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Courtney Moser crowned Vernon County Fairest of the Fair, Jenna Harrington crowned Jr. Fairest
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Courtney Moser crowned Vernon County Fairest of the Fair, Jenna Harrington crowned Jr. Fairest

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2021 Vernon County Fairest of the Fair, Junior Fairest

Vernon County Junior Fairest of the Fair Jenna Harrington (left) and Fairest of the Fair Courtney Moser pose for a photo following the Fairest of the Fair contest, Saturday afternoon. The 164th fair will be held Sept. 15-19; the 2020 fair was canceled due to coronavirus concerns.

Courtney Moser and Jenna Herrington are the Vernon County Fair’s new ambassadors. They will reign over the 164th fair Sept. 15-19.

Moser is the 2021 Fairest of the Fair and Harrington is the Junior Fairest of the Fair. The young women were selected Saturday afternoon during a contest held at the Vernon Memorial Healthcare Expo on the Vernon County Fairgrounds in Viroqua.

Moser is the daughter of Joy and Cary Moser, and Harrington is the daughter of John Harrington and Christine Harrington.

Harrington and fellow Junior Fairest contestants – Cecilia Vento, Madison Kumlin and Bridget Palm – gave a 30-second self-introduction, presented a 30-second radio ad promoting the fair and answered an impromptu question.

Moser and fellow Fairest contestant Abagail Diehl gave a 30-second self-introduction, presented a 30-second radio ad promoting the fair, drew a card on the spot to promote a specific fair event and answered an impromptu question.

All six candidates were also interviewed prior to the public portion of the contest.

The Junior Fairest of the Fair was added to the Fairest program as a way to prepare young women to run as a Fairest of the Fair contestant when they come of age. Junior Fairest candidates must be between the ages of 14 and 16, a Vernon County resident, or participate in fair activities in Vernon County (the majority of the fair activities must be in the county).

The Fairest of the Fair serves as the official hostess of the Vernon County Fair. The Fairest also represents the fair in the Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs contest. Candidates must be residents of Vernon County or the majority of their fair activities take place in the county. They must be a resident of the state of Wisconsin for at least a year prior to entry, and they must be 18 years of age by Jan. 1, 2022 since the Fairest is required to travel.

Fairest farewell

Brianna Hall, the 2019-2020 Vernon County Fairest of the Fair, gave a review of her year.

Hall said that at the age of 21 she realized she wasn’t too old to enter the Fairest of the Fair contest. “I’m thankful for the opportunity to represent the Vernon County Fair.”

Hall said she will never forget all of the people she met and talked with during the fair and the hard work that goes into putting on the event.

“I wouldn’t have known about the behind-the-scenes work if I hadn’t been Fairest of the Fair,” she said. “I saw the hard work behind the scenes Thursday night when the storm shut down the fair…; within a few hours it was up and running again.”

She said she also has fond memories of being atop a draft horse and almost having the crown fall off her head, and asking questions of the youngsters participating in the Little Britches Dairy Show.

“I’m thankful for the experience and memories made,” Hall said.

Fair updates

David Hornby, fair board president, gave a few updates.

“Welcome. It’s nice to get back into the swing of fair,” Hornby said. “The board met, but there was nothing to do (last year). We’re looking forward to a full fair, and everybody else is, too.”

Hornby said the fair board is working with the Vernon County Office of Emergency Management and the Vernon County Health Department in regard to COVID-19 safety protocols. “We’re staying on top of it.”

Hornby said Nick’s Kids Show and TA-DA Robots have been booked for the Bob Fredrick Free Stage, and High Mileage will perform Sunday. Other local acts will round out the schedule.

There will be a collegiate dairy cow judging contest this year, Hornby said. He said the contest was first organized and sponsored by Tri-State Breeders and then by East Select Sires, which decided not to be a part of the contest. Hornby said a few individuals who had helped with the contest in the past have decided to keep it going.

Hornby said there isn’t a superintendent for the draft horse show. “If we get a superintendent we’ll have a show; we’ll keep you informed.”

The deadline for fair entries is Wednesday, Aug. 4. There will be 100 percent online registration of Open Class exhibitors. For about five years, Junior Fair exhibitors have been required to register online; Open Class exhibitors could either register online or send in a paper form.

A premium book will not be printed this year. According to the fair’s website, the fair board will only be printing premium books on demand, at an exhibitor’s expense; the cost is yet to be determined.

The theme for the fair is “Tropical ‘Fairadise’.”

Welcome to the family

Brianna Hall, the 2019 Vernon County Fairest of the Fair (center) welcomes 2021 Junior Fairest of the Fair Jenna Harrington (left) and 2021 Fairest of the Fair Courtney Moser to the Fairest of the Fair family. The contest was held in the Vernon Memorial Healthcare Expo Center on the fairgrounds in Viroqua, Saturday afternoon.

Angela Cina can be reached at angie.cina@lee.net.

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Vernon County Times editor

Angie Cina is editor of the Vernon County Times. Contact her at 608-637-5616.

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