By Meladi Brewer
GREENVILLE — Jayden Hicks and Mariah Kreusch were named the 2022 Darke County Junior Fair King and Queen.
The Great Darke County Fair has provided new opportunities to the community for years, and for these contestants, the fair will do just that as they competed to be the next Jr. Fair King and Queen.
A total of 12 contestants – four boys, eight girls – competed for their chance at royalty on July 19 at the Radiant Lighthouse building. Contestants were judged based on their activities, poise and personality, personal appearance, and an essay.
Kreusch, daughter of Daniel and Susan Kreusch, was crowned the 2022 Jr. Fair Queen. Kreusch credited her presence to her English teacher, Mrs. Eilerman, who believed in her and told her to take control of the opportunity. Her sister, on the other hand, believed Kreusch would not win due to her lack of agricultural experience.
“I was never in a barn. I don’t own a pair of boots, but I have been sewing for 11 years and now I’m here,” Kreusch said.
Kreusch’s sister had told her she was not going to win because she doesn’t take an animal to the fair, Kreusch said she believes one’s public speaking skills can take you far in the competition, and she plans on taking this opportunity to show if you’re confident in who you are, it can take you far in life.
Hicks, son of James and Mayriah Hicks, was crowned the 2022 Jr. Fair King. Hicks said he is excited for the year to come stating it will be a lot of fun.
“I competed to get more involved with the fair. I usually stick to the cow barn,” Hicks said. “I want to be more involved with the fair and kind of get my name out there into the community.”
Hicks is looking forward to the Ceremonial Ribbon Cutting happening on Aug. 19 at 8 a.m. He said it is a good time and it signifies the start to a great week.
Former 2021 Jr. Fair King, Dalton Hesson, crowned the new royalty with words of advice.
“Things aren’t always going to go as planned. There are going to be opportunities you don’t take, some you’re going to regret where others you’re going to look back on and be glad you took the chance. You just have to take all the chances you can get,” Hesson said.
The 2021 Queen and King both agree the new court should take advantage of every opportunity they have to do an activity or go to another fair. Building friendships within the fair court is equally an important opportunity.
“Build a relationship with your fair court and spend as much time together as possible because these are some lifelong friends that you are going to build relationships with,” Hesson said.
A thank you is extended to all the 2022 plaque sponsors, mentors, parade drivers, pageant flower donors, and parade vehicle providers. As well, a special thank you is offered to the Darke County Senior Fairboard, Beth Martin, Schmidt Photography, the families who have provided over the last year, and Helen’s Flowers.
To contact Daily Advocate Reporter Meladi Brewer, email [email protected].