Without some urging from their peers, Sydney Hamilton and Jayden Hixson might not have ever entered the queen and king competitions, respectively, at the 2022 Highland County fair. But they heeded those proddings and on Sunday were crowned queen and king of the 75th annual fair.
The queen’s attendants, in no particular order, were Somara Donley, Trinity Edenfield and Addy Knauff. The king’s attendant was Brendan Hagar.
A year after failing to be named queen or an attendant, Hamilton said she kept the faith of being named queen at the urging of her grandmother, Diane ‘Mimi’ Elcook.
“I decided to try and do it again this year mainly because of my grandmother,” Hamilton said. “She’s been a role model and the one I always looked up to. Actually, my whole family has been involved in the fair for multiple generations.”
She said she originally chose to take part of the queen’s contest because she wanted, “to be a role model to the youth of Highland County and to give back to something that’s given me so much.”
The daughter of Rob and Lara Hamilton of the Pricetown community, Sydney Hamilton is a senior at Lynchburg-Clay High School where she is active in band, National Honor Society and Envirothon. She shows market goats and chickens at the fair and also exhibits clothing and nutrition projects at the Highland County Fair and Ohio State Fair.
“When I go to any competition I just hope whoever worked the hardest and is the best person for the job wins,” Hamilton said.
After the three queen’s attendants’ names were announced Sunday, Hamilton said she was surprised when she heard her name called as the new queen.
“I was like, ‘did they really just say my name? Is that me?’” Hamilton said. “Then I thought how grateful I am for the support system I have with my Mom and Dad and so many others.”
Hixson, a 4-H member for eight years and FFA member for three years, did not decide to run for king until about a month before Sunday’s contest at the urging of Danielle Combs at the Highland County Extension Office.
She said, ‘you should sign up,’ and I thought, ‘no, I don’t want to,’” Hixson said. “Then my Mom, my 4-H adviser and my friends said I should do it. I got to thinking then that I could help everyone else and encourage them to do the same kind of thing.”
Now, Hixson said, he’s looking forward to a busy week.
“What I’m looking forward to most is helping with the shows and teaching the kids that it’s just not about name, but an opportunity you get to learn and then teach other people,” Hixson said.
Doris Edenfield, a grandmother to queen’s attendant Trinity Edenfield, was at Sunday’s contest — possibly attending her 75th Highland County Fair — meaning she has attended every Highland County Fair under its current format.
The current version of the fair started in 1947, when the 81-year-old Doris Edenfield would have been 6 years old. She said she’d have to check with her brother to make sure, but that it’s quite possible she has attended all 75 Highland County Fairs.
“I grew up at the fair,” she said.
She said her father, Willard Johnson, was on the original fair board and that her brother, Russ Johnson, served on the fair board for many years. She said that in its early years, the fair was nothing compared to what it is today.
“No, no, no, there were no buildings. Everything was under tents up in the midway area. That was the whole fair. The tractors pulls were held somewhere else,” said Edenfield, adding that another of her granddaughters, Quinn Walker, was fair queen a few years ago. “When it would rain those tents would fall in — those are the kind of things I remember.”
Without Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.