Eight young ladies will be put through the paces the weekend of Aug. 17-18, when they vie for the Maine Wild Blueberry Queen crown in Union.

This year’s 144th annual Union Fair opens on Saturday, Aug. 17. The new queen will reign over events at the 54th annual Maine Wild Blueberry Festival during the Union Fair, which runs from Saturday, Aug. 17 to Saturday, Aug. 24.

The queen also makes numerous appearances at the Union Fair and Wild Blueberry Festival, and she may attend any event she wishes as a representative of Maine’s Wild Blueberry Industry.

The Maine Wild Blueberry Queen is an important ambassador of Maine’s Wild Blueberry Industry. Appearances by the queen are designed to promote Maine’s Wild Blueberries and Union Fair. The queen will appear in statewide parades, special state events, various charitable events, and tour blueberry processing plants.

In addition to appearing in the Union Fair parade, the Maine Wild Blueberry Queen will appear in the Union Founders Day Parade in July, the Thomaston Fourth of July Parade and the Maine Lobster Festival Parade in Rockland in August. Special events attended by the queen and crown princess include the Eastern States Exposition in Springfield, Mass. in September, the Maine Agricultural Trade Show in Augusta in January, and the Maine Fair Association Banquet in Portland, also in January.

The candidates will be introduced during opening ceremonies at the fairgrounds and later participate in interviews in front of fairgoers on the entertainment center stage. They will also participate in volunteer work alongside fair officials.

The 2013 Maine Wild Blueberry Queen Coronation will be held on Sunday, Aug. 18, at 8 p.m. at the grandstand, with a special fireworks show following the crowning of the new queen, crown princess and Miss Congeniality.

All three winners receive trophies, roses and monetary prizes at the coronation.

2013 Master of Ceremonies is Dan Allen. Judges are Deborah L. Anderson, 1980 Blueberry Queen/Assistant Vice President Damariscotta Bank and Trust Co.; Irene Hawes, Elementary Educator, Union School and Gregory Grotton, Union Fair board of trustees member. The crown bearer is Milena Reichert, daughter of Jason Reichert and Delina Malo-Juvera and granddaughter of Sharon Caron. Music provided by Mr. P. C. The coronation is coordinated by Yvonne Drown and assistant Sharon Caron.

Good luck to the 2013 Maine Wild Blueberry Queen candidates.