The Clark County Fair named a new queen this past Saturday at their annual Fair Queen contest. The contest was held in the Champion Center at 1 p.m.
This year there were eight very qualified contestants from all over Clark County. The contestants were Mara Andrus from Northeastern High School, Madison Donnelly from Northwestern High School, Peyton Mercer from Northeastern High School, Allison Raber from Mechanicsburg High School, Taylor Schilling from Northwestern High School, Alexis Vest from Shawnee High School, Hannah Wildman from Northwestern High School, and Madison Wones from The Ohio State University and graduate of Shawnee High School.
The event started with Nancy Wilson from K99.1 FM giving the welcome speech. This was Wilson’s 22nd year being the announcer for this contest. Wilson introduced the three judges next. The judges this year were Lowell McGlothin, Heidi Myers Steinbrink, and Erin Van Gorden.
Next was the parade of contestants, escorted by Junior Fair Board Members. The parade started with the 2016 Clark County Fair Queen, Lea Kimley, who welcomed the crowd and wished all the contestants luck in the competition. Each contestant was then brought to the stage where they gave a short introduction about themselves including their name, their parent’s name, their high school, college plans, and major.
Before the competition, each girl was brought into a short interview with the judges so they could know them individually. From these interviews, the judges made questions for each girl to answer in front of the crowd. When they finished the question about themselves, they drew a random question from a basket for their impromptu question. These questions were all about the Clark County Fair.
After all eight girls had a chance to answer the get to know you and impromptu question, the judges left the room to total up the scores and choose a final five. During this time, Wilson introduced the visiting royalty in the crowd. There were the 2017 Fair Queen, Fair Princess, and Fair Queen Runner Up from Logan County. The 2017 Fair Queen from Trumbull County was also present. Montgomery County brought their 2017 Fair Queen, Runner Up Fair Queen, Fair King, Runner Up Fair King, and 2018 Fair Queen and King. The Clark County 4-H Queen was also in the audience.
The judges came back with the names of the five girls who would be moving on. The final five were Madison Wones, Mara Andrus, Allison Raber, Taylor Schilling, and Peyton Mercer.
The final five girls were taken into another room and brought in one by one to answer the final impromptu question which was the same for each girl. This year’s question was “This year’s fair theme is 70th fair… the legacy lives on… the best is yet to come. What is your fair legacy and what is yet to come for the Clark County Fair?” Each girl gave their answer and then the judges left again to make a final tally.
Kimley, the 2016 Clark County Fair Queen, gave her farewell address and last speech she would make as Queen. In her speech, she thanked her family for supporting and said she is who she is today because of the Clark County Fair. She kept her speech short because she knew how nervous the contestants were because she was just in their shoes last year.
Wilson then presented the Community Service Award which was given to the contestant who participates in the most community service. This award comes with a necklace and a $200 Scholarship. Madison Wones was named the recipient of this award.
It was then time to announce the Second Runner Up. Peyton Mercer was named the Second Runner Up and was awarded a $200 Scholarship. The First Runner Up, who is given a $300 Scholarship, was named as Madison Wones. Taylor Schilling was then named as the 2017 Clark County Fair Queen. She was also given a $500 Scholarship.
“I am so excited right now and I feel really relieved that this part is over because I was very nervous being the last one left in the other room waiting on the last impromptu question,” Schilling said, “I cannot wait to start all my duties around fair and become a spokesmodel for the younger kids.”