ROME TOWNSHIP — The afternoon was filled with pretty girls in their pretty dresses as the 2014 Fair Queen and her court were crowned.
The crowning of the young women is part of the traditional start of the Lawrence County Fair.
The ceremonies began with board president Randall Lambert welcoming the audience who came to the grandstand Monday afternoon. Lambert acknowledged a variety of officeholders including Sheriff Jeff Lawless, County Commissioner Freddie Hayes and State Rep. Ryan Smith, R-93. Also there were Juli Stephens representing U.S. Congressman Bill Johnson, R-6; Todd Shelton representing U.S. Sen. Rob Portman; Marilyn Ashcroft for Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor and Kathleen Young for Gov. John Kasich.
Lambert announced the beginning of a four-year renovation plan for the grandstand bleachers being done by volunteers and contractors. Also an addition was put on the 4-H Shelter to allow more space for the small animal auction, the one-time waste building is now a storage shed for those participating in the rabbit and chicken competition for their baskets and supplies and the former restaurant building is now the art hall for those competing with quilts, vegetables, crafts and paintings.
Holly Martin sang the National Anthem and Glen Peters of VFW Proctorville Post 6878 gave the invocation.
Then it was on to Jessie Herrell, who emceed the pageant portion of the ceremony. There was a larger than average number of contestants and two weeks ago the young women sat before four advisers of 4-H Clubs to quiz them on their knowledge of 4-H. The results of that determined who was chosen queen and princess.
This year’s Queen is Cheryl Crawford, who is the daughter of Ralph and Althea Crawford, a junior at Symmes Valley High School and a member of the Arabia All Stars 4-H Club and FFA.
“I’m excited,” she said after receiving her crown. “I just love the fair and everything about it. I’ve been a part of it my whole life.”
Princess for this year’s fair is Rosie Mannon, the daughter of John and Dara Gorby, a sixth grader at Fairland Middle School and a member of Ridge Runners 4-H Club.
“I’m pretty happy now,” she said. “My 4-H leader, Sabrina Watson, acts like a princess. So I decided I’d see if I could be one too.”
First runner-up for the queen contest was Katie Webb, daughter of Marty and Gloria Webb, a sophomore at Dawson-Bryant High School and a member of the Country Clovers 4-H Club. Second runner-up was Sarah Sowards, daughter of John and Dara Gorby, a junior at Collins Career Center and a member of Ridge Runners 4-H Club.
First runner-up for princess was Morgan Klaiber, daughter of Matthew and LeeAnn Klaiber, seventh grader at Symmes Valley Middle School and a member of the Gingham and Denim 4-H Club. Second runner-up is Sarah Shope, daughter of Bill and Kathy Shope; a seventh grader at Rock Hill Middle School and a member of BackRoad Hay-balers.
Also competing for queen were Rachael Copley, daughter of Donna Hughes, a sophomore at South Point High School and a member of Ridge Runners 4-H; Celsey Huisman, daughter of Michelle Clark, junior at Collins Career Center and a member of Ridge Runners 4-H; Megan Roach, daughter of Mark and Rhonda Roach, attends Ohio University and is a member of the Starlite 4-H Club; and Rebekah Watson, daughter of Jimmy and Sabrina Watson, a senior at Symmes Valley High School and a member of Ridge Runners 4-H Club.
Also competing for princess were Maggie Ashworth, daughter of Johnny and Sandy Ashworth, sixth grader at Chesapeake Middle School and a member of the Union 4-H Club; Raegan Crabtree, daughter of Sami Fields and Bobby Crabtree; seventh grader at Ironton Middle School and a member of the Barnbusters 4-H Club; Kinzi Kitts, daughter of Sheila Hardy and Michael Kitts, an eighth grader at Symmes Valley Middle School and a member of Greasy Ridge Gang; Hannah Maynard, daughter of Kelly Maynard, seventh grader at Fairland Middle School and a member of Ridge Runners; Taylor Mullins, daughter of Craig and Chandal Mullins, seventh grader at Symmes Valley Middle School and a member of Scottown Farmers and Farmerettes; and Ericca Wall, daughter of Eric and Jayme Wall, eighth grader at Fairland Middle and a member of Scottown Farmers and Farmerettes.