By Allison C. Gallagher
For the Troy Daily News
Siblings Justin and Krissy Parke were crowned the 2014 Junior Fair King and Queen at this year’s contest.
The contest, which was held in the Duke Lundgard Youth Building, had a total of 21 contestants. Tyler Quinn, Dalton Schreadley and Clark Wintrow competed for the prince title, while Justin Furrow, Justin Parke, Philip Persinger and Corey Shiltz competed for king.
Katelyn Hall, Sienna Mader, Madison Maxson, Cora Moore, Kaylynn Murawski, Jenna Taylor and Johanna Welborn competed to be the fair princess. Queen contestants included Emma Eichenauer, Reagan Fonner, Amy Hahn, Krissy Parke, Kristina Romie, Lorie Romie and Megan Troy.
To be eligible as king, queen, prince or princess candidates, the candidates must be exhibitors or participate in the fair that year and be able to attend various activities during their reign.
The basis for selection for all groups includes personality, attire and activities in addition to their poise, public speaking skills and group interview. Dee Mahan was the master of ceremonies, and judges included Sharon Wilson, M. David Holbrook and Roberta Jacobs. Mahan thanked the sponsors, Pioneer Rural Electric and Miami County Junior Fair Board.
The audience watched as the contestants answered on-stage questions. The Queen candidates were first asked their question, where they had to describe the process of becoming queen. Nearly all of the candidates admitted that the one-on-one interview with the judges was “nerve-racking,” but ultimately the process — which includes receiving a nomination, filling out the application and having a one-on-one interview with the judges — has been fun.
“It’s nerve-racking, but a lot of fun and I’d definitely tell my best friend to give it a try,” Lorie Romie, queen candidate, said.
The prince and princess candidates were asked what they would wish for if they could wish for anything in the world. Quinn said that he did not know what his biggest wish would be, but he does like “trucks such as John Deere.” Schreadley wished to be a pilot in the Air Force, and Wintrow wished to have a pet penguin. Mahan asked him where he would keep the penguin, which Wintrow responded by saying he would keep his pet in a cage or the freezer.
Princess candidate Hall wished to spend a week with her family on vacation, while Mader wished to be the fair princess and Maxson wished for a female horse to ride in a parade with. Moore wished to spend a week in Florida, to see the beach and Mickey Mouse at Disney World, and Murawski wished for a white rabbit named Snowy. Taylor wished for another horse which would be brown and aptly named “Brownie.” Welborn wished she could be a mother to five children, a mix of sons and daughters.
The king candidates answered who inspired them to be their best. Furrow stated he had multiple influences, including his parents and late advisor Jerry Jackson, and Parke responded that his strongest influence was his counselor through the fair, Anthony Watson. Persinger thanked his mother, who he said is his biggest supporter, ally and motivator, while Shiltz responded that his biggest influences were his father and then his mother for encouraging him to be active in sports, 4-H and church and for pushing him to do something when he may not have normally thought to do it.
Mahan announced that the tallying for the queen candidates was too close to call, so the judges decided to have the queens answer a second question. That question was what the queen candidates considered to be the biggest challenges to their generation.
Eichenauer, Fonner, Hahn and Kristina Romie answered that the influence of social media and lack of socialization and communication were the biggest challenges. Parke answered that a lack of work ethic was a problem for her generation.
“Everyone wants to be on top, to have money, to have nice things but no one wants to do the work,” Parke said.
“In our house and with our animals, we have to do the work throughout the summer, only because without working leading up to the fair, there’s no way we could come in first place,” Parke said.
Lorie Romie answered the lack of responsibility was the biggest challenge, remarking that most people her age would rather blame someone else than look at themselves when problems arise, and Troy answered that peer pressure was still a challenge.
Once the votes were tallied, it was announced that Clark Wintrow and Sienna Mader were fair prince and princess for 2014. The king runners-up were Persinger in third place, Shiltz in second and Furrow in first. Justin Parke was handed his king’s hat from the 2013 fair king as he was receiving his sash and boutonniere.
Troy was crowned fourth runner-up as queen, and Lorie Romie received third-runner up. Eichenauer and Hahn were second and first runners up, respectively. Krissy Parke was crowned 2014 fair queen to a round of applause.