Zachary Wecker and Paige Garrett were crowned Delaware County Junior Fair king and queen, respectively, during Saturday’s royalty coronation ceremony.
Wecker, a junior at Big Walnut High School who has been involved in 4-H for eight years, said he didn’t know what to expect heading into the fair king application interview.
“I was a little nervous in the interview because you’re in a room with an adult and they’re asking you so many questions, but it wasn’t that bad because I knew it was going to be a lot of fun if I won it,” Wecker said. “I was optimistic.”
Wecker added he’s honored to be able to serve in the role of fair king.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to hand an 8-year-old their first-place plaque or ribbon,” Wecker said. “That’s one of the best parts of being royalty, you sometimes present a new 4-Her their first award and you see that look in their eyes as they are like, ‘I did it!’”
Wecker said he’s looking forward to seeing the other shows and handing out prizes for the rest of the fair as well as watching The Little Brown Jug.
“I’m excited for all the things I can help with,” he said.
Wecker said his older brother, Cole, was fair king in 2020, which gave him a unique perspective on the role.
“(As the fourth of five siblings), I’ve been following in siblings’ footsteps but I saw how much fun it was to be fair royalty,” Wecker said. “I’ll just try and do it better than him.”
Garrett is a Buckeye Valley alum and a student at Ohio Wesleyan University, where she is studying pre-med. She said this year is her year in 4-H, which made the fair queen crown feel even more significant.
“I was very honored because it’s my last year,” Garrett said. “It was a very emotional process. (After 12 years of 4-H), I’m aging out. I had nothing but joy. I can’t even describe it. It was such an extraordinary experience.”
Garrett said she was “honored and ecstatic” when her name was called, but her “heart went out to the other girls.” She added she will return next year to cheer on the returning fair court members.
As for her new role as fair queen, Garrett said she’s excited for the opportunity to give back.
“I love helping the youth and inspiring more people and giving back to the community that raised me,” Garrett said. “I’ve lived in Delaware my whole life, and the fair has been a huge part of my life. To be able to give back to them and help the youth, because I used to look up to the fair queen when I was younger, is just a huge honor to be able to do that. I’m truly grateful.”
Garrett said she’s looking forward to the rest of the shows and sales at the fair as well as Jug Day.
“(I’m excited to) just be out there, being able to meet new people and buyers,” Garrett said. “You can get life advice from anybody. I’m honored to be able to represent Delaware County.”
Garrett said she’s thankful to the Delaware County Junior Fair Board and to the organizers of the fair.
“(I want to give them a) huge ‘thank you!’” Garrett said. “I appreciate everybody on the Junior Fair Board and the people who make the fair happen. I don’t know what I would have done without it. It’s been a huge part of my life.”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.