Brooklyn Burns, 11, daughter of Scarlett and Nyle Burns of Graysville, has attended every Jacktown Fair since she was a toddler. Her earliest memory of what’s become an annual tradition is walking into the fairgrounds and seeing the gigantic Ferris Wheel looming in the distance.
“I got to ride it, and it was scary and fun at the same time,” she said.
Burns said she was always fascinated by the the fair’s queen and princess. Little did she know, she’d end up on stage wearing the princess crown in last year’s pageant.
Competing against two other girls, Burns first created a poster of a photo of her and the fair queen that had a curtain and additions like jewels and a crown to gussy it up. In another part of the competition, a panel of three judges interviewed her and asked questions like what her favorite fair ride is (the carousel) and favorite fair game (darts and balloons). For the pageant’s final portion, she had to introduce herself to the audience over a loudspeaker and model wearing a casual dress.
“When I found out I’d won, I was so excited and glad to have had my parents and brother Seth, and sister Kyra looking on,” she said.
To help her celebrate, her parents took her around the fairgrounds and told her to find something she liked. A collector of unicorns, she set her sights on a big stuffed unicorn at the dart and balloon booth, eventually winning the fantastic creature as a prize.
“She slept with it every night for a good while afterwards,” Scarlett said.
After winning, Burns immediately jumped into her princess duties, attended the fair every day, handing out ribbons to the winners of the animal competitions and helping to judge the houses along the parade route in Wind Ridge. A student at the In Motion and SLB Dance studios, she also performed a choreographed piece at the fair’s church service.
Her royal activities continued throughout the year. Not only did she take part in Rain Day, King Coal Festival and the Greene County Fair, she also wore her crown during the Christmas parades in Waynesburg and Rogersville. In Waynesburg, she passed out candy canes and ornaments, and at Rogersville, she helped decorate the town tree prior to the Light Up ceremony.
Burns also attended the 50s Fest in Waynesburg and the Hilltop Relics and Classic Car Cruise at the Jacktown Fairgrounds last September. She dressed in 50s attire and wore her crown.
She said she likes the Jacktown Fair because it gives her a chance to meet family and friends and that it has the best food. Her favorites are the candy apples and the blue raspberry snow cones.
“It’s been really fun to represent my community by wearing my crown and sash,” she said. “It’s been a long and fun year, and I’m sad to see it come to an end.”
In the future, Brooklyn plans to enter the Miss Rain Day and County Fair Queen contests when she turns 16 and would like to be a dance teacher after she graduates from high school. This fall, she’ll enter the sixth grade at West Greene.