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Barnes will represent Farmington in Queen of the Lakes coronation

Effie Barnes will be Farmington’s candidate in the Minneapolis Aquatennial’s Queen of the Lakes coronation July 18.

When Stephanie “Effie” Barnes was crowned second princess for the 2012-13 Farmington Royalty, she knew she would represent her community at many parades and celebrations around the state.

But now she’s also representing Farmington in the Minneapolis Aquatennial’s Queen of the Lakes coronation July 18 — an honor that rarely falls on the second princess of any royalty program.

It was pure chance — and maybe luck — that Barnes was invited to represent Farmington in the Queen of the Lakes coronation. Farmington’s first princess was unable to complete her year, so Barnes became the first princess. Then 2012-13 Miss Farmington Alexis Preese was unable to participate in the Aquatennial.

That left Barnes.

She’ll be in Minneapolis for most of the Aquatennial, so we caught up with Barnes, just to find out a little bit about her upcoming week.

You’re the Farmington candidate to the Aquatennial, Farmington’s representative. How did that come to be?

Well, every year starting last year Farmington will send one of their Miss candidates to run in the Minneapolis Aquatennial. Alexis, who was Miss Farmington, declined to go, and so I was the next eligible person. I’m really excited.

You started out as second princess, didn’t you?

I did. I never thought in a million years that I would get to go.

I read that you had received the Queen’s Charm?

Yes. It’s a charm that goes on your necklace, and only the people who are running for Aquatennial get one. You also get an invitation to run. They say it symbolizes the connection between Farmington and the city of Minneapolis, and it’s also my official invitation to run in the Minneapolis Aquatennial.

Did you know, going into coronation, that you were eligible?

I knew I would receive it and I knew when I would receive it. I’ve seen them pass out the invitations the whole year I was reigning to other girls.

Were you pretty thrilled when you got yours?

I was excited. All the girls were back stage, ready to do their platform speeches. I was like, “Shh! Shh! Shh! I’m going to get my Queen’s Charm.”

It looks like you have a pretty busy week coming up.

We check in Sunday, the 14th, and then there’s a little reception afterward. We stay at the Marriott City Center, and they took a whole floor for the candidates and only the candidates and their chaperones can go on the floor. We wake up and do a judging session every morning with the judges, and then we do a bunch of crazy stuff throughout the day. We’re there throughout the whole week.

When is the coronation?

The coronation is Friday, and it’s at the U of M Ted Mann Concert Hall.

I noticed in your bio that you have a superstition or two. Can you tell me about those?

My dad works at a gas station and he gets rolls of coins every now and then. He got a roll of gold quarters and he gave me one. It’s kind of my lucky quarter. I had it with me when I ran for Miss Farmington, and now I carry it around in my crown box.

With your last year as first princess, you’ve traveled around to a lot of parades and things like that. Have you developed some friendships in those circles?

I got to see a lot of different places in Minnesota that I’d never been before, which was really cool. I became really close with the Defeat of Jesse James Days ambassadors from Northfield. Both last year’s girls and this year’s girls are really good and they’re a lot of fun to hang around with. And also this year’s Lonsdale royalty and I have been hanging out and we’re all friends on Facebook, and the St. Paul Park Heritage Days girls.

Are you excited?

I’m so excited. I never thought I would get to go. I was crowned, and I found out about the Aquatennial, and I was like, ‘Oh, that would be really fun. Oh wait — I’m not going to get to go.” And now I’m going. I was crowned second princess, and my natural progression would be, if Alexis couldn’t go, the first princess would go. And then I became the first princess and then Alexis couldn’t go. And now I’m going.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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