GREENVILLE — The 2017 Darke County Junior Fair Queen and King are Shelby Manning, of Union City, Ohio and Wyatt King, of Greenville.
The pageant took place Tuesday, at the Lighthouse Christian Center, in Greenville. Junior Fair Queen Shelby Manning, 18, was sponsored by the Mississinawa Valley Miami Valley Career Technology Center Future Farmers of America (FFA). Her parents are Jason and Heather Manning. In addition, she is a Junior Fairboard secretary, a 4-H member, an FFA member, a fan of Mexican food and served on the 2017 Junior Fair Court.
“I was not expecting this at all,” Manning said of the win. “But I have wanted it since I was little, so it feels pretty great. I thought the competition was pretty stiff this year. Sometimes you can kind of tell who the top crop is going to be, but this year it was pretty tough. It just makes winning a lot better knowing that you had a good crowd.”
Manning said the best thing that ever happened to her was her baby brother. She also explained that her legacy as Fair Queen will be the kids.
“My legacy will be to help the kids and make sure that they understand the importance of the great Darke County Fair, not only as a livestock or general project exhibitor, but what our county fair stands for as a whole,” she said.
Junior Fair King Wyatt King, 18, of Greenville, was sponsored by Top Notch 4-H Club of which he is president. His parents are Aaron and Becky King. At Franklin-Monroe High School, he was president of the National Honor Society, FFA and Student Council. He also served as Junior Fair President and currently serves on the Union City Volunteer Fire Department.
“It feels great to be king,” he said. “I am very excited for the year to come, and I know I will build a lot of relationships with the new court. I also know I have big shoes to fill. The competition was great this year and really impressive. I was thrilled to see all of the guys that ran.”
King described himself as a good leader, outgoing and very friendly. He said his friend influenced him to join the Volunteer Fire Department.
“But once I got involved, I realized what all they do for the community,” King said. “I have always been trying to help out in the community, so this is just a way to do that more in – depth.”
Runners-up for Queen include: First Natalie Wuebker, 18, Grade A Kids 4-H Club; Second Faith Wilker, 17, Versailles Busy Beavers 4-H Club; Third Kara Hollinger, 17, Top Notch 4-H Club. Runners – up for King include: First Alex Weiss, 17, Grade A Kids 4-H Club; Second Kyle Wuebker, 17, Grade A Kids 4-H Club and Third Zeb Hannan, 17, Crowing Coops 4-H Club.
Other Finalists included: Allison Armstrong, 17, Horse and Rider 4-H Club; Grant Flory, 18, Darke County 4-H Beef; Morgan Heitkamp, 16, Canine Capers 4-H Club and Matt Slyder, 16, Ansonia Animal 4-H Club.
The remaining 2017 contestants included: Chris Bucklew, 18, Rabbit Habbit 4-H Club; Mark Mayo, 17, Ansonia 4-H Club; Rebecca Thornhill, 17, Girls Scouts of Darke County; Mathew Knight, 16, Pets and Partners 4-H Club; Hannah Rammel, 17, Darke County 4-H Shooting Sports and Shelby Rock, 17, Joyful Jets 4-H Club.
The pageant judges were Jessica Helsinger, Kayla Crabtree and Betsy Kemp.
Outgoing 2016 Junior Fair Queen Molly Hunt and King Isaac Gehret were the night’s presenters. Hunt thanked all of the people who have done so much for them and the fair, including: Dave Knapp Ford, Bud’s Chrysler and Hittle’s Buick and GMC for allowing the use of their vehicles; sponsors: Doug and Beth Martin and family; Darke County Township Association; Tom and Debbie Beuter; Greenville FFA Alumni; Hog Slat, Inc. – Pat Williams, mentors and parade drivers.
The Darke County Junior Fair Coordinator Beth Martin is in charge of all of the Junior Fair activities, with the pageant being a small portion, she said. To get ready for the pageant, she arranges the judges, books the location, helps put together the new program for the new year, assists the whole court in their plans, including attending other fairs and anything else the pageant needs. While this means a lot of late nights for her she reaps the rewards.
“I enjoy working with all of the kids and giving them an opportunity to show Darke County what they have learned through 4-H, the scouts, or FFA programs and letting them showcase that come fair time,” she said.
Outgoing 2016 Junior Fair Queen Molly Hunt told the new Junior Fair Queen Shelby Manning and Fair King Wyatt King they had an awesome year ahead of them and to make it count.
“To all of our contestants tonight – you all did a fantastic job and we are so proud of you,” she said. “Please run again next year. You guys are already wonderful role models in our community and we all love you.”
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