SIDNEY — The Shelby County Fair crowned new fair royalty during its opening day Sunday.
Joseph Bruns, 17, of Anna and Madison Jeffries, 18, of Anna were crowned the Shelby County Junior Fair King and Queen during the junior fair’s annual contest.
Jeffries is the daughter of Amy and Randy Esser. She is a 2022 graduate of Anna High School and will be attending Bowling Green State University this fall. She has been a member of 4-H since kindergarten. She is a member of the Junior Fairboard, where she is president. She is a member of the National Honor Society, vice president of the Anna FFA class officer, vice president of the student council and captain for the volleyball team. She is also a member of SADD and was HOBY ambassador.
“The Shelby County Junior Fair is important to me because I had always shown ever since I was little, and it’s always been a big part of me and my family, getting to grow as a person,” Jeffries said. “It feels really good to be junior fair queen. I get to go around and talk to different queens, and spread the love I have for 4-H.”
Bruns will be a senior at Anna High School this fall.
“My whole life, I’ve always loved working with animals, and junior fair has given me an opportunity to showcase my talents with animals,” Bruns said.
Colby Jeffries, 17, son of Randy and Amy Esser, of Anna, was named Mr. Congeniality. Alexandria Gaerke, 16, daughter of Jason and Judie Gaerke, of Russia, was named Miss Congeniality. Mr. and Mrs. Congeniality were decided by the junior fair king and queen contestants.
First runners up for king and queen were Austin Pleiman, 17, son of Matt and Nicole Pleiman, of Fort Loramie. and Sable Ruhenkamp, 17, daughter of Kim and the late Bryan Ruhenkamp, of Fort Loramie. Second runners up for king and queen were Jacob Puthoff, 18, son of Jeff and Becky Puthoff, and Eliza Gariety, 17, daughter of Greg and Connie Gariety, of Russia.
Additional participants in the Junior Fair King and Queen contest were Spencer Yinger, 18, son of Jake and Breezy Yinger, of Jackson Center; Peter Depinet, 17, son of Joel and Desiree Depinet, of Sidney; Leanne York, 18, daughter of Benjamin and Lisa York, of Russia; and Karli Hiler, 17, daughter of Mike and Mindy Hiler.
Prior to the announcement of king and queen, Melissa Bowers was honored as a 2022 4-H Hall of Fame inductee. Additionally, four $500 scholarships were given to 4-H participants Audrey Baker, Kyle Lowe, Brianna Fitzgerald and Lauren Thornhill.
Before Shelby County Junior Fair royalty took the stage at the entertainment tent, 16 girls and five boys across Shelby County competed for Little Miss and Mr. Shelby County.
Aria Tobie, 5, of Sidney, won over judges with her rendition of Alicia Keys’ “Girl on Fire” and took home the title of Little Miss Shelby County. Aria is the daughter of Dexter and Kelly Tobie.
Luke Heilers, 4, of Anna, dazzled the crowd with his knock-knock jokes and talked about how showing pigs was his favorite part of the fair, which won him the title of Little Mr. Shelby County. Luke is the son of Aaron and Sara Heilers.
Across the fairgrounds in the EMA Building, the best of the Open Class Baked Goods Auction was held. Area business owners and leaders bid on various cakes, cookies, pies, biscuits, and even hard tack candy that had been made and submitted by residents of all ages and backgrounds across Shelby County. No item sold for less than $100 at the auction.
Detailed Machining Inc. owner John Bertsch took home various baked goods, including homemade white bread, chocolate raspberry fudge, wacky watermelon hard tack candy, pumpkin pie, lemon rosemary cookies, lemon pound cake, cinnamon raisin bread, lemon chiffon cake, salted caramel chocolate pecan pie and a fresh peach pie. Representatives from Detailed Machining also won caramel pecan sticky rolls on a $325 bid.
One dessert sold for $500 to Sidney’s Out West Drive Thru.
Jeff Pollard, owner of Sidney Tire and Best One Tire, bid on several items with representatives from each business, including homemade egg noodles, apple strudel coffee cake, blueberry pie, lemon maple zucchini bread, peanut butter cookies, coconut cookies, whole wheat sourdough bread and cinnamon cookies.
“We like to support the local community, and it’s one of the staples that — we have some friends who come here and it’s kind of like a camaraderie thing, and we like to support the local fair,” Pollard said. “My favorite thing we bid on today would probably be the cookies.”