ST. CLAIRSVILLE - The Belmont County Fair opened Tuesday with the crowning of this year's Junior Fair royal court. A king, queen, prince and princess were selected.
Kurtis Ogilbee, a graduate of Union Local High School, will serve as king; Abby Collins, a junior at Union Local High School, was selected as queen; Jordan Mehlman, an eighth grade student at Bellaire Middle School, will serve as prince; and Jessica Roberts, a fifth-grader at Martins Ferry Middle School, was selected as princess.
Lauren Stephens, fair board member, welcomed all friends, family and fellow students in attendance. Stephens noted that the positions of fair royalty are open to all junior fair youth ages nine to 19.
T-L Photo/ROBERT A. DEFRANK
COOPER AND Zack Brownfield walk their goats at the Belmont County Fair Tuesday. See related story on page A7.
Applicants are interviewed by a panel of judges on their activities and leadership, poise, personality, personal appearance and their advisor's recommendations. Each participant's application was reviewed by a separate panel of judges focusing on activities, leadership, awards, and neatness of the application.
She noted the winners' and candidates' backgrounds in FFA, local 4-H clubs, agricultural pursuits and community service work.
Richard Wilcox and Becca Theaker, who were selected as last year's king and queen, assisted in crowning their successors.
4-H Extension Educator Jane Keyser commented on the excitement surrounding the fair.
"Things are going really well," she said. "We hope the weather cooperates. We want everyone to come to the fair."
She noted that many accomplished young people applied for the royal posts.
"These are the top three of each division we've selected for the court," she said. "We had a full court this year."
The lamb and goat shows opened Tuesday night. Livestock Superintendent Leroy Carpenter added that a new lamb and goat barn was recently constructed and the number of lamb and goat entries has increased by 15 and 20 animals. The grounds also boast two new additions. Most of the improvements have come through donations.
Carpenter added that the next project on the list is to look into installing a sewage system.
"This is our third year up here. We've come a long way."
DeFrank can be reached at email@example.com