Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Perry County Fair - Queen Contest

Growing up and watching a queen be crowned every year of the Perry County Fair, became a tradition and then a goal.  In 1996 I interviewed to be the next Perry County Fair Queen.  I thought the competition was particularly tough that year.  The two other girls making the top three were from the rival high school and we had competed for years in 4-H and FFA.  There really was no way to tell who would come out on top.
Although they announced weeks in advance who would be in the top three, you had to wait until opening night of the fair to see who would be crowned.  The day of the interviews I was driving the square baler all afternoon. I spent most of the day thinking about what the judges would ask and what would be an appropriate answer and then what might be the best answer.

The night finally came for the Queen to be announced.  I was feeling lucky to have been named the 1996 Perry County Fair Queen. Brad Dennis's name was announced as the King and that would be a neat piece of history made.  Brad and I were both members of a very small 4-H Club called the Cow Kids.

Janet Koehler donated our trophies as she had done for many other Queens and Kings.

The unfortunate part of being the Queen is the wardrobe.  The usual cattle washing attire does not cut it for the week of the fair as the Queen.  However whatever you wear all week, you still have to care for your animals and look nice for appearances and photos.  This is quite the challenge.  There is also no local mall, therefore when the queen is crowned you had to have clothes in your closet. In the late 90's that meant colored Wranglers for me.

There are movies that make a mockery of the County Fair Queen title and country songs that mention it.  However for a girl who loved the county fair, it was a dream.  After all becoming the Fair Queen in 1996 meant behind the scenes passes, free fair food, pictures with the Champions, a front seat pass to the sale, tractor pull, demolition derby (this would be a first for me).  It would also mean a long tired week of appearances at every event and the usual busy week with your own projects.

The following year was my final year in 4-H. My brother Jason and cousin Jodi were running for fair King and Queen.  It was exciting to be a part of the special evening together.

Me, Jason (who got me into this) and Jodi

Brad and I made our way to the stage to give up our titles to the next lucky people.

The 1997 Fair Queen would be Carly Snider and the Fair King would be Brandon Snider. Unfortunately neither Jason or Jodi were announced as the winners.  However Jodi was the 1999 Fair Queen and Jason I think may have escaped a title he may not have wanted.

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