After a nomination process and several rounds of judging, Zane Melvin was named fair king and Paris Anderson was named fair queen Saturday afternoon during the first day of the Delaware County Fair.
The 10 members of Delaware County Fair Royalty Court were introduced at a Coronation Ceremony on Sept. 16. Each member was nominated by a 4-H organization and had to fill out an application and do an interview with a panel of judges. During the coronation, each nominee had to answer a question from a panel of judges and ultimately, Melvin, a senior at Buckeye Valley High School and a member of Bellepoint Friendly 4-Hers; and Anderson, a junior at Big Walnut High School and a member of Big Walnut DACC FFA, were selected as the king and queen.
Melvin said he was nervous but excited heading into the ceremony.
“I know my club has had kings and queens before. When I got nominated, I thought, ‘It’s my turn, maybe I’ll get a shot at it.’” Melvin said. “I was really excited and hoping I’d get a chance to be up there, let alone become king.”
Anderson said her nerves got to her during the ceremony, but it was something she looked forward to.
“I’m a social person, but I struggle with putting myself out there but this opportunity allowed me to do that,” said Anderson, who added she was “super excited” when she was crowned queen.
Anderson said she’s thrilled to be able to participate in other shows during the fair and interact with other attendees.
“(I’m) looking forward to meeting new people, meeting new exhibitors, and learning about other shows,” she said.
Melvin said he’s looking forward to the duties of fair king.
“All eyes are on me,” he said. “I’m super stoked to have all that pressure and responsibility. I’m very excited to talk to people.”
Melvin said he’s been competing at the fair for about nine years and is excited to hand out ribbons.
“I’ve done showing since I was this big,” he said, holding his hand at his waist. “So now it’s my turn to give ribbons with a sash on. I love the fair. It’s a great time. There’s everything for everyone.”
Anderson said she’s excited to continue to take part in the fair in the future.
“I’ll do this until I’m not allowed,” she said. “(I love) the environment. You can make new friends and hang out with the old.”
The ceremony was emceed in part by 2022 Fair King Zack Wecker and Queen Paige Garrett, both of whom said they were proud to pass the torch to Melvin and Anderson, respectively.
“It’s kind of sad because it’s the end of the year,” said Wecker, who is now a senior at Big Walnut High School. “It’s a great job to be fair royalty. Passing the torch means those eyes aren’t on you. It’s sad, but someone else gets to experience it.”
Garrett is now a student at Ohio Wesleyan University studying business. She said it was “absolutely exciting” to pass the torch.
“It’s an honor I’m able to pass it down,” Garrett said. “I’m involved with everything, and I’ve experienced the week from a different perspective. It’s a bittersweet moment. I’m sad for me because I loved the duty, but I’m absolutely excited for her to see what she does with it.”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.