Ogi and Young named Junior Fair royalty

Ogi and Young named Junior Fair royalty
Dave Mast

The queen and king contest at the Holmes County Junior Fair saw eight highly qualified young women and one young man step up to the challenge. Outgoing queen Ashley Tate, at far back left, presents this year’s group of hopefuls.

                        

Quality over quantity is something most individuals or organizations would love to experience, and when it comes to the Holmes County Junior Fair queen and king contest, that was once again exactly what the event experienced on Monday, Aug. 9 on the CSB Stage on the Green at Harvest Ridge as the Holmes County Fair kicked off an active week.

A total of eight young women and just one young man tackled the challenge of running for a position on the royal court, with their hopes set on representing their fair, 4-H program and community in what will certainly be a whirlwind tour of Ohio over the next year.

After what was a very difficult decision for the judges, Ally Ogi was named as this year’s queen, Matthew Young was crowned king, and first runner-up Samantha Kendall and second runner-up Sarah Irwin will join them on the court for the year.

According to Janessa Hill, Ohio State University Holmes County Extension educator, this particular group of young people who applied and participated in the event represents everything great about Holmes County 4-H.

“The quality of queen candidates this year just skyrocketed, and we have continually seen incredible young people vying for this honor every year,” Hill said. “If you looked at any of their resumes they turned in and listened to their stories about why they wanted to represent Holmes County and the fair in this capacity, it would melt your heart. It is really cool to see such quality young people come through, and each of them would be very worthy to represent our fair and county, so it is exciting to know that our future is in great hands.”

While Young was the lone person running for king, a slate of eight candidates all had high hopes to earn a spot as royalty in the queen’s side of the contest. That included Brianna Vansickle, Gennavieve Miller, Alysa Pringle, Aubree Houin, Ogi, Kendall, Teagan Harris and Irwin.

As a first-time participant in the pageant, Ogi was excited to hear her name announced as this year’s queen.

“It takes your breath away,” Ogi said of hearing her name called out. “It makes you feel like you’ve accomplished something.”

Ogi said running for queen has always been a dream, and she always admired the young women she watched take on the mantle of queen before her. She said it was definitely something she would cherish, and now it is a dream come true.

“I love to serve my community, and this is a great way to do that,” Ogi said. “I am very much looking forward to going to other fairs and representing Holmes County.”

As a longtime member of Lakeville County Farmers 4-H Club, Ogi said 4-H has played a key role in shaping her life and developing many skills she believes will benefit her in life.

“To me, 4-H is a family,” Ogi said. “I may not know everyone, but it’s people who have always been there for me and they are always giving. Holmes County is a place that people love to give and help each other, and that is what the fair means to me.”

Young agreed, noting this honor is something that means a lot to him. He said as he looks back at the many kings who have represented the Holmes County Fair in the past, he is honored to take on that mantle.

“I am really excited to be able to go out this year and travel to different fairs throughout the state and meet all of these new people,” Young said. “It is going to be an amazing experience.”

Young said the 4-H experience has brought a better understanding of how important a hard work ethic is in life. Whether it’s showing animals or representing his community, he has enjoyed the growth he has seen and the experiences of making new friends and meeting new people.

Irwin said it was an honor to be tabbed as part of the royal team, and she said any of the contestants would have been worthy of representing the Holmes County Fair as they tour the state.

“There were a lot of qualified girls up here, and so I felt it was going to be OK if I didn’t get it,” Irwin said. “But then they called my name, and now it’s a new window of opportunity, and I am very happy I got it. I love traveling and witnessing how other fairs operate, so I am excited to see where this takes me.”

Kendall said she was hoping for a chance to just represent her county and fair, regardless of whether that was as queen or a representative. She got her wish and is now excited about the coming year.

“When they called my name, I wouldn’t say I was surprised as much as just, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s awesome. Thank you.’ I was so excited to get the sash — it felt so real — and representing the county because they need people to help represent. It is one of the most important things we can do.”

The new royal couple will replace outgoing queen and king Ashley Tate and Brant Burgett, who served their county well.


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