SIDNEY — The Shelby County Fair crowned new royalty Sunday during its opening day.
Collin Walker, 18, and Leah Meyer, 16, were crowned the 2021 Shelby County Fair king and queen to an enthusiastic crowd. There were 10 queen candidates and four king candidates this year.
Meyer, daughter of Greg and Krista Meyer, will be a junior at Anna High School this year. She has been a member of the Anna Livestock 4-H Club for 11 years and Anna FFA for to years. She has been on the Junior Fair Board for two years and received the Rookie of the Year Award.
“I am so honored to have this opportunity to help the Shelby County Fair and make it as memorable for other people as it was for me. I’ve had so many amazing memories here,” Meyer said.
Walker, son of Bruce and Connie Walker, is a 2021 graduate of Houston High School, where he was class valedictorian, and will be attending Hobart Institute of Welding Technology. He is a member of the Houston-UVCC FFA Chapter and Houston Livestock 4-H Club. He served as president of the FFA and Houston Livestock.
“It feels amazing — I’ve loved this fair for my entire life,” Walker said.
Cody Selanders, 18, and Mariah Booher, 18, were named first runner up. Second runner up winners were Samuel York, 18, and Madison Jeffries, 17, who were also named Mr. and Miss Congeniality.
Also competing in the King and Queen Contest were Kaylie Kipp, 16, daughter of Jeremy and Kara Kipp, of Anna; Karli Hiler, 16, daughter of Mindy and Mike Hiler, of Sidney; Jayden Lynn Yinger, 19, daughter of Jake and Breezy Yinger, of Jackson Center; Camryn Wilson, 18, daughter of Trintney Todd, of Anna; Aubrey Hoying, 18, daughter of Greg and Amy Hoying, of Anna; Aubrey Baker, 17, daughter of Jack and Annette Baker, of Minster; Addison Brewer, 19, daughter of Ryan and Nykole Brewer, of New Bremen; and Ben Bohman, 18, son of Steve and Jennifer Bohman.
Prior to the king and queen contest, 18 girls and five boys took the main stage at the entertainment tent for a chance to be named Little Miss and Mr. Shelby County.
Hannah Bensman, 3, daughter of James and Toni Bensman, of Anna, took the title of Little Miss Shelby County after dazzling the crowd with her rendition of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, in which she sang and played the ukulele.
Nolan Stewart, 3, son of James and Andrea Stewart, of Sidney, wasted no time when he was brought center stage, telling the audience of his love of T-Rex dinosaurs and serenading them with a chorus of Queen’s stadium rock anthem, “We Will Rock You.” Nolan walked away with the title of Little Mr. Shelby County. Both contestants received a trophy and $50.
The bake sale auction resumed in full swing this year, with several area businesses and county leaders bidding to take home a variety of sweet treats. Grand champions this year were Laura Schulge in the bread, cake and pie categories, Sandy Pence in the cookie category, and Connie Snapp for her home-made candy.
The big winner of the evening was Kenzie Notestine, 6, daughter of Matt Notestine, of De Graff, and Jennifer Hoewischer, of Anna. Kenzie has been baking since she was 2 years old, through the guidance of her grandmother, Elly Hoewischer. This is her second time entering items into the baked goods auction, previously entering into the 2019 Shelby County Fair. Her three items — a buttermilk spice cake, a strawberry angel food cake, and a moist white cake — earned her more than $500 to put toward a college fund.
“It’s amazing. It’s really neat to live in a great community like this where they support you,” Elly Hoewischer said.
Fifteen of the items that Sidney Body CARSTAR Production Manager Cameron Eisenhardt walked away with included Kenzie’s buttermilk spice cake, which was won on a $250 bid. Eisenhardt said he was prepared to bid as high as he needed to go to support Kenzie’s college fund.
“When you hear it goes to a college fund — that’s important. It goes back to the kids, and that’s why we’re here,” Eisenhardt said. “It’s important for us to give back and let the community know that we care about them.”
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