Emily Watkins Is Fair Queen
Emily Watkins, a McConnellsburg High School senior, was crowned the 2011 Fulton County Fair Queen during pageant ceremonies held on Sunday evening. This year four contestants competed for the coveted crown and the opportunity to reign over Fulton County’s 91st annual fair. Kirsten Mellott, a 17-year-old McConnellsburg High School 2011 graduate, was the first runner up in the annual Fair Queen Pageant sponsored by the Xi Eta Lambda Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi. This year marked the 25th anniversary of the sorority’s fair pageants.
Watkins, 17, was sponsored by the Twist and Shake and was escorted to the stage by Wade and Hunter Shindle. She plays volleyball and track, and she is a member of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), the National Honor Society, TATU, FCCLA and has participated in school plays and musicals.
Emily is the daughter of Ray and Kim Watkins of McConnellsburg, and she attends My Father’s House Ministries church.
During the competition, all contestants were asked to tell the audience “why you should come to my fair.” Then an addi- tional question was chosen at random for each contestant. Emily was asked to recall a recent goal she had achieved, and she said “making the first team in district volleyball” because it required hard work to make it to that level.
In speaking about her pageant win, Watkins told the “News,” “I was very excited and very nervous, but once I got on the stage, everything started to flow.” Watkins will reign over this year’s Fulton County Fair during the weeklong activities at the fair and during other county activities and parades. She will also compete for the state title in the state Fair Queen Contest held in January. Upon graduation, she plans to attend Millersville State University and study chemistry education.
She expressed her thanks to the Twist and Shake for sponsoring her and to her parents for their support.
The 2011 Fair Queen was crowned by Fulton County’s 2010 Fair Queen, Taylor Morton.
Kirsten Mellott, the first runner up for the crown, was sponsored by McConnellsburg Motor and Implement and was escorted to the stage by Jeffrey Mellott. Kirsten, 17, is a member of the band and marching band, the chorus, FFA, served as president of the National Honor Society and served on the yearbook staff. She also played volleyball and track and field while at MHS. She is a member of Pleasant Ridge Church of the Brethren and its youth group and praise team.
She is the daughter of Jeff and Kim Mellott of Harrisonville.
Others competing in Sunday night’s pageant included Erika Mellott, 16, Needmore, and Jenna Palmer, 16, also of Needmore.
In celebration of the pageant’s 25th anniversary, all 24 past fair queens were invited to attend. Eleven were in attendance including Morton (2010), Olivia Strait (2008), Carrie Swope (2006), Kayla Wright (2005), Kayla (Anderson) Saunders (2003), Winter (DeeDee Decker) Johnston (1996), Nicole (Pollock) Fletcher (1994), Robin (Bivens) Tarbi (1993), Rebecca (Eisaman) Rotondo (1992), Krista (Fletcher) Streletz (1991) and Nicole (Seiders) West (1990).
David Hoover II again served as the master of ceremonies for the event, which was overseen by judges Casey Grimes, Everett; Shea Nisley, Lancaster; and Ashley Sigel, Harrisburg. Votes cast by the judges during the competition were tabulated by Rick Strait of Tower Bank and Melissa Rouzer from F&M Trust. Jan Hoover served as essay judge.
The fair runs through Saturday evening, with the full-size demolition derby on Wednesday evening, Thursday has been proclaimed “Senior Citizen’s Day” at the fair, with free admission to seniors ages 65 and older until 5 p.m. Bingo will be held, and the evening’s events will include modified and stock model lawnmower racing, hosted by the Fulton County Small Engine Club, at 5:30 p.m.
Four-wheeler drag races will return this year on Friday, and the night will conclude at 9:30 with a fireworks display by Phantom Fireworks. Saturday will wrap up the fair with a variety of events, including the ever-popular 4-H/FFA livestock sale at 6 p.m.; the mini-rod tractor pull at 7 p.m., sponsored by the Shenandoah Valley Pullers; and a teen dance at 8 p.m.