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McConnellsburg teen named 2008 Fulton County Fair Queen

August 11, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

McCONNELLSBURG, Pa. - Neither rain nor hail nor wind nor lightning could keep five young women off the stage at the 88th annual Fulton County (Pa.) Fair.

The teenagers rehearsed in seriously inclement weather on Sunday afternoon, but calmer skies opened over the evening ceremony for the fair queen contestants.

Chosen as the winner was Olivia Strait, 17, of McConnellsburg. Cortnee Henry, 17, of Hustontown, Pa., was named first runner-up.

Strait talked about the variety of people needed to make the fair successful in what was her first time speaking before a crowd.

"It was really nerve-wracking," she said.

The 2007 fair queen, Lauren DeShong, said her public speaking skills strengthened in the past year. She especially credited the January state competition for fair queens as an opportunity that helped her become more confident.

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"Ever since then, my mom and everybody else say I talk better in front of people," said DeShong, who shows animals at the fair every year and aspires to be a large-animal veterinarian.

Strait, a cheerleader in the Forbes Road School District, is the daughter of Todd and BJ Strait. She attends Dublin Mills Community Church and is involved with student council.

The pageant is judged based on personality, communication and appearance, according to sisters with the Xi Eta Lambda McConnellsburg chapter of Beta Sigma Phi. The sorority hosts the pageant, which was in its 22nd year.

In addition to an essay and speech, the contestants, who must be ages 16 to 20, answered a question pulled from a bowl.

"It's an impromptu question. They don't know what will be asked of them," said sorority chapter president Carol Strait, who is not related to the winner.

The question put before the fair queen asked that she choose three words to describe herself, prompting Olivia Strait to describe how grateful, happy and outgoing she is.

Each contestant received a prize package, with the fair queen being presented with more than $200 in savings bonds. Olivia Strait will be in attendance for much of the fair, which continues through Saturday, as well as the Fulton Fall Folk Festival later this year.

Other contestants were Bridget Foor, 17, of Harrisonville, Pa., Ariel Hall, 16, of Hustontown, and Brittany Pittman, 17, of McConnellsburg.




If you go ...



What: Fulton County Fair

Where: Fairgrounds off old U.S. 30, 1/2 mile east of McConnellsburg, Pa.

When: Today through Saturday

o For more information, call the fair office at 717-485-5730.

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