By Jaylyn Bower
What a week it has been! Everything started Sunday, July 7th whenever I was crowned Miss Washington County Fair Queen. The first queen since 1986. That’s a 33 year gap of royalty, and everyone was very excited about having the queen pageant back for our fair. Needless to say, I had a tall order to fill, and a very busy schedule ahead of me.
First order of business was on that Monday after the pageant. My fellow queens and I had to come in to the fair grounds office and sign our official contracts. They went over all that we would do in the upcoming weeks, and how best to behave in our year as the Miss, Jr. Miss, and Little Miss representing our county. The best motto for us is “Keep It Queen.” We also got to walk around and check out all the 4-H projects with their awards and ribbons already in place. My Little Miss Caillyn was very excited to show us her skills on an English project that won her a yellow ribbon!
Tuesday was all about fun. We got to ride all the fair rides we wanted for the evening. While it was hard to keep your crown on at times, it was still a really great bonding experience with my little queens! Then of course we had to take a break and get some snow cones and lemon shakeups. I loved how this year you get to pour your own syrup on your snow cone ice. Jr. Miss Raelynn and I got to mix and match our flavors and see who had the best combination.
Wednesday it was just me at the fair for the livestock show and auction. Then, I traded my dresses and heels for some jeans and boots. I spent my evening taking pictures with the sold animals, the buyers, and the devoted people who raised the animals. I was very impressed by how well all the animals behaved, especially the pigs (with a little help of a food bowl in front of them). It was also very special to see the amount of work that goes into raising these animals and showing the off to the community. It was amazing that kids younger than me were showing off a steer! This was a new experience for me and I will definitely be at next years show!
Thursday my queens and I oversaw the kiddie tractor pull and the glow run. You’d be surprised at how strong our little ones can be! My Little Miss Caillyn loves cheering on her friends that were pulling, and Raelynn and me were there to help out and take pictures of course! We got pictures with all the winners that night. Then once it got dark out, we got the honor of starting the Glow Run! We even had a little choreographed start to it. Caillyn would start off by yelling “On Your Marks”, then Raelynn would continue with “Get Set”, and then it was up to me to blow the air horn and start the race. While my 2 little queens did great in their part, I might have messed up the one job I had! I will blame it on the defective air horn, but make it what you will. After the race we presented medals to all the top finishers and ended the night with a big group picture. This was one of our longest days, but was for sure a blast putting on all the free glow sticks.
Friday was out County Tractor Pull. As far as our week goes, this was one of the easiest days. We started the event with being announced over the grandstand and even got to talk a little bit about ourselves. Then we were free to enjoy the evening! Of course we walked the midway and stuck around for a bit, but I think I speak for all of our royalty when I say it was nice to just go home and catch up on some sleep!
Saturday was quite the day for me. My queens and I all showed up with our crowns, sashes, and color coordinated white dresses. Then we got to ride out on a demo derby car, sitting on the back and waving. It was both fun and scary to see the whole county come out for this event, meanwhile you’re focusing on not falling off! Then I had a quick change into some jeans, padding, and some boots. I had the proud duty of riding shotgun in a derby car for the autocross preliminary races. This was a very cool experience for me, and I think it shows that’s it’s fun to be a beauty queen but it’s also fun to be in a derby! While yes we got hit hard and ran into a concrete wall, I had a helmet on and was perfectly okay afterwards. After the races I was off to change back into my queen attire in order to hand out the demo trophies for the night. We gave out the “Maddog” trophies and the overall winner of both classes of cars. It was a very good show that night and brought in a huge crowd for our fair. This is one fair tradition that I hope stays for a long time.
In conclusion, fair week was a very long and tiring one, but it was for sure a fun one. Lots of new experiences and memories that I can look back on with my little queens and I. As far as thank you’s go, I would like to thank the Washington County Fair Board and the Washington County Pageant Committee for giving me the opportunity to be the “new royalty” and presided over our fair. It made the fair a much more personable and novelty experience for the residents in our community. I want to thank my pageant directors Laura, Renee, and Rhonda for helping me through this whole experience, as well as the judges on pageant night. I wanna thank my family and friends who came out to see me, not only in the pageant, but through this week at the fair. I need to thank my cousin McKenzie Allen for being my own personal glam squad, and even better, my cousin. I want to thank Mike Setzekorn, Ryan Bigly, and Randy Schwartzkopf for helping with my demo derby dream. I want to thank all my fellow contestants in the pageant for participating, especially this being the first one in 33 years. Last but not least I want to thank the community and Washington County as a whole for coming out to the fair and keeping our small town tradition going. I look forward to seeing how the Queen program will continue with the fair, and hope to grow our fair as well as our community. Please come out next year to the pageant and see who our 2020 queen will be to preside all over next years fair!