Reigning supreme over this year’s Clermont County Fair are newly crowned 2007 Junior King and Queen Kellie Howerton and Jeff Carlson.
“It felt really good,” said Howerton, 18. “I have wanted to be junior fair queen for a long time; my hard work and dedication has paid off and I am very honored.”
In opening ceremonies held on the fairgrounds July 22, the junior fair king and queen were selected after each candidate was given an opportunity to introduce themselves, give a brief speech, and then answer a final question in front of the more than 200 people assembled for the royalty contest.
The final question that the three king candidates and the four queen candidates were asked to spontaneously respond to this year was, “Name three words that best describe you and state why you are best suited to become the junior fair king/queen.”
Fayetteville resident Carlson, 19, said that although he was thrilled with the victory, he was also very surprised considering the tough competition.
"Everybody, in my opinion, deserved to win," he said. "I would have hated to be in the judge's position. But I was very, very happy to get it."
Their many duties as junior fair king and queen will include working the many livestock shows, presenting ribbons and trophies to the award winners, running the livestock sales, and being a visible presence at the fair throughout the week.
Howerton, who will be attending U.C. Clermont in the Fall to study dental hygiene, represents the Ultimate 4-H'ers Club, the Felicity FFA, and has been a member of 4-H for nine years.
"My role as queen this week and the rest of the year is to be an ambassador of what the fair represents," she said. "I am most looking forward to helping out with the younger kids, answer any questions they may have, and just be there to lend a helping hand."
Carlson, who is a student at the University of Northwestern Ohio studying agricultural/diesel/alternative fuels and has been a member of 4-H for 10 years, said that being a role model for the younger kids is his most important duty as junior fair king.
"Giving the kids something to aspire to is, for me, what it's really all about," he said. "4-H is fun; it is something that I feel everyone should experience," he said. "It teaches you responsibility, time management, leadership and organizational skills; it even affects your personality. It has affected my life and everything I do. I am honored to be this year's fair king."
Joining Queen Kellie Howerton and King Jeff Carlson on the 2007 Junior Fair Royalty Court are Queen 1st runner-up Katie Jarman, Princess Paige Bausch, Prince Clay Huddle, Beef Queen Falisha McCann, Caprine Representative Olivia Enriquez, Sheep Representative Amber One, Small Animal Representative Brittany Bayne, Swine Representative Adrienne Taylor, Equine Representative Elizabeth Vandegrift, and General Projects Representative Alex Plante.