Webster County Fair kicks off with crowning

Popp, Ledford will reign; Little Miss is Reagan Pearson

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter
No surprises here—after Justin Koester, 18, left, was named the runner-up, the only other candidate Zach Popp, 16, knew he’d be named Webster County Fair King even before the crown was brought out. The 2017 Fair King, Joel Anderson, places the crown, while queen candidates Jeannie Boro, Morgan Border and Olivia Mitchell react.

The Webster County Fair welcomed its new royalty as events got rolling Wednesday night.

Haley Ledford, 18, and Zach Popp, 16, were crowned queen and king of the fair after answering questions on stage and being judged on earlier interviews.

King and queen candidates are nominated by their local 4-H clubs, and judged on personality, leadership, involvement with their club and community, and communication skills. The judges had high praise for all seven queen and two king candidates.

Reagan Pearson, of Gowrie, was named the winner of the Little Miss Contest, with Gracelyn Illg as runner-up.

King and queen judge Allison McBride said Popp impressed with his leadership and ideas. Wanting to see more students involved in 4-H and agriculture, Popp presented a plan to go into fourth-grade classes and pass along a love for the program, McBride said.

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter
2017 Fair Queen Brooklin Border, center, hugs Haley Ledford, 18, shortly after she was named 2018 Fair Queen. Candidate Jamie Vaughan looks on at right, while runner-up Karrigan Mentzer embraces candidate Megan Dawson.

“Webster County is unusual. A lot of counties no longer crown a Fair King,” McBride said. “I think it is important to recognize male leadership.”

She praised Ledford for the many, many things she’s been involved with over the years in her 4-H group.

Ledford’s answer, when asked about her most prized 4-H accomplishment, came easily.

“My dog, Ace,” Ledford said. “He demonstrates all the hard work we put into the project for the last eight years.”

The fair reaches full swing today, starting off with a rabbit hopping event and rabbit show, plus sheep and goat show, at 9 a.m. A scavenger hunt for kids, karate demonstration, meet and greet with firefighters and law enforcement, and Bill Riley Talent Show will also be today.

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter
Reagan Pearson, winner of the Little Miss Contest, walks forward with runner-up Gracelyn Illg. At right, 2017’s Little Miss Leah Fischer looks on.

Salty View Band will take the free stage at 8:30 p.m. tonight.

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter
Reagan Pearson, of Gowrie, gets help with her crown from her mom Brittney Pearson after winning the Little Miss Contest Wednesday night.

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter
Morgan Border shows off her style during the clothing and fashion show at the Webster County Fair Wednesday night.

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter
2017’s Little Miss Webster County Fair Leah Fischer, left, laughs with Fair Queen Contestants Megan Dawson and Karrigan Mentzer while they await the big contest Wednesday night.

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter
Naomi Fisher, 10, models a low-priced outfit from a garage sale or secondhand store during the $15 Challenge portion of the Fashion and Style Show. Fisher took the reserve champion award, while Abbigale Tucker was named champion.