Goat was fair queen's ticket to crown

August 01, 2010|By RICHARD F. BELISLE
  • Allyson Bayer was crowned the 2010 Berkeley County Youth Fair Queen on Saturday. She is shown with Goat, her 8-month-old Boer goat.
By Richard F. Belisle, Staff Writer

MARTINSBURG, W.VA. -- Allyson Bayer's 8-month-old Boer goat was the ticket that led to the Musselman High School student being crowned this weekend as the 51st Berkeley County Youth Fair Queen.

Bayer, 17, a member of Valley Star 4-H Club, entered Goat to be eligible for the fair queen contest. She also entered 4-H cooking and leadership categories.

This is the fourth year Bayer entered the competition. She was crowned over 18 other contestants.

"I was very surprised," she said, adding that she thought the judges selected her because they thought she would make a positive impact during her year's reign.

"Hopefully I shone the light of Jesus on them," she said.

"She's a very special girl and a genuine person," said Lori Bayer, Allyson's mom. "Her dad and I are very proud."

Allyson follows in the footsteps of Alexis Smallwood, 2009's fair queen.

Fourth runner-up at Saturday night's crowning ceremony was Shelby McDonald; third was Olivia LeMaster; second was Jessica McDonald; and first runner-up was Chloe Raines.


Barb Frankenberry, one of three contest chairpersons, along with Charlotte Shade and Jan Chancey, said contestants are between the ages of 14 and 20. Each belongs to a participating club -- 4-H, FFA, the Girls Club or Girl Scouts, among others, Frankenberry said.

Shade was the first youth fair queen in 1960. Frankenberry held the honor in 1965. Both have chaired the contest for 32 years.

The theme this year was "chill out," Frankenberry said. The contestants represent Berkeley County's youth, she said.

"Like no two snowflakes are alike, each one (contestant) is different. They come in all sizes and shapes," Frankenberry said.

Contestants are judged on poise, appearance, how they articulate and how they respond to questions from the judges, she said.

Nearly 300 people watched the ceremony in the fairgrounds' main arena, she said.

Every exhibit -- cattle, hogs, sheep, swine, rabbits, chicken, cooking, sewing and more -- are the work of those ages 9 to 21, Frankenberry said.

"This is what makes this fair unique and so special," she said.

Unlike other county fairs across the country, adults cannot enter exhibits.

Sunday afternoon was a beehive of activity as the youngsters brought in exhibits to be judged. Animals were being washed and groomed in hopes of impressing judges.

Over in the hog barn, Mclovin was not loving the bath he was getting from his owner, Taylor Riner, 14. The 6-month-old market hog, who weighed in at 263 pounds, was squealing in protest at the scrubbing he had to endure to look his best for this morning's judging and auction.

"No," said Riner when asked if she would miss Mclovin' after the auction. "This is my fourth year. I'm used to it."

It was different in the goat pens, where Sarah Cole, 14, was grooming Elvis, her 8-month-old Boer goat.

Goats of that breed are easily recognizable by their white bodies and red heads. Elvis is different. He's red all over.

He's Sarah's first goat and he'll be missed, she said.

Coming up at the fair

  • Monday's Youth Fair activities include rabbit and swine judging beginning at 8 a.m. Indoor exhibits open at 1 p.m. and the small pet show starts at 1:30 p.m.

  • Local talent will perform from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The commercial exhibit opens at 5 p.m., and the carnival opens at 6 p.m.

  • At 7 p.m., the truck/tractor pull and 4-H style show get under way.

  • On Tuesday, the goat and poultry judging start at 8 a.m.

    The ice cream-eating contest begins at 5 p.m. At 7 p.m., more truck/tractor pulling begins, as does livestock jeopardy.

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