Four in running to be 2017 Fayette County Fair Queen


The 2017 Fayette County Fair is right around the corner and four young candidates are vying for a chance to become queen.

Each year as the fair approaches, several young ladies seek the opportunity to lead the county youth at the Fayette County Fair as queen. This special title and role will fill the days of the individual selected with many duties. The queen will attend many of the shows, sales, and “fun days,” and serve as an announcer or give trophies to winners throughout the week.

Additionally, the queen will serve as a role model for the 4-H kids and will be celebrated in the Mahan Building with her picture among the queens from past fairs.

This year the four candidates are:

– Clare Sollars, daughter of Jeff and Bridget Sollars, is a recent graduate of Miami Trace High School and was valedictorian of her class. She is a member of St. Colman Parish, where she has been an altar server for seven years. In high school, Clare was involved in volleyball, track and swimming (in which she set five school records). She is the senior class secretary, the student government president, Kiwanis Key Club vice president, and was also involved in the science club, Spanish club, and National Honor Society. Clare was one of two students selected to attend Buckeye Girls State where she served as the state party chair leading over 400 women, then was appointed the Governor’s Chief of Staff. She is an active member of Miami Trace FFA, holding the offices of secretary and reporter. Clare competed at nationals in dairy foods and at the state level in job interview and Agronomy Career Development events.

Clare has been involved in 4-H for 10 years in the Charm N’ Farm Club. She serves as the president on the Jr. Fair Board and is on the FSC/Misc. and Special Interest Department. She has been a camp counselor for five years. Clare was selected as a delegate for the National 4-H Conference in Washington D.C. where she presented to the President’s council on fitness, sports and nutrition. Clare won the state achievement award in horticulture and was awarded a trip to National 4-H Congress in Atlanta, Ga.

– Marissa Sheets, daughter of Bryan and Nikki Sheets of New Holland, is a recent graduate of Miami Trace High School where she has stayed active in both school and community activities. Marissa has been a member of the Miami Trace High School varsity swimming, soccer and golf teams, as well as a participant of the spring musicals, and member of student government, Key club, environmental team, FCA, FCCLA, Spanish Club, National Honor Society, and served as the 2016-2017 Miami Trace FFA vice-president.

Additionally, she has served as a class officer during her sophomore and junior years. Marissa’s involvement in the community includes her 10th year in 4-H and her fourth year in FFA, where she completes both market hog and dairy feeder projects. She has also served as a five-year Fayette County 4-H Camp counselor, four year Junior Fair Board member, a member of the Teen Leadership Council, Fayette County’s student representative for United Way, president of the Pigs-N-Things 4-H club and is completing her term as the 2016 Fayette County Dairy Princess. She is also a member of the New Holland United Methodist Church. Marissa loves every minute of serving her school and community and wants to be the 2017 Fayette County Fair Queen because it gives her the chance to see younger children wanting to do the same.

Upon graduation, Marissa will be attending Mount Carmel College of Nursing to become a nurse.

– Skylynn Barden, a graduate of Washington High School Class of 2016, has shown horses for seven years. While in high school, she was in several different choirs, honors choirs, bands and honors bands. She was also in marching band, on the dance team and a part of the swim team (in which she currently holds the school record in the 100-yard backstroke). Skylynn was in three middle school musicals and four high school musicals, and held leading roles in five of them. On top of 4-H and all of these other activities, she also worked as a waitress at Bob Evans. She is currently studying psychology at Wright State University while working 60 or more hours a week as a cashier at Kroger and as a lifeguard/swim instructor at the YMCA. Skylynn also coaches the YMCA Tsunami swim team, serves as president of the All-N-One 4-H Club (which is a gold club), and serves as a horse committee member. She might have a busy schedule but in her free time she loves to garden, care for her animals, and travel. She has traveled to four different countries and 18 different states.

Skylynn said that she might not be as involved in junior fair as past queens, but has experience in a multitude of sports, clubs, jobs and so on. She is an experienced leader and would be very honored if given the chance to hold the title of 2017 Fayette County Fair Queen.

– Susanna Eckstein, daughter of Steve and Christy Eckstein, graduated from Washington High School with honors with distinction this spring. Susanna plans to attend Arizona State University this fall and major in journalism and mass communications through the Barrett Honors College. Throughout high school Susanna was involved in volleyball, swim team, tennis, marching band, concert band, symphonic band, DECA, Youth in Government, There and Back Travel Group, We the People competition, Melinda Underwood Senior Photography representative, Buckeye Girls State delegate and student caucus (senior class historian). Susanna is currently the vice president of the 4-H Fun Bunch and has been a Fayette County 4-H Camp counselor for four years as well as a member of the Fayette County Junior Fair Board for four years. She has shown a number of projects throughout her years in 4-H, including rabbits, goats, dogs, cooking and miscellaneous projects.

Susanna has shown sheep for 10 years through 4-H and was the 2014 Fayette County Lamb and Wool Queen. She said she is excited for the 2017 Fayette County Fair.

The four candidates will have an opportunity to express why they deserve to be the next queen during the 2017 Queen’s Tea on Tuesday, June 27. Following the tea and before the 2017 Fayette County Fair opening ceremony on Sunday, July 16, which will be held at the McDonald’s Grandstand at 5:30 p.m., a judge will consider each lady’s qualifications for the position. During the ceremony, the new queen will be crowned and attendants will be named.

The 138th-annual Fayette County Fair will be held July 17-22. The fair will include a multitude of animal shows, games, rides and special McDonald’s Grandstand events. Stay with the Record-Herald for more information about this year’s fair as it becomes available.

The biographical information in this article was provided by Lisa Schwartz.

Clare Sollars Sollars

Marissa Sheets Sheets

Skylynn Barden Barden

Susanna Eckstein Eckstein
Queen’s Tea to be held June 27, Fayette County Fair set for July 17-22

By Martin Graham

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Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy