Welcoming this year’s royalty

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Kirsten Dome is crowned 2023 Lawrence County fair princess by last year’s princess, Isabella Kerns, right, and last year’s fair queen, Brea Belville, left. (The Ironton Tribune | Heath Harrison)

Fair queen, king and princess crowned

Megan Foltz is in her last year of eligibility to take part in 4-H programs at the fair and, on Sunday, she got a major honor to cap off her time in the program.

Foltz was crowned as this year’s Lawrence County fair queen, after competing in the annual pageant with four others.

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“I still can’t believe it,” she said of the win, noting that she had taken part in the pageant for four years and this was her first time winning a title. “I couldn’t be more grateful.”

Prior to the event, in which pageant contestants walk the ring at opening ceremonies in their gowns, they take part in an interview process. That, along with their contributions to 4-H and the fair, are weighed in to pick a representative for this year’s event.

Foltz, the president of Lawrence County Copperheads 4-H club, said she has been showing animals at the fair since she was a child, focusing in recent years on market chickens, but she has also shown rabbits.

A South Point high school graduate, she is the daughter of Sonya Beckett and Jimmie Foltz and a freshman at the University of Rio Grande. She also serves as treasurer for Lawrence County Teen Leaders in 4-H.

Looking back in her time on 4-H, she said one of the biggest benefits of the program for her is the social connections, allowing her to interact with people beyond “cliques” from high school.

The 2023 Lawrence County Fair royalty stand together at the opening ceremony for the fair on Sunday. From left, fair princess Kirsten Dome, fair king Evan Clark and fair queen Megan Foltz. (The Ironton Tribune | Heath Harrison)

“4-H has given me an opportunity to interact with so many people I wouldn’t have,” she said of the relationships she had made. 

She said it has also helped her to prepare for the future.

“Through all the projects I’ve been involved in and the interviews I’ve done,” she said.

Coming as first runner up for queen was Sydney Hairston, while Enola Cade was second runner up.

In the younger competition, crowned as fair princess was Kirsten Dome, of Farm Hands 4-H club.

Evan Clark, the first ever Lawrence County fair king, reacts upon being given a bucket of beef jerky at opening ceremonies on Sunday. (The Ironton Tribune | Heath Harrison)

She is the daughter of Jim and Carrie Dome.

Dome regularly shows rabbits at the fair and was junior showman in that event in 2021. 

“It’s so exciting,” she said of the win at the pageant.

This is her second year competing in the pageant and, last year, she was first runner up for princess. 

First runner up for princess this year was Meredith Rogers was Allie Day was second runner up.

While the pageant has taken place for decades, this year saw something that was the first of its kind – the naming of a fair king.

That competition, being new, only had one entrant, Evan Clark, of Getaway Go-Getters 4-H club.

Clark, the son of Scott and Heidi Clark, is currently enlisted in the Ohio National Guard. 

He said he was “hesitant” at first to enter.

“But I wanted to encourage other boys that they can be fair king,” he said, advising them to have the “courage” to enter in future years. “And it feels pretty good to be the first.”

Pageant organizer Jessi Newman said she promised Clark that he would not get something “girly,” like the traditional crown and sash. Instead, he was presented with a “feed bucket,” containing beef jerky, as well as a belt buckle.

Lawrence County Fair past queens

The following is a list of those who wore the crown as Lawrence County Fair Queen in decades past, as compiled by pageant coordinator Jessie Newman:

1963 – Linda Neal

1964 – Nancy Armstrong

1965 – Nancy Smith

1966 – Donna Kay Smith

1967 – Janice Bryant

1968 – Debbie Willis

1969 – Nancy Kline

1970 – Connie Howell

1971 – Jonna S. Miller

1972 – Opal Massie

1973 – Jamiescue Mcllwayne

1974 – Jackie Cox

1975 – Kenidee Blake

1976 – Lisa Lester

1977 – Tanya Dickerson

1978 – Angela Flemming

1979 – Kathy Spears

1980 – Penny Shannon

1981 – Terri Balmer

1982 – Chris Spanner

1983 – Lori Pittman

1984 – Keri Diamond

1985 – Lisa Dickerson

1986 – Sharon Kennedy

1987 – Elizabeth Corder

1988 – No pageant

1989 – Becky Fuller

1990 – Alicia Eldridge

1991 – Shannon Geer

1992 – Nancy Kay Peterson

1993 – Brooke Vickers

1994 – Shelly Wilson

1995 – Mary Ann Kennedy

1996 – Jenny Schwab

1997 – Rachel Simpson

1998 – Katie Garrett

1999 – Sarah Schwab

2000 – Olivia Jones

2001 – Bethany Cooke

2002 – Elizabeth Diamond

2003 – Amber Ferguson

2004 – Jessi Herrell

2005 – Rebecca Capper

2006 – Meghan Herrell

2007 – Heather Ridenour

2008 – Amanda McArthur

2009 – Chelsey Keathley

2010 – Brittany Norris

2011 – Megan Rigney

2012 – Shawna Myers

2013 – Skye Barnett

2014 – Cheryl Crawford

2015 – Kimberly Schmidt

2016 – Morgan Harper

2017 – Matison Klaiber

2018 – Montana Runnels

2019 – Morgan Klaiber

2020 – No fair, due to COVID-19 pandemic

2021 – Willow Maynard

2022 – Brea Belville