The 163rd annual Clermont County Fair has begun, and with it comes a variety of traditions that create lasting memories.
Todd Slone, president of the fair board, said creating memories is the slogan for the fair this year.
“I can imagine the amount of memories created in 163 years of the fair,” Slone said.
The 2012 fair opened July 22, and this year’s fair royalty was selected during the annual Junior Fair Royalty Contest.
The 2011 Fair Queen, Shelby Church, and 2011 Fair King J.T. Carpenter said their goodbyes during the ceremony and introduced the 2012 royalty candidates.
The contest included the selection of swine, sheep, equine, dairy cattle and caprine representatives as well as beef queen, prince, princess, king and queen.
Five candidates ran for fair queen and two candidates ran for fair king this year, including Sophia Enriquez, Katie Kelly, Mariah Messink, Sydney Snider, Dakota Wise, Chris Taylor and Cody Schott
Candidates introduced themselves and were asked to describe someone has influenced them other than their parents during the contest before judges made a selection.
Candidates listed grandparents, 4-H leaders, siblings and more before the judges made their final decision.
Sophia Enriquez, of Batavia, was named the 2012 Fair Queen and Cody Schott, of Batavia, was named the 2012 Fair King.
“It’s a really great feeling,” Enriquez said about being named fair queen. “My sister was queen. I feel proud to follow in her footsteps.”
Schott said being named fair king was awesome, and he said he is excited about being king during his last year of 4-H.
“I am most excited to see all the shows and be there for everything,” Schott said.
Lauriann Esz, of Batavia was selected as fair princess during the ceremony, Addison Stutz, of Milford, was selected as the 2012 fair prince and Shayla Baker, of Felicity, was selected as beef queen.
Maria Hill of Jackson Township was named swine representative, Elysha Thoms of Goshen was named sheep representative, Allie Dusha was named equine representative, Emily Apgar of Milford was named dairy cattle representative and Isabelle Jones of Loveland was named caprine representative.
Those selected for fair royalty positions will spend the week fulfilling responsibilities during the Junior Fair.
In addition to the 2012 Royalty Contest, the opening day of the fair also featured the Stonelick Township Firefighters’ Association Parade and an opening ceremony.
“We always go, every year,” Kelly Irwin, of Owensville, said about watching the parade during the fair.
Irwin said she comes back each year because she wants her children to have the same memories she had.
Christina Elam, another Owensville resident, said she comes to the parade, and the fair every year also to spend time with friends and family.
“It’s a good time,” Elam said.
A variety of activities and entertainment are scheduled each day of the fair including rides, contests, live music, tractor pulls, demolition derbies and games as well as Junior Fair activities.
“One of the reasons for the longevity (of the fair) is because of the kids and their projects,” Slone said about the Junior Fair. “They deserve the best, they do a great job.”
Junior Fair participants will be at the fair grounds all week showing cattle, sheep, horses and more and residents are able to watch any of the competitions.
Slone said a new addition to the fair this year is Family Day, which will be July 24. Admission is half-price and activities at the fair are centered around families, including a circus in the evening.
In addition to activities, there are also a variety of food and beverage vendors at the fair as well as plenty of shopping opportunities.
Slone introduced and thanked all the fair board members during the opening ceremony before he announced the opening of the fair.
“I hope to see you around the fair grounds and I hope we have good weather,” Slone said during the opening ceremony. “The 2012 fair is officially opened.”
The fair runs from July 22-28 and is held at the Clermont County Fair Grounds in Owensville.
For more information about the fair, or to view a full schedule visit www.clermontcountyfair.org.
To view more photos from the Royalty Contest and Fair Parade