Mercersburg teen's speech makes her the fairest of them all

August 23, 2011|By ROXANN MILLER |
  • The 2011 Franklin County (Pa.) Fair Queen and her court are, from left: Ashley Dice, princess; Corrine Statler, princess alternate; Victoria Hutchison, little miss; Rachel Horst, 2011 fair queen; Cassie Oberholzer, little miss alternate; and Hannah Horst, queen alternate.
Submitted photo

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — As the newly crowned 2011 Franklin County Fair Queen, Rachel Horst is going to be very busy this week.

While the 18-year-old Mercersburg, Pa., teen will be busy all year with her royal duties, she'll be constantly on the move until the fair ends on Saturday night.

"I hand out ribbons to all the competitions. I walk around the fair and greet everyone," Horst said.

On Tuesday, she handed out ribbons at the 4-H Dairy Show.

"I have the wave down," said Horst, sporting a tiara and wearing a blue sash across her chest.

Horst was among six who competed for the title. Several weeks prior to the competition, Horst said the contestants wrote biographies and an essay on three ways to promote the fair.

But, it was her speech that seemed to wow the judges.

"We had to talk about why county fairs are important to Pennsylvania," said Horst. "I talked about the agricultural aspect since agriculture is the No. 1 industry in Pennsylvania."

She is excited to represent the fair and the county.

"I'm really happy. I really wanted this. I woke up this morning and was like — did that really happen?" said Horst.

As Hailey Martin waited to enter her cow, DeeDee, in Tuesday's dairy show competition, she realized it would be the last year to show her cow.

"I've been doing this since I was 8, and I'm too old to compete after this year," said Martin, 19, of Mercersburg, Pa.,

A reluctant DeeDee might have uttered a few loud moos but ultimately; she won a showmanship ribbon and a fourth place ribbon in the dairy show.

"I think it (the fair) is a good learning experience for people because a lot of people don't know a lot about cows and agriculture, and they get a good feel and they get to see the animals," Martin said.

After a long day of competing in the dairy show, Troy Young and his son, Nathaniel, 9, of Mercersburg tested the fair cuisine.

Troy bought a pork burger while Nathaniel opted for a hot dog.

Nathaniel showed Ruby, his Red and White Holstein, and earned second place.

"For us, having animals here gives us a chance to socialize with other farmers. (For everybody else), it gives them a chance to see a lot of other stuff that's here like agriculture and entertainment," Young said.

Shirley Barnes of Chambersburg and her grandson Parker Barnes, 8, decided to beat the crowd and come to the fair early.

While they waited on a chicken dinner, Parker perched himself on a Mahindra tractor.

"He likes to come to look at the tractors and the cows and get something to eat," said Barnes. "Tractor was one of his first words."

The Franklin County Fair continues through Saturday at the Chambersburg Rod and Gun Club off Warm Spring Road.

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