Several women from across the district are competing for the title of 2019 Pennsylvania Fair Queen.
The Pennsylvania State Fair Queen Program will host its 33rd competition at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center Jan. 24-26 in conjunction with the Pennsylvania State Association of County Fairs and Pennsylvania State Showmen's Association Annual Convention.
Local women competing include Mikaela Kamp, representing Fayette County Fair; Madison Kovach, Greene County Fair; Amber Finch, Jacktown Fair; Madison Hemminger, Somerset County Fair; Paige Riggle, Washington County Fair; and Julia Jumper, Westmoreland County Fair.
Karen Dobson, of Chester County, state fair queen board secretary, said, “We have 59 contestants this year – one more than last year. Everybody seems to be excited.’’
State contestants must be between 16 and 20 as of June 1, 2018. They will be judged on a written essay, stage presentations, personal interview and persuasive speech.
They will be evaluated on personality, public speaking skills, poise and presence, and knowledge of the fair and agriculture industries. Five finalists will be selected at the Jan. 26 coronation banquet and then judged on their response to an impromptu question.
Elizabeth Voight, 2018 Pennsylvania Fair Queen who comes from the Lebanon Area Fair, will crown the new queen and her alternate. they will spend the year traveling the state to represent Pennsylvania agriculture and serve as ambassadors for the fair association. Each will receive a scholarship at the conclusion of their reigns in January 2020.
According to the association:
Kamp, 18, is a daughter of Emily Obertance and Morgan Camp of Gibbon Glade. She attends West Virginia University and was accepted into the direct admit program for pharmacy. She received a scholarship of distinction and presidential award. A 2018 graduate of Uniontown Area High School, Kamp was a member of the National Honor Society, Math Honor Society, silk squad and recipient of the Presidential Community Service Award. Kamp was also the 2016 fair princess. She is a member of 4-H and Teen County Council, Multiple Sclerosis Society, Mountain Area Ball League and lifetime active member of Canaan Church of the Brethren where she was a four-year leader for Vacation Bible School. She worked at Haines Farming and Meat Processing. Kamp enjoys showing livestock at the Fayette County Fair and Pennsylvania State Farm Show. Other hobbies include skiing, hunting and kayaking.
Kovach, 16, is a daughter of Jeffrey and Renee Kovach of Jefferson. She is a junior at Jefferson-Morgan High School where she participates in varsity volleyball team, Leo Club, drama club, art club, library club, and Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Kovach is secretary of the Greene County Rabbit Club and a member of the Greene County Horse and Pony Club. She plans to attend the College of Charleston to major in elementary education.
Finch, 17, is a daughter of Bonnie and Allen Shough of Wind Ridge and Michael Finch of Bristoria. At West Greene High School, she is involved in the National Honors Society, student government, Peer Mentoring Program, science club, and is an engineering club officer. Finch is a member of the West Greene track and field team, and cheerleading squad and made the All-American Cheer Squad. Finch is a bingo worker, assistant for 4-H luncheons and, during the summer, she works as a day camp counselor.
Hemminger, 18, is a daughter of John and Janie Hemminger of Somerset and a senior at Somerset Area High School. Her activities include National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, school trip to Australia and New Zealand, and is an FFA member where she has won various awards and held several officer positions. Hemminger is treasurer of the Steaks & Chops 4-H Club. Her hobbies include showing animals at the Somerset County Fair, participating at the Pennsylvania Farm Show and competing on the Top Hat competition dance team. Hemminger plans to attend college to become a nurse.
Riggle, 17, is a daughter of Tonya and John Riggle, and a senior at Trinity High School and Western Area Career and Technology Center. She has been a member of the Golden Hoofs 4-H, Trinity’s FFA club, Silver Saddles, and 4-H County Council. For Golden Hoofs 4-H club, Paige served as secretary, vice president and is currently president. She earned her Greenhand and Chapter degree for FFA where she is secretary. Riggle is also secretary of FFA Horticulture and advanced hydroponic unit. She has shown horses at the Washington Country Fair, making it to the state level last year. Riggle studies culinary arts and participates in Skills USA. She hopes to pursue a culinary career.
Jumper, 18, is a daughter of Kimberly and Tim Jumper of Greensburg. She studies baking and pastry at Westmoreland County Community College. Jumper has been in 4-H for 10 years, and her current projects are leadership and quilting. She is president of the 4-H Teen Leadership Council, and treasurer of the 4-H Travel-All Exchange Club. She served a one-year term as the State 4-H Council Sentinel and is serving an additional six-month term on the State 4-H Interim Council. Through the State 4-H Council, Julia has planned the State 4-H events, and traveled across Pennsylvania promoting 4-H and agriculture. This year, to earn her Diamond Level of the 4-H Ladder of Achievement, she planned a fair king contest for the 2018 Westmoreland Fair. Jumper enjoys baking, swimming, softball and reading.
To learn more about the 2019 fair schedule and fair queen program, visit www.pafairs.org