Francis, Beaty step up as fair king, queen
Photos from the 2011 Rock County 4-H Fair taken by Gazette photographers.
JANESVILLE First they were bombarded with media interviews while their adoring fans snapped pictures.
Then they got the bad news: They would need to be back at the Rock County 4-H Fairgrounds at 7:30 a.m. for breakfast and instructions.
"You mean in the morning?" said more than one member of the brand-new 2011 fair royalty.
Such is the price of fame.
Led by King Grant Francis of Newark Pioneers 4-H and Queen Sydney Beaty of Milton 4-H, the 10-member court was announced Tuesday night during the annual coronation ceremony. Members of the court will spend the rest of the week posing for pictures, passing out ribbons and being ambassadors of the fair. It's not easy work, considering they are already some of the busiest, most accomplished 4-H'ers and FFA members in the county.
In her outgoing speech, 2010 fair Queen Anne George told them to enjoy every minute. She mentioned the smells of pine shavings and fried doughnuts that are so dear to those who love the fair.
"Take a deep breath and focus on the smells of the fair," George said.
Francis and Beaty on Tuesday night were ready to jump right into their roles of promoting the fair.
In her bright green formal dress, which matched nicely with the emerald green ribbons on her new bouquet, Beaty looked sincere when she said she was surprised to be the new fair queen.
A 2011 graduate of Milton High School, Beaty said her favorite project at the fair has been visual arts.
It's the people that make the fair special, she said.
"All these local kids and their families enjoying this time together, them exhibiting their talents," Beaty said. "I get to meet so many cool people."
The time leading up to the fair can be hectic, said Francis, whose favorite 4-H project has been nature space and who is a member of HeatWave, the 4-H show choir.
"It feels like home," Francis said about the fair. "You rush around doing your projects. You go to other 4-H events. But when you come back to the Rock County 4-H Fair, it's something comfortable, it's something familiar. It feels like home."
2011 ROCK COUNTY 4-H FAIR COURT
King: Grant Francis, Newark Pioneers
Queen: Sydney Beaty, Milton 4-H
Court: Briana Bader, Magnolia 4-H; Jacob Bobolz, Bradford 4-H; Megan Daluge, Janesville Craig FFA; Tyler Long, Center 4-H; Nathan Pickering, Rock Valley 4-H; Jack Ross, Turtle 4-H; Rachel Schambow, Consolidated 4-H; and Lily Zeich, Newark Pioneers 4-H.