By Leslie Wustrack
Special to The PREVIEW
Archuleta County Fair Board President Jason Cox has announced the Archuleta County Fair board’s choices for the 2018 Archuleta County Fair Royalty Court.
Cox stated, “The Royalty Court began almost 25 years ago. It’s one of the ways the fair honors the youth of our community. These special young women are the fair’s representatives and the ‘face’ of our events.”
The first Archuleta County Fair queen, chosen in 1984, was high school senior Lannette (Shahan) Cress, daughter of Betty and Bob Shahan, of Chromo. Cress grew up on the family ranch where chores included working cattle, breaking horses and trailing into the national forest with her family. The “interview” for queen was a rodeo challenge where high score took first place. Cress excelled at all types of rodeo events including barrels, poles, roping and riding, and was an avid 4-H’er in steer, horse, lamb, pig, cooking and sewing. (Note: one of Cress’ sons, Brody Cress, is ranked No. 2 in the world for saddle bronc riding and the other, Blaze Cress, is in the cutting horse industry.)
Today’s queen interviews have changed, but not the commitment of the fair to support and honor community’s youth. Potential candidates are interviewed by a fair board committee with a basic set of questions, such as: why do you want to be chosen for fair royalty, why is royalty important, what are your favorite aspects of the fair and how are you currently involved in the community. They are ranked on their answers, their public speaking abilities and their understanding of the responsibilities that lie ahead.
Chosen royalty help to build the Fourth for July parade float, they promote the fair throughout the community with public appearances and poster hanging, they attend all four days of the fair to answer questions and ensure fair-goers’ enjoyment, they present ribbons at all fair livestock shows and they represent the fair with decorum at events throughout the southwest during the year of their reign.
Selected as queen of the 2018 Archuleta County Fair is Emma Audrey Happ, 16, daughter of Larry and Augusta Happ. An upcoming junior at Pagosa Springs High School, Emma is currently ranked No. 1 academically in her class. She’s a member of the National Junior Honor Society, the High School Community Band, student council, Future Business Leaders of America and is a former member of 4-H. Emma volunteers with the Catholic Parish youth group and works part-time. She enjoys playing golf, acting with Curtains Up Pagosa, and spending time with her parents and two brothers.
Selected as princess of the 2018 Archuleta County Fair is Katelynn Mary-Jay Turner, 11, the great niece of Pagosa Springs resident Annette Marie Taylor. A Colorado native, Katelynn has three siblings: two brothers and one sister. She loves living in Pagosa Springs, where she finds the town’s citizens friendly and the mountains beautiful. She also loves 4-H and her rabbit project which is teaching her about responsibility. Katelynn’s favorite hobbies include drawing, reading and hiking to view different mountain waterfalls. She will be a sixth-grader in the fall.
Selected as junior princess of the 2018 Archuleta County Fair is Alillyanna Davis, 10, daughter of Pauline Yago, of Pagosa Springs, and Tyrel Davis, of Kirtland, N.M. Alillyanna volunteers at the Humane Society Thrift Store and just enjoys helping people. Her favorite activities include taking care of her dog, riding horses, camping, swimming, tubing and hiking to mountain waterfalls and in the New Mexico desert. She is an active participant at her vacation Bible school and loves to spend time with her friends and her family. Alillyanna will be a fifth-grader in the fall at the Pagosa Peak Open School.
Cox added, “The Royalty Court’s first major public appearance will be riding the fair float in the Fourth of July parade. When community members see these young ladies at community events and at the fair, please introduce yourself and meet the 2018 Archuleta County Fair’s wonderful representatives.”
The 67th annual Archuleta County Fair will be held Aug. 2-5 at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds, 344 U.S. 84. The Fairgrounds are located just southeast of U.S. 160 and U.S. 84 intersection.
Daily live music, a ranch rodeo, a horse show, family entertainment and educational activities, games for kids, a petting zoo, exhibits, 4-H animals/science, horseshoe and fly-casting contests, livestock showmanship, the annual livestock sale, and the annual Saturday night dance and 4-H chuckwagon dinner are just a few of the exciting features. Everyone is invited to participate; there is something for all family members.
For a full calendar of events, sponsorship information, exhibit forms and vendor information, visit the fair’s new website: archuletacountyfair.com.
By Leslie Wustrack