Editor’s note — The following is a farewell message from Sara Newsome, the 2020 Highland County Fair queen, that she will deliver during this year’s king and queen contests at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 5 in the Multipurpose Show Arena at the fairgrounds in Hillsboro. This year’s fair will be held Sept. 5-11:
Last year I stood on this stage and spoke of the resilient history and unshakable dedication that make up the Highland County Fair. Celebrating a fair that was unlike any other these grounds had ever seen, I was amazed at the lesson that I believe we all learned: it’s not the food, games or events that make up the Highland County Fair. It’s the people, the projects and the love of tradition that make this fair so special.
I had the honor to witness people coming together to celebrate agriculture, our youth, and all of their accomplishments, even when circumstances said it was nearly impossible. And as I look out on full fairgrounds today, appreciative of a return to normal, I hope we can continue to embrace that sense of community.
Throughout the past year I have had the opportunity to travel to more than 25 fairs throughout the state, meeting royalty, fair board members and exhibitors from every project and barn.
Competing in the Ohio Fairs Queen Contest, I was able to meet and form friendships with some of the most outstanding young women, each of whom represented their county in phenomenal ways. My year as fair queen truly exceeded any expectations that I had for it, and I am incredibly thankful to have the experiences it has given me.
To everyone who has supported me in the past year, thank you. Your encouragement means more than you know. And to my parents, you survived. Dad, your opinion on which shoes match my dress has gotten almost completely accurate. Mom, you can confidently add expert chauffeur to your long list of talents, right alongside professional fair food taste tester.
As I pass the crown on to one of our amazing queen candidates, I would also like to pass along a message. First and foremost, I’d like you all to take a deep breath. You each have represented your clubs well, and I do not envy the judges for the decision they have to make. So, take a deep breath, look around, and know that everyone here is already proud of what you have accomplished.
I know the work it takes to be sitting here this evening, and am proud of each of you for rising to the challenge. And to whomever may reside on the newly crowned royalty court, I encourage you to continue taking deep breaths, looking around, and appreciating where you are throughout the coming year.
This fair may be one of the busiest you have ever experienced, and this year will go by unbelievably fast. Stay in the moment, take advantage of every opportunity this position gives you, and take lots of photos to remember it by.
I am so excited to watch all of you continue to grow and thrive throughout this week, both on and off of the royalty court. Good luck to each of our candidates, and without making them wait any longer, let’s get back to our contest.
For the last time, my name is Sara Newsome, and I am your Highland County Junior Fair queen.