Waynesboro teen named 2004 Fair Queen

August 17, 2004|by BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

WILLIAMSON, Pa. - A high school student who rises every day at 4 a.m. to help milk 60 Holsteins added another responsibility to her busy life Monday night.

Amanda Koons, 17, of Waynesboro, Pa., was crowned Miss Franklin County Fair Queen amid the flashing lights from the midway and the smell of funnel cakes and fried onions.

"I'm excited. I didn't expect it," Koons said, clutching a bouquet of flowers after the pageant. "I was so nervous. It feels wonderful, though."


Koons wore a cream-colored gown and walked confidently across the stage.

She was sponsored by the Franklin County Farm Bureau.

Although she said she has never spoken publicly, Koons did not appear nervous as she told the large crowd that while she came to the fair for the rides and games when she was a child, she now thinks it is important to attend "to become more familiar with agriculture and farming and preservation. The fair showcases different types of farms and their products. Farming is an investment," she said.

"We have to preserve the land from development and commercial use," she said.

Koons' grandfather, John Koons, owned the first farm put into ag preservation in Franklin County, she said.

The daughter of John and Candy Koons, Amanda said she "wanted to win because of agriculture, to let people know it's decreasing so much. This is a big step forward for that."

Assisting Koons during her one-year reign will be Franklin County Fair Princess Rachel Bryson, 18, of Chambersburg, Pa. The daughter of Tom and Linda Bryson, Rachel Bryson is a sophomore journalism major at Shippensburg (Pa.) University. In her speech, she said she attends the fair because it is both educational and a great place to spend quality time with her family. Her sponsor was the 4-H County Council.

Alternate Princess was Kayla Robinson, 17, of Chambersburg. The daughter of Robin Robinson, Kayla said she grew up at the fair because her family helps with it.

The Fair Queen and her court will hand out ribbons at the fair, and appear in parades, speak at banquets and present programs in schools all year, according to Cindy Hinkle, Franklin County Fair Queen adviser.

Earlier in the evening, 12 younger girls paraded around the stage in pastel dresses and white shoes, vying for the title of Little Miss Franklin County Fair.

Achieving that honor was Brittany Newlin, 7, of Greencastle, Pa. She said she wants to show cattle and be a veterinarian's assistant when she grows up. The daughter of Holly and William Newlin, Brittany was sponsored by Danco Products of Greencastle.

An aspiring artist, Jenna Martin, 7, of Fayetteville, Pa., was named Little Princess, and Shea Fisher, 7, of Shippensburg will serve as Little Miss Alternate.

Judges Cheryl Plummer, a Franklin County Commissioner, and Danielle Best, the 2001 Fair Queen and a psychology major at Shippensburg University, talked about the experience of helping to determine the 2004 Fair Queen.

"The girls were poised and prepared. Their speeches showed that they really understood what agriculture means to this county and how critical farmland preservation is. I was impressed by the depth of their understanding and commitment."

"I know what it's like to get up there," Best said. "It's hard, and they were so composed. Their answers were amazing."

Also competing for Fair Queen were Lindsey Hornbaker, 17, of St. Thomas, Pa.; Jasmine Shearer, 16, of Chambersburg; Jodi Seylar, 16, of Chambersburg; Hannah Kosowski, 17, of Concord, Pa.; Priscilla Mullins, 16, of Mercersburg, Pa.; and Nancy Witter, 18, of Shippensburg.

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