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Franklin Co. Fair Queen assumes duties

August 18, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

o For a schedule of events for the fair, go to www.franklincountyfair.org

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- Sarah Signore of Greencastle, Pa., started her duties Tuesday as the 2009 Franklin County Fair Queen.

Signore, 20, will be the face of the fair this week and promote it for the next 12 months, following her crowning on Monday. Signore competed with nine other young women for the title.

"It was overwhelming," Signore said.

Signore served as the Franklin County Dairy Princess for 2006-07. Her parents, Dan and Darlene Signore, started taking their daughter to the fair when she was very young. Later, she participated in 4-H Club dairy for 10 years.

The family sometimes stayed in a recreational vehicle on the fairgrounds to spend even more time there. Signore described the fair as her second home.

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"You can't come to the fair and not have fun," she said.

One of her primary goals for the year is to talk to public officials about the need for fair funding, which is currently in limbo because of a Pennsylvania budget crisis. The Franklin and Fulton county fairs aren't paying any prize money to exhibitors in an attempt to save money.

"Without premiums, people aren't going to come to the fair," Signore said.

Signore, who donned a blue bridesmaid's dress for the pageant, focused preparation efforts on her speech and interview. Contestants also were judged on an essay, biography, poise, appearance and answers to unannounced questions.

Judges selected Lindsay Upperman, 16, of Chambersburg, as the alternate queen.

Claudia Hissong, 12, of Greencastle, was named Fair Princess, and Rachel Travis, 14, of Marion, Pa., was declared her alternate. The title of Little Miss was won by Corrine Statler, 10, of Greencastle, and Victoria Hutchison, 8, of St. Thomas, Pa., was her alternate.

"The caliber of the girls this year is incredible," said Rachel Bryson, who organized the contests.

Mandy Clark of Mercersburg, Pa., tripped on the stairs and tore her dress during the 2008 contest. The problems didn't deter judges from naming her 2008 Fair Queen.

"Anything that could go wrong went wrong, but it ended right," Clark said.

In her role, she attended events such as craft shows and fall festivals, painting an estimated 3,000 children's faces. Clark plans to spend the next year fulfilling duties as the National Shorthorn Lassie Queen alternate.

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