In the grand tradition of the Delaware County Fair, Lauren VanGundy was crowned Saturday afternoon as the 2018 Delaware County Junior Fair Queen during a fast-paced ceremony in the Junior Fair Show Arena.
The quick pace of the coronation was due to the fact that many of the participants in the royal court were scheduled for livestock shows directly after the ceremony.
According to the Junior Fair Board’s adult leadership, participants submitted an application and then were interviewed by the members of the Junior Fair Board. Once all interviews had been conducted, the members of the board voted for a queen, a king, two senior princesses, two junior princesses and a prince.
Bree Vining, Miss Agriculture USA for Delaware County, had the honor of crowning and pinning VanGundy’s sash around her.
In preparing for the contest, VanGundy said, “I was just myself.”
VanGundy said she is currently in her freshman year at Ohio State University Marion.
Caleb Mead, a 17-year-old senior in high school, was selected as the 2018 Delaware County Fair Junior Fair King.
“It’s a proud honor,” he said.
Mead’s older sister, Katlin, was crowned the 2017 Delaware County Junior Fair Queen, but she is currently away at college. She asked him to read a statement about being queen and passing the crown to VanGundy.
“I was nervous,” Mead said about reading his sister’s statement to those that gathered at the event.
Jonah VanGundy, a prince and freshman at Elgin High School, Marion, said being a prince felt pretty normal.
“It was something I wanted to do,” he said.
Faith Meyers, one of two senior princesses, said that she was a junior princess last year. However, she isn’t stopping. She’s looking forward to being a queen.
“I’m actually pretty happy,” she said. “I’m going to step it up by going to more fairs and represent more.”
Ellen Riley, the other senior princess, said being a princess was a new experience for her, and she has plans to try again next year for queen.
“It will be my last year in 4-H next year,” she said.
Makenzie Sapp, a junior princess, said she was excited because she thinks it’s going to be a great learning experience.
“It’s going to be something different for me in learning more about 4-H,” she said. “You have to attend a lot of shows and you get to meet a lot of other people in the different counties.”
Audrey Gaines said that she was “super excited” to be a junior princess. She said that her plans as a princess are to spread the word about 4-H in hopes of getting more people involved.
“I think that I’m going to run next year,” said Sara Steck, one of the three runners-up in the princess category. “I’m kind of bummed that I didn’t make it this year, but I’m congratulating the girls that did. I’m happy for them.”
Jacy Mox, a runner-up, said that she is still planning to run again next year.
“It’s a great opportunity,” she said. “I feel like I can win next year.”
Maddey Niemeyer, also a runner-up, said she’ll be bumped up into the queen category,which to her “feels like a different atmosphere.”
“There’s not as many people running for queen,” she said. “So we’ll see how it goes.”
Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.