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A new tradition

The Fayette County Free Fair Queen and her courtsqueeze togetherto put the “I” in fair during fair weekand prior to the fairin what they hope will become a tradition. From left are Queen Lauryn Truesdale, First RunnerUp Kendall Moriarty, Miss Congeniality Emily Judd and Second Runner Up Alexis Frank.

By DARRELL SMITH - dsmith@newsexaminer.com

All too soon, the Fayette County Free Fair is over and the four young women in the queen’s court made friends, learned to appreciate the work of 4-H members and they hope to have started a new tradition.

“Fun,” “crazy,” “busy” and “overwhelming,” all thoughts on the fair week from the queen and her court, but it did not start the week of the fair.

Queen Lauryn Truesdale, First Runner Up Kendall Moriarty, Second Runner Up Alexis Frank and Miss Congeniality Emily Judd began their duties almost immediately after received their titles on July 21.

The group decided to visit a couple nursing homes, then Benchmark Services and Fayette Central Elementary for kindergarten classes, Alexis said.

“That separates us from other courts because we realize we can do a lot more than just the fair,” Kendall said.

“Even though the fair will be over after this week, up until the next court, we are going to try to be in the community and maybe around Christmas take time to go back to a nursing home,” Lauryn said.

“Take them presents ...,” Alexis added. “I never realized how sweet people are.”

By going to those places, it is like taking a piece of the fair to those who cannot attend, the queen said. Some of those residents do not get any visitors.

“It allowed us to get recognized more, especially when we were out walking down the midway, people would come up and thank us, not that we did it for that reason,” Kendall said.

During the fair, the younger girls would come up and just be in awe of the tiaras the court wore, Truesdale said.

“We’ve been handing out little princess crowns to them and It made them feel like they were queens too,” she said. “That has been one of the most memorable experiences I would say. Their eyes would just light up when you’d give them a crown.”

Lauryn is a 10-year 4-H member, Alexis has one to go and Emily spent a few years in 4-H but Kendall never wore the 4-H green.

“Not being in 4-H, I learned a lot about it and all the animals,” she said. “I can now tell the difference between a barrow and a gilt. I know there are a lot of different kinds of sheep...a lot.”

Alexis and Lauryn also showed livestock in addition to their duties on the court.

It took time management to be prepared, Alexis said.

The shows came Saturday and Tuesday, Lauryn said, but she helped get the animal ready as much as possible.

“I’ve only done livestock, and then going over to the project side of things (nodding to Expo Hall), being in there the first week, I think I gained a new respect all their hard work,” she said. “Just seeing those project, it was like how talented so many of those kids are, it’s just like wow.”

“I didn’t expect them to be that serious,” Alexis said. “You could see they spent a lot of time on them like we do with our livestock.”

Emily is just the opposite. She said as a young member, she spent time in Expo Hall but did not visit the livestock side of the fair.

“It’s about the same, they put the same amount work in over there as over here (livestock),” she explained. “It’s just different work. I wish I had stayed in 4-H but I chose dance.”

They agreed spending time together has been an important part of the fair experience.

“We’ve had so much fun together and made a ton of memories,” Kendall said. “We’ve gotten so close. After awhile, when people would complement us, we’d all say ‘Thank you’ at the same time.”

They all admitted to eating too much food and likely putting on pounds.

“Cheesecake on a stick, if you’ve never had it, go get it,” Lauryn said. “It’s my favorite thing.”

Alexis also admitted to passing out on one of the rides, one those goes around at the same time it spins. She did give the delirium ride the props.

Thursday proved to be the highlight of the week, visiting the sheep and goal open show in the morning, attending the baby show, round-robin showmanship, eating, watching MotoCross and then the rides, Kendall said.

That’s where they laughed the most, Emily said.

The week will be the last the three seniors will be together as Emily heads to Ball State University to study speech pathology, Lauryn to Purdue University for exploratory studies and Kendall to Ball State for special education studies. Alexis returns to Connersville High School for her senior year.

Lauryn’s work as queen is not done as the Indiana State Fair Queen Contest is Jan. 4-6 but before that is the Queen’s Day at this year’s fair Aug. 12. There will be a lunch and explanation about the fair and the contest. There will also be a parade at the fair. 

“It’s my 10th year in 4-H so it’s my last of everything,” she said.