Fairgrounds come alive as annual festivities begin

Posted: July 29, 2013

The Winchester Star

Little Miss Frederick County Fair contestants Elisa Whitt (from left), 8, DeSiree Hottle, 9, Jayzmon Marsell, 7, Ella Kelchner, 8, and Makenzie Adkins, 9, compare footware backstage Sunday during the pagent. (Photo by Scott Mason/The Winchester Star)
Julie Griffen (left) and her daughter, Ashten Sfarnas, 18, attach yellow bunting in a show barn Sunday afternoon at the Frederick County Fairgrounds. Ashten will be showing two steers, two lambs and a pig in this year’s fair.
Volunteer Drew Riggleman places labels on exhibit shelves Sunday at the Frederick County Fairgrounds. (Photo by Scott Mason/The Winchester Star)


Wearing a light pink dress and a broad smile, Isabella McKee was crowned Little Miss Frederick County Fair on Sunday. “I feel great,” she said. “I feel a little sad for the other girls who didn’t get an award, but they all did really well.”

The 8-year-old Orchard View Elementary School student was among 18 Little Miss contestants who competed for the title at the fairgrounds on Martinsburg Pike in Clear Brook.

The Frederick County Fair officially gets under way today. Pre-events, including pageants and a horse show, were held over the weekend.

In total, 59 girls ages 4 to 22 will compete in five pageants at the fair this week.

Miss Frederick County Fair, for young women ages 16 to 22, will be crowned tonight, with the Tiny Miss, ages 4 to 6, crowned on Tuesday.

Miss Pre-Teen and Jr. Miss Frederick County Fair were crowned Sunday.

Each contestant has to give a brief introduction about themselves, do a walking pattern and then answer a question. The older girls have to model two outfits: the personality outfit and the evening gown.

Winners take home a crown, sash, trophy and flowers and will represent the fair at various events throughout the upcoming year.

Pageant director LaDonna Williams said the pageants are meant to make the girls feel good about themselves and to teach them how to speak in public.

“To us, the speaking portion is very important,” she said. “It prepares them for later on in life.”

John Kerr Elementary School student Maggie Milam, 8, was dazzling in a shiny blue dress. She said she likes contests but gets nervous to speak in front of her cheering fans, the biggest one being her mom.

“Sometimes my mom screams and yells [from the stands],” she said.

Stonewall Elementary School student Elisa Whitt, 8, wore a light green and turquoise dress for the pageant.

“I like competing with the other people, and it’s fun,” she said. “I don’t care if I win or lose.”

As the Little Miss contestants took the stage, the pre-teen girls, ages 10 to 12, waited anxiously in the wings.

Kendall Pierce, 10, of James Wood Middle School, had practiced two hours a day for the past eight days, reminding herself to walk slow with her shoulders back, smile nicely and give a little wave.

“Almost every day I practiced the questions they might ask, and I practiced in my dress and shoes,” she said. “They’re high heels.”

Hailey Gaudet, 10, of Stonewall Elementary School, only got one day of practice because her mother kept her attendance in the pageant a surprise until the day before.

“I’m a little nervous,” she said. “I practiced from 12 [in the afternoon] to 1 in the morning.”

Jacquelyn Whitt, 10, was relaxed and easy-going — she has been participating in pageants for five years and is used to answering the commentator’s questions.

“I’m not usually really nervous,” she said. “I’ve answered 15 million questions.”

Sierra Clem, 10, of Robert E. Aylor Middle School, was crowned Miss Pre-teen, and Bailey McKee, 15, of Millbrook High School, was crowned in the junior category, for girls ages 13-15. Baily is Isabella’s cousin.

The fair continues through Saturday.

Admission is $6 for ages 12 and older, $3 for ages 6-11 and free for those 5 and under. Today, Wednesday and Friday, amusement rides can be ridden all night for $20.

For more information, visit frederickcountyfair.com.

— Contact Rebecca Layne at rlayne@winchesterstar.com