Kenosha County Fairest of the Fair organizers have diversified eligibility, expanded the live-on-stage segment of the contest and are seeking candidates to vie for the 2022 title at this year’s fair.
“We revamped the whole program to make it more meaningful and provide an opportunity for contestants to learn marketing skills and to grow professionally,” said Jennifer Happ, of the Fairest of the Fair Committee.
The Fairest of the Fair Program not only serves as an ambassador for the fair, but also works to promote all educational, agricultural, social, and economic opportunities in Kenosha County.
“It is a position of responsibility to the people of Kenosha County,” Happ said.
The committee began revamping the program before the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the cancellation of the 2020 fair, at which the 2021 Fairest of the Fair would have been selected. As a result, Claire Fox, selected 2020 Fairest of the Fair, will fulfill the duties at this year’s event.
Happ said there has been an increase in the number of male contestants being crowed Fairest of the Fair statewide.
“You don’t have to be a beauty queen or a woman to be a representative or an ambassador for a county,” Happ said.
Following coronation, the Fairest of the Fair winner will reign from Jan. 1, 2022 to Jan. 1, 2023 at a variety of local events and parades. The term culminates with the State Fairest of the Fair competition. The new calendar-year assignment allows for the title holder to reign over the fair they are promoting and have a full year of experience prior to the state competition.
The deadline to apply is Friday, July 2. Preliminary screening will take place from 5-8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 16.
For the first time, there is no age cap and a contestant can now be married, Happ said. To be eligible, a contestant must be 18 years of age as of August 1, 2021. Due to the time commitment, the Fairest of the Fair must not have children for the duration of the term.
New this year, the top two candidates will move on to compete as finalists on Coronation Night, Sunday, Aug. 22, on the Creekside Stage at the fairgrounds.
“The final round of judging is live in front of an audience prior to coronation,” Happ said.
Finalists will present a 30-second self-introduction and a 30-second radio commercial for the Kenosha County fair they have prepared in advance. Impromptu questions will also be asked in front of the audience and the selection panel prior to the coronation.
The prize package includes a $1,000 scholarship and a lifetime membership to the Kenosha County Fair.
Happ said the Fairest of the Fair must be available throughout the year for appearances, meetings and interviews — sometimes on very short notice, during the evening and on weekends — and must attend a minimum of 12 events (which can include a virtual/social media presence).
The majority of the duties will occur between April 1 and Oct. 1, 2022. Some of the events include: Twin Lakes LibertyFest, Bristol Progress Days, Pleasant Prairie Days, DARE activities, Memorial Day parades, school visits and fall festivals.
During the Kenosha County Fair, the Fairest of the Fair participates in events, performs media interviews, greets fairgoers and attends judging sessions.
“You must be poised, mature, outgoing, articulate, sensitive to all types of people and be able to withstand long hours of work while maintaining a positive and enthusiastic attitude,” Happ said.
The Fairest of the Fair must also have excellent writing, public speaking, computer, and telephone skills, be able to adapt to any situation, and be dependable.