CLEARFIELD – Six young women will contend for the crown at the upcoming 30th annual Clearfield County Fair Queen competition.
Five of the six contestants were introduced at a banquet Sunday evening at the Expo II Building at the fairgrounds.
Reigning Fair Queen Emily Andrulonis will crown the next queen Sunday, July 29. The fair queen competition will take place at 4 p.m. at the grandstand stage at the 158th Clearfield County Fair.
Contestants will include Rebecca Liddle of DuBois, Jayna Vicary of Curwensville, Kyrsten Kowalczyk of Flinton, Sarah Simcox of Curwensville, Brittney Minnich of Tyrone and Sydney Spencer of Grampian.
Rachel Carr Davidson, fair queen committee member, gave an overview of the fair queen competition. It closely resembles the Pennsylvania State Fair Competition, at which the newly-crowned queen will represent the Clearfield County Fair.
According to her, contestants have already completed the first segment of the competition, a personal essay on what the fair means to their community. The day-of the competition, they will appear for a personal interview with the panel of judges.
Judges will ask contestants about topics related to the fair and agriculture as well as current events and the contents of their personal biography, she said.
And then on-stage, contestants will compete in a timed three- to five-minute speech on why people should come to their fair and an evening gown/personal introduction.
Due to having a small group of contestants this year, Davidson explained that all six will answer an impromptu question. Judges will then tally the scores and select a fair queen and her first- and second- runners up.
The banquet’s guest of honor was Maria Zaffuto, Sykesville Ag & Youth Fair board member. She has grown up around her hometown fair and has two favorite weeks each year, the week of the Sykesville Ag & Youth Fair and the week of the Pennsylvania State Fairs Convention.
Zaffuto asked guests why fairs were so important, and while she said there weren’t any right or wrong answers, the most striking reason was the opportunities they provided people, especially youth. A prime example, she said, was the Clearfield County Fair Queen Program.
Zaffuto gave the contestants this F.A.I.R. advice: to foster love of fairs and agriculture within themselves and in others; to always look for opportunities at the fair; to inspire people to get involved with their fair and to create memories; and to realize their potential to become ambassadors for fairs and agriculture.
“Once you become a piece of the fair, the fair becomes a piece of you,” she said. Zaffuto presented a puzzle piece to each of the contestants, which portrayed the message of “farms, families, fairs.”
Andrulonis said in exactly one week, she would have to give up her crown even though she isn’t quite ready. Her best advice for the contestants was to become friends not competitors; not to be discouraged if they are not crowned queen or selected for the court; and to “get to know” Pennsylvania.
“This program deserves all that you can give it,” Andrulonis said. “Take this opportunity and cherish it.”