‘Diamonds & Boots’ fair royalty to be crowned Aug. 3

July 30, 2014
“Diamonds & Boots” candidates, left to right, Alexis Bendele, Samantha Wilkosz, Chesney Griffis, Preston Kelley, Lydia Howe, McKenzie Nielson and Carly Holcomb.

“Diamonds & Boots” candidates, left to right, Alexis Bendele, Samantha Wilkosz, Chesney Griffis, Preston Kelley, Lydia Howe, McKenzie Nielson and Carly Holcomb.

MCP’s coverage of the 78th Western Michigan Fair is brought to you through the generous support of FloraCraft of Ludington, www.FloraCraft.com and Squires Family Chiropractic, 414 E. U.S. 10, Scottville; 231-757-3356; www.drlewissquires.com.

The fair will be held Tuesday, Aug. 5 through Saturday, Aug. 9 at the Mason County Fairgrounds on U.S. 10 east of Ludington. 

By Allison Scarbrough. Contributing Editor.

PERE MARQUETTE TWP. —  A new program, named “Diamonds & Boots,” unveils for this year’s Western Michigan Fair.

The program involves crowning a king and queen (ages 16-19) and a prince and princess (ages 11-15). There are seven total candidates for the inaugural event, and three will be crowned Sunday, Aug. 3. There are no candidates for king, so hopefully more interest in that gender and age group is generated for future fairs.

This year’s candidates include Alexis Bendele, Samantha Wilkosz, Chesney Griffis, Preston Kelley, Lydia Howe, McKenzie Nielson and Carly Holcomb. Abbie Berringer, Kayla Berringer and Ethan Kelley also applied but were unable to attend the interview portion of the contest July 21.

Weldon Creek 4-H Club Leader Nichole Kelley came up with the idea and organized the event. “We talked about it last year as a way of getting the kids involved,” Kelley said. The candidates filled out an application and then underwent an interview process. Some of the questions were: “What was your proudest moment of the fair? What is your community involvement? What do you like about 4-H?”

The kids were interviewed by a local 4-H leader and fair advisory council members, Nichole said. The winners will be announced during the fair kick-off Sunday, Aug. 3 at 6 p.m. in the Show Sale Barn.

The winning royalty will have a strong presence at the fair by handing out trophies and ribbons and serving as ambassadors. They will also appear in local parades throughout the year, promoting the fair. Nichole said she really wants the “Diamonds & Boots” program to show people that 4-H responsibilities go way beyond the five days of the fair and that being in 4-H is a year-round commitment. “There is so much to 4-H than just the fair,” she said.

fair_logo_MCPThe name “Diamonds & Boots” is a clever combination of the normal fair footwear and the crowns that will be worn by royalty.

Weldon Creek formed over 50 years ago by Nichole’s parents, Jim and Donna Shoup. The group has numerous projects at the fair, Nichole said. “The members have shown many species of animals, including breeding animals to selling some animals in the market program. The members also exhibit projects in a booth in the 4-H building. These projects include gardening, baking, canning, photography, woodworking, sewing, writing, drawing and crafts. Every year, the members decide on a theme for the booth area and then decorate the booth.

“Fair is a really neat time for family, friends and meeting new people,” the 4-H leader said. “Everyone works so hard to get ready for fair, and then show days come along, and then the relaxing time of fair is there.”

There will be a poster and booth with information about “Diamonds & Boots” in the Town Hall Building during the fair.

All fair information and stories can be accessed in the menu underneath the Mason County Press masthead at www.MasonCountyPress.com. Also, for more information, visit the fair’s Facebook page: Facebook.com/masoncountyfairgrounds or website: masoncountyfairgrounds.com

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