Eight vying for fair queen, king titles


Six girls and four boys will vie for the title of Highland County Fair queen and king, respectively, on Sunday, the opening day of the fair’s 75th anniversary.

The theme for both the contest and this year’s fair is Dirt on my Boots, Fall in the Air, It’s the Best time of Year, at the 75th Highland County Fair.

The queen candidates are: Somara Donley, Trinity Edenfield, Sydney Hamilton, Addy Knauff, Anne-Marie Ogden and Rachel Rudy. The king candidates are: Brendan James Hagar and Jayden Hixson.

To be eligible for the contests, entrants must:

1. Represent FFA, FCCLA, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Farm Bureau Rural Youth, Highland County 4-H Club, or be a Highland County Junior Fair participant. Each local organization is allowed up to five girls and five boys that they may nominate, and she/he may be a candidate only if she/he attends a Highland County School or is a resident of Highland County. She/he must be a member of one of the organizations prior to and through the completion of the 2022 Highland County Fair.

2. Applicant must be between 15-19 years of age as of Jan. 1 of the current year. All past queens and kings are not eligible.

3. The queen selected is required to represent Highland County in the Ohio Fairs’ Queen Contest in 2023. (An alternate is to be chosen in case the queen is unable to represent Highland County in the state contest).

4. Must not be married, ever been married, or have a child.

5. Must be available to represent the Highland County Fair during the seven days of the fair.

In order to be crowned queen or king, contestants must complete four different parts of the contest:

Part 1 — An application was due Monday, Aug. 22. The contestants will be judged on their ability to answer the questions of the application. It will be judged on content, grammar and spelling.

Part 2 — Personal interview which will be judged on their ability to answer questions, their poise/posture and conversational ability by a panel of judges.

Part 3 — Speech about the fair theme on Sunday, Sept. 4 at 4 p.m. at Multi-Purpose Building. The contestants will be judged on their ability to prepare and present a two- to five-minute oral speech on the fair theme. No other topics will be accepted. No props of any kind may be used. It will be judged on the contestant’s speaking ability, content and poise/presence.

Part 4 — Two “fishbowl” questions at the contest. The contestants will be judged on their ability to answer two random questions in front of the audience and panel of judges. The contestants will be judged on their ability to answer the question, speaking ability, and poise/presence. An accumulation of all four parts will determine who will represent the fair as royalty.

Following are short bios submitted by all eight candidates:

Queen candidates

Hamilton is the daughter of Rob and Lara Hamilton of the Pricetown community. She is a senior at Lynchburg-Clay High School where she is active in band, National Honor Society and Envirothon. She shows market Boer goats and meat chickens at the fair. She also exhibits clothing and nutrition projects at the Highland County Fair and the Ohio State Fair. She is representing the Highland County Poultry, Pigs, and Lambs 4-H Club. She would like to be the Highland County Fair Queen so that she can be a role model for county youth and encourage them to be the best version of themselves.

Edenfield is a 13-year member of the Highland’s Best 4-H Club, having served as president for five of those years. She is also a member of many other clubs like the Hillsboro FFA, Highland County Junior Leaders and Highland County Jr. Fair Board. These programs have had a huge impact on her life and shaped her into the person she is now. “And one day I hope to be able to represent our community to give back and be an inspiring role model like all those before,” she said.

Knauff is a member of the Fur, Feathers, and Friends 4-H Club, Highland County Shooting Sports, Family Consumer Science Board, Jr. Fairboard, Jr. Leaders, Hillsboro FFA, Highland County Rabbit Council and Girl Scout Troop 134. She attends Hillsboro High School and spends most of her time with my friends. “I would love to represent Highland County as the 2022 Highland County Fair Queen because I know that I can bring some great things to the fair,” Knauff said. “I have a very outgoing personality, love meeting new people, sharing my experiences with others, and volunteering. I am passionate about our community and helping make it a great place that offers opportunity and hope for future generations. I believe people can and do make a difference every single day and with the right leadership and dedication every person has the ability to thrive. My goal as fair queen would be to share all the wonderful opportunities Highland County has to offer and help inspire others to be the best they can be.”

Donley, 17, is in her ninth and final year of 4-H. She shows market rabbits and chickens at the fair. She is a senior at Lynchburg-Clay High School. At school, she is involved in cheerleading, marching band, softball, volleyball and FFA. She was the treasurer of her FFA group for two years and received a gold rating for her treasurer book both years. Outside of school, she is involved in Jr. Leaders and 4-H and was the treasurer and vice president of her 4-H group, the Lynchburg Guys & Gals, and is currently the president. After she graduates from high school, she plans on enlisting in the U.S. Navy for crypto technology.

Ogden is the daughter of Jeremiah and Nancymae Ogden. Throughout her life she has enjoyed staying active in her community and school. She is an active member of the Mowrystown Church of Christ, Hillsboro Church of Christ youth group, and volunteers her time assisting young members of my community. While attending Hillsboro High School, she stays busy with marching band, symphonic choir, symphonic band, swim team, track and field, NHS and FFA. Through 4-H, she is an active member of Family and Consumer Sciences Board, Junior Leaders, Junior Fairboard, and Concord Jr. Farmers. “Within these clubs and boards I assist young 4-Hers in their projects, while also completing my own. During the fair, I can be found in the Poultry Barn with my meat pen and fancy chickens. When I am not busy with my community and 4-H activities, I spend as much time with my family and friends as I can, whether that is helping my parents and siblings with daily tasks and assisting with homework or playing yard games,” she said. “I am always up for some family fun. With all of this, I still find time to work at the local Dairy Queen.”

Rudy is the daughter of Howard and Kristy Rudy. She lives in Hillsboro with her parents and three brothers. She is a graduate of Whiteoak High School. “I am now currently pursing my associate’s degree in early childhood education at Southern State Community College. I am representing the Highland County Poultry, Pigs, and Lambs 4-H Club,” she said.

King candidates

Hixson has been in 4-H for eight years and FFA for three years. He has a brother and a sister. He shows market and breeding rabbits, and has shown market pigs and fancy chickens. “I have helped people with their fair cattle and sheep,” he said. “During my summers I work for my local farmers, helping them with straw and hay. I help them with their cattle and fencing.“

Hagar is a 17-year-old senior at Lynchburg-Clay High School. He is the son of Amy Hagar and Jonathon Hilliard. He has been in 4-H for 12 years (including Cloverbud years). “Over the years I have shown goats and taken many different special interest projects. I am excited to have the opportunity to run for fair king,” he said.

Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.








Contests set for Sunday on opening day of 75th Highland County Fair

By Jeff Gilliland


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