we did it.”
“I’m excited for her,” Jessica said. “She set a goal and went over it.”
Earlier Friday, George Gaerte earned the prize for growing the largest onion. His 2.3-pound onion came in first. Jody Gaerte’s 2.1-pound onion finished second.
This year’s wet spring made for a big unknown as far as growing his onions.
“I put them in early, but they didn’t grow for five weeks,” George said. “The past three weeks they went from 1-pound (to over 2).”
George put in a lot of work, keeping the onion plants weeded and watered, but wouldn’t take credit for the large size.
“The good Lord makes them big,” he said.
The Gaertes grow a lot of onions.
“I give a lot of them away,” he said. “We’ll eat onions until February. We make a lot of onion rings.”
The Gaertes have a root cellar where the onions are stored.