Kendall Sestili and Caleb Durheim have been competitors for years at the Delaware County Fair, but this year, they stood together after being named Delaware County Junior Fair Queen and King during opening day of the fair.
Durheim, a senior at Big Walnut High School, said Wednesday that the process to become Fair King or Queen begins at the start of the summer when interested parties have to fill out an application to the Fair Board.
“They pick the best candidates and then in the first week of September, we have a meeting with the junior fair board and they select king and queen, and prince and princesses,” Durheim said.
Sestili, a senior at Dublin Jerome High School, said becoming Fair Queen has been a goal for much of her 11 years in 4-H.
“It’s always been an accomplishment to me, because it means my peers would choose me to represent Delaware County 4-H and our community,” Sestili said. “It is a big deal. It’s a big responsibility that I wanted to take on.”
Durheim said they were not told ahead of time who would be announced as fair royalty, and he was stunned when his named was called.
“We found out when they called it,” Durheim said. “I was super excited, super happy. I was able to catch my breath, I was a little nervous. I was really hoping to become Fair King. It’s a great honor, and I was really hoping I was going to be able to have this opportunity to be Fair King, but I didn’t know what to expect.”
Sestili added she was surprised but happy.
“It was definitely more of a shocking feeling,” she said. “I had prepared myself for the worst and when I got it, it was a really good feeling, like ‘I did it’ in a way.”
Durheim said he’s spent the last three years in Delaware County, and he is honored to continue the Fair King tradition.
“Becoming Fair King is such a great honor. It has such a rich history here in Delaware County, to be on their royalty court and to carry on that great tradition they’ve started, it’s really fun to me,” Durheim said.
As fair royalty, Sestili and Durheim have been handing out awards, interacting with fairgoers, thanking buyers at sales and taking pictures with champions.
The pair faced off during the goat show earlier this week, and Sestili won the grand prize for market goat, while Durheim won reserve champion and showmanship.
“I’ve known Kendall for four years now, but it’s really cool that we had grand and reserve goat,” Durheim said. “It’s really cool that king and queen got champion goats. It’s a small world!”
Sestili said she was delighted to win, adding the competition was very friendly.
“This was his first year showing goats, and we knew we’d be going against each other,” Sestili said. “He won showmanship and then I beat him in the market class. It’s definitely cool. We enjoy our time being king and queen together.”
Sestili said her favorite part of the fair has been the people she’s met and grown close to.
“(My favorite thing is) all the relationships that I’ve connected with and made,” Sestili said. “4-H friends are the friends you stay with for a lifetime. I’m definitely looking forward to visiting other fairs and telling them what Delaware has and how good our community is.”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.