By Whitney Vickers
XENIA — Thirteen local teenagers expressed their love of Greene County upon a stage Sunday in hopes of being crowned fair royalty. While the judges said they were proud of each participant, Janine Stover was crowned princess, Mikal Porter was crowned king and Sarah Harner was named queen.
They said they were “living the dream.”
“I’m looking forward to traveling together with the people (Porter and Stover),” Harner said.
Participants were locked backstage until it was their turn to speak to ensure they wouldn’t have a leg-up in the questions. Upon stepping onto the stage, they were each asked to draw a word from a bag, then define it in their own words and how it applies to their own life. They then walked the catwalk and answered a funny question, which varied according to category. Before the competition began, they were interviewed by the judges.
“The winner will represent the Greene County Fair at various community functions and other county fairs throughout the state,” Judge Adam Bennett said.
Five young ladies — including Lauren Heininger, Payton Hunt, Grace Lucas, Elizabeth McDonald and Stover — ranging from 13-15 years old, fought for the fair princess title. The five girls were asked, “if you could be any animal at the Greene County Fair, which would it be and why?” It was met with responses such as sheep, dogs and goats for varying reasons, such as having a good life to not having to attend school and worry about homework.
Two gentleman, Cody Myers (fair king runner-up) and Porter, 17 and 18 years old, were asked, “if you had an elephant were not allowed to get rid of, what would you do with it?” Answers included raising money for college and simply having an interesting pet to be proud of.
Meanwhile, six ladies went up to bid for the queen crown. The title was between Harner, Madison Kilbarger (fair queen runner-up), Kylie Mueller, Amanda Perkins, Maria Smith and Mackenzie Todd, ranging from 16 to 18 years old. They were asked what their favorite fair food is, and to convince attendees to purchase it themselves.
“[We’re looking for] confidence and composure,” Judge Rhea Stidham said. “We’re looking for someone to be a good representative of 4-H, not only to the county but to the State of Ohio.”
Judges also included Emily Bennett.
Upon receiving their crowns, Stover, Porter and Harner will spend the next year together representing Greene County at events, such as neighboring county fairs. The fair royalty said this aspect is what they are most excited about.
“You just have to keep doing it, keep going,” Stover advised future participants. “Even if you don’t get it the first time, no matter what you do at the fair, just keep trying and don’t stop doing what you’re doing.”
Reach Whitney Vickers at 937-502-4532.