The 2022 edition of the Queen’s Tea was held Thursday evening at the Mahan Building on the Fayette County Fairgrounds. The three candidates running for 2022 Fayette County Fair Queen are graduates of Miami Trace High School: Libby Aleshire, Hidy Kirkpatrick, and Abbie Brandt.
Fayette County Agricultural Society President Bob Schwartz spoke a few words about the event. “I certainly want to wish all the queens the best of luck, this is always an exciting evening. I think we’ve got two real fine judges and I think they are going to do a great job.”
The judges for this year’s event are Michelle Callahan and Sandy Kuhn.
Callahan is currently the community relations manager for the Pickaway County Library. Kuhn is currently a farm manager for Farmers National Company.
Each candidate was asked to grab a question from the bulletin board, read it aloud to the crowd, and then answer it. Libby Aleshire was the first candidate to speak. Her question was: Besides your parents, who is or was your Junior Fair superhero? Talk about what qualities or experiences make this individual unique.
“So, my Junior Fair superhero is Faith Marine (the secretary of the Fayette County Fairgrounds office). She possesses so many great qualities in a leader and she has helped make our fair so great, and what it is today. She is respectful to everyone, even if they make her a little bit mad. She’s extremely kind and she loves everyone. She tells us all the time that she’s our Junior Fair mom, and we love her for that. We know that if we ever need anything during the fair season, or any time in life, that Faith would be there.
Aleshire began to get emotional and said, “Faith is one of the most wonderful people that I have ever met, and she truly is like a second mom to me.”
Abbie Brandt was next to speak for the guests. Her question read: How would you be a positive role model for the youth, and what advice would you give younger members in Junior Fair?
“This is actually a very funny one, because my sister is younger than me and she is not social whatsoever. One word of positive advice that I would give to the younger 4-H members would be to step out of your comfort zone. Stepping out of your comfort zone can lead you to so many new things. I never thought I would be in this position right now, third grade me would have never stepped out of my comfort zone to do this.”
Brandt continued, “I believe that I would be a positive role model for the youth because I am always willing to step out of my comfort zone to help younger kids or anybody at all. I’m always trying to be positive in every single way. Having that guide to push someone through, I feel like that would be very nice, because some of us didn’t have that.”
Brandt then spoke of the person who helped her when she was younger, Marissa (Sheets) Ratliff.
“I personally had Marissa. She was my camp counselor a lot, and she was one of the commodity queens a couple times. It was always nice being able to talk to her about everything that I had, she just guided us through. I would love to be that positive impact on kids.”
Hidy Kirkpatrick spoke last out of the three candidates. The question for Kirkpatrick was: If you were judging the Fayette County Junior Fair Queen contest, what qualities would you look for in the person you would choose as queen?
“I truly believe to be a Fayette County Fair Queen, you do not have to follow the stereotypes of showing all the animals in the fair, or maybe living in the country,” she said. “You just have to possess good qualities of leadership. Whether that is showing kindness to everyone and compassion or being a good leader and role model to those younger members. I remember as I was growing up in 4-H, I would always look up to the Fayette County Fair Queens.
Kirkpatrick finished, “You are almost the face of Fayette County, and I truly do believe that you have to be a role model for those younger members because they are growing up and potentially running for Fair Queen as well. I would just look for someone who stands out in the crowd, puts herself out there, and isn’t afraid to be herself.”
The 2017 Fayette County Fair Queen, Marissa (Sheets) Ratliff, spoke about her experiences as Fair Queen.
“The week is a whirlwind. It will be the quickest and longest week of your life. It’s amazing to get to see all of the kids, not only the ones that do the livestock projects but also ones that do the things behind the scenes too. My biggest advice is as queens, you are each other’s support system. You are being dragged everywhere, always have comfortable shoes because you are gonna walk so much that you’re not even gonna be able to feel your feet by the end of the night. Really, just enjoy it because it does go so quickly, as does the 10 years that you are in 4-H.”
The 2022 Fayette County Fair Queen will be announced on Sunday, July 17 at 2:30 p.m. at the McDonald’s Grandstand. The 143rd Fayette County Fair will run from Monday, July 18 through Saturday, July 23.