LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – When Elizabeth Ennis was given her contestant number for the 2018 Junior Miss Arkansas State Fair Queen, she knew it was a sign.
“Number four was Hannah’s number,” says Ennis, the current 2018 Arkansas State Fair Queen. “Her number in basketball was four, it was like she was telling me that I was going to win – it’s for her.”
Hannah Blankenship was only 16 years old when she died. She has had posted to social media over her excitement about winning her most recent pageant and was eager to fully her reign, however, those times would never come.
In 2017, she was driving home when her car crossed the middle line, according to reports. She was struck by a semi-truck and killed instantly.
“She was my best friend,” says Ennis. “She had died in a wreck. In that past January. So I feel like this past year was kind of a tribute to her.”
Ennis has spent her time volunteering and helping to raise livestock. She got into raising chickens and even owning a rabbit – all things that Ennis says Hannah loved.
“I looked up to her,” says Ennis. “I got my first set of chickens shortly after she passed – in a way I was trying to fulfill her role.”
On Saturday, Ennis will be giving up her crown to a new young lady, but says this year wasn’t for her but for Hannah.
“You know she didn’t get to finish her reign,” explains Ennis. “So I feel like everything I did was kind of trying to make her proud.”
Ennis carries her contestant number in her crown box as a reminder of her best friend, Hannah.
For more details on the pageant, click here.