CLEARFIELD – The 14 young women who will contend for the crown at the 27th annual Clearfield County Fair Queen competition were introduced at a banquet on Sunday.
Reigning Fair Queen Chelsea Folmar will crown a new queen Aug. 2. The fair queen competition will get under way at 4 p.m. at the grandstand stage at the fairgrounds.
This year’s fair queen contestants are: Kristina McCracken; Haylee Stuckey; Abby Jamison; Rachel Duke; Christen Wisor; Gabrielle Schultz; Lacy Matier; Lydia Opalisky; Lyndsey Good; Krysten Kowalczyk; Cassie Folmar; Emily Andrulonis; Reilly Brown; and Allison Carns. All were in attendance at the banquet except for McCracken.
Good was the first runner-up last year and the second runner-up in 2013. Jamison was the second runner-up last year. Also, 2015 contestant Cassie Folmar is the younger sister of Fair Queen Chelsea Folmar.
Rachel Carr Davidson, fair queen committee member, provided an overview of the fair queen competition. “It’s a lot more than just an on-stage competition,” she said.
According to her, contestants have already completed the first segment of the competition, a personal essay. She said it was titled “what my fair means to the community” and is worth 15 points.
On the morning of the competition, Davidson said the contestants will have a personal interview with the panel of judges. She said this segment of the competition is worth the most, or 35 points.
This year she said the fair queen committee added a new segment, which isn’t technically being judged. She said there will be a judge’s reception to allow the panel to observe the fair queen contestants in a social setting similar to the one at the state convention.
Davidson said the contestants will participate in an on-stage three- to five-minute speech on “why you should come to my fair” and an evening gown/introduction. She said the contestants’ speech and evening gown segments are worth 30 and 20 points, respectively.
She said once the judges determine the Top 5 contestants, each will be asked the same impromptu question. She said this segment was added in recent years to prepare the fair queen for the state competition and for being put on the spot in social settings during her reign.
Jana Duttry Davidson, fair queen committee member, said she often has young women ask if they can enter the fair queen competition without any knowledge of agriculture.
“I always tell them yes. If you have the desire and passion, you can learn agriculture and be an amazing fair queen.”
She said in 2001, the fair queen program started the lamb project. She said it became a requirement for each fair queen to raise a lamb, which is eventually sold at the FFA/4H Livestock Sale fair week.
Duttry Davidson said the Guest of Honor Samuel E. Hayes Jr. has been a friend of the Clearfield County Fair and its fair queen program. She said he’s helped the fair queens with caring and raising their lambs.
Hayes shared with the contestants that caring for a young lamb will be much like caring for a baby. He said the fair queen will be responsible for making sure their lamb stays healthy for the FFA/4H Livestock Sale.
Hayes said the fair queen program is a “great value” to the contestants. He said each will blossom greater self-confidence and leadership skills through the fair queen competition.
Additionally, Hayes said the fair queen will learn to put focus on others who aren’t as fortunate, which will benefit the Children’s Miracle Network and other local charities.
Hayes said through the fair queen program, contestants learn and become ambassadors for agriculture and the Clearfield County Fair. He said it was a win for the young women, for the CMN, for agriculture and for the fair.
Fair Manager Greg Hallstom shared that the fair was ranked fourth in Pennsylvania. He said the Clearfield Fair Queen Program was tops in the state.
“You will meet someone through this competition who will change your life forever,” said Hallstrom. “It could be here tonight. It could be up on that stage. It could be at the state convention.”
In closing Chelsea Folmar offered words of advice to the contestants, the same ones she’d given to her younger sister. She told the contestants “to be confident in who you are,” “to make the most of this opportunity” and to “learn about agriculture.”
State Reps. Tommy Sankey and Matt Gabler and Clearfield County Commissioners Joan Robinson-McMillen, John A. Sobel and Mark B. McCracken were in attendance as special guests for the fair queen banquet.