Since Silver Paiz was a young girl she dreamed of becoming the New Mexico State Fair Queen. Little did she know then she would be the first from Roosevelt County.
Paiz, 19, won overall honors in the state pageant Saturday in Albuquerque, edging 14 other county queens.
She also placed first in the categories of personality and horsemanship, a competition for which she’s been preparing for more than six months.
“I’ve been wanting to be state fair queen since I was little. It’s exciting, it really is, it’s like a path you have to set (for future competitors from Roosevelt County),” Paiz said.
“I practiced for a half a year on my riding, if not more — it’s something you have to get down perfect.”
On Monday afternoon Paiz was back in Portales working for her father at J. J.’s Jumbo Burger. Strapped in a red apron, Paiz spent part of her day showing friends a trailer she won after being crowned.
“Winning this is a sign of what dedication and determination does,” said Pete Paiz, Silver’s father. “It kind of gives me a sign that what I’ve done raising her is right.”
Silver is a 2002 graduate of Floyd High School, where she was a cheerleader and served in student government and Future Farmers of America. She is now a student at Clovis Community College.
Silver’s term as state fair queen begins in 2004 and entails travel, public speaking and being an ambassador for the state.
“I need to be an ambassador for the state fair, and not only the state fair but the state as well,” she said.
As for the public speaking, one of the biggest fears among Americans, Silver said she doesn’t mind all the preparation and jitters that accompany the task.
“I like to public speak,” Silver said. “I’ve been doing it ever since I was little … I use it to the best of my ability.”
Silver’s future plans include graduating college and working as a medical transcriber.
First runner-up for the queen title was Miss Lincoln County, Amanda Kristen Bird of Capitan. Bird won Miss Congeniality. Miss Los Alamos, high school junior Angel M. Garcia, earned second runner up honors.