LTE: Saying thank you to the fair

by Haven Hileman - 2021 Scioto County Junior Fair Queen

One of my earliest memories of the Scioto County Fair is gathering flakes of hay and straw with my father. We then would wait in line on Monday morning in August of the fair to enter them in the agriculture contest. I could not wait until later on that day to count my ribbons. Those ribbons represented not only my family’s hard work but also of every Scioto County Farmer.

In July 2021 we came to these same fairgrounds and marveled that once again regardless of the obstacles, the Senior Fair Board was determined to provide a county fair. In July I was chosen to represent Scioto County as your Junior Fair Queen. This past year I have traveled over 3200 miles while attending 14 Ohio fairs and participated in over 10 parades for the opportunity to promote the Scioto County Fair, to meet Junior Fair Boards, and fellow royalty representing their counties.

One may ask why reach out and engage with others across the state. I chose to travel with my court in heat and frigid weather because of my love for the county fair tradition. Due to the Covid Pandemic, we observed how something that had become a tradition for many families could easily vanish. Something we never thought could possibly happen.

Scioto County has one of the greatest fairs in the state of Ohio. The reason that it is so wonderful is not only because of the food and events but because of the people and their family traditions. These traditions are worth fighting for through any obstacle.

My 348 days as fair queen exceeded my expectations. This experience like many 4-H and FFA events provided opportunities to practice leadership skills but also gave me confidence due to the support from the 4-H and FFA volunteers. This confidence overflows into every aspect of my life.

I am currently a sophomore at The Ohio State University majoring in Animal Science. I am the secretary ofThe Ohio State University 4-H Collegiate Club, Committee Chair of the Ohio 4-H Leadership Council, President of the Ohio State Fair Junior Fair Board, and the teen representative for the Ohio 4-H Foundation Board.

These organizations will continue to allow me to promote not only 4-H and FFA but also have a voice in the continuation of the Scioto County Fair because every little girl should have the opportunity to gather flakes of hay and grips of soybeans with their father to compete in their agricultural fair events.

On Thursday, June 23 at 6 p.m. join us at the fairgrounds as I will be passing the crown on to one of the amazing queen contestants. Come join us as we continue this tradition of the Scioto County Fair.

by Haven Hileman

2021 Scioto County Junior Fair Queen