The dresses came out, speeches were given, the questions were asked, the judges spoke and the tiaras were placed at the Madison County Fairgrounds Sunday night.
The Junior Fair Court was crowned the first night of the fair, giving chances for the winner to travel Ohio to represent Madison County.
The title of queen was awarded to Emily Davis, 16. An incoming senior at London High School, Davis also serves as treasurer of the school’s student council as well as its branch of the National Honor Society.
Outside of school she volunteers with Best Buddies, a group that helps the mentally challenged, and Big Brothers Big Sisters, a group that helps disadvantaged youth, while also serving as the Vice President of the Madison County Junior Fair Board.
“[Best Buddies], has really taught me that you don’t see the difference between these kids, until they’re separated and they shouldn’t be,” she said. “These kids are really the same, if not better than us. It really has become important to me.”
Cheyenne Young, 17, was named queen attendant. She’ll be attending college early at Southern State University where she will study to become a trauma surgeon.
Other members of the court were crowned that evening as well.
Princess and princess attendant were Lilly Marriott, 15, of the Eager Achievers 4-H Club and Sidney Howard, 15, of the Prairie Raiders 4-H Club respectively.
Finally, the Ambassadors for the various events were Devin Howard, beef; Sarah Stonerock, poultry; Hope Fetherolf, dogs; Jacqui Lauer, rabbits; MacKenzie Wilson, sheep; Reagyn Semler, goats; and Joy Fetherholf as equine.
While a bittersweet moment for 2016s court, leaving their reign behind, they fondly remembered their time traveling from fair to fair.
Dillon Rice, the 2016 Fair King said he often felt like a fish out of water as most pageants involve young women only.
“My last memory is at the Ox Roast fest [in West Jefferson]. There were some 230 girls, and let’s just say I was the only guy,” he said. “I looked and looked. I was the only guy there. I was kinda nervous, a little not.”
Samantha Walton, the 2016 Queen, remembered the trips but also the life lessons she learned.
“If there’s one thing that I’ve learned in these past five years in 4-H is that change is inevitable and necessary thing that happens in life,” she said. “Without change I would not be here right now in this position, speaking to you.”
Joining her school district’s club led her to many different activities which ultimately introduced her to the pageant.
“If I had stayed the way I was freshman year of high school, I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish the many things I have in life so far,” she added.
Maximilian Kwiatkowski can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1617 or on Twitter @MSFKwiat.