Last Updated on February 17, 2023 9:28 am
Two important milestones were set last week in Watauga County, and they both laid the building blocks for more to come.
First, the Watauga County Fair made a well received return for the first time since the 1980s. Though there have been at least one attempt to bring the Fair back, this mark the first time that a nearly “full scale” fair had been produced in roughly 30 years. Natives, long time residents, at the time ASU students commented on social media recalling the days when country music entertainers such as George Jones, John Anderson, T.G. Sheppard and even a very young George Strait performed during the fair.
WataugaOnline.com was on hand during Fair Week asking participants what they thought about the return. The overall sentiment was very positive, and attendees were glad to have an event in the county that the entire family could take part in. One attendee in particular noted, “I want to support local things in the county because I'm a local and have a local business. They actually had tons of fun things for older kids which normally isn't the case. I loved that it catered to everyone! Little-Big!”
Another attendee summed up the feeling of the group of 10 that she was with, “I have nothing against the festivals and events that occur yearly here in the area, but it is terrific to have something where kids can ride rides and experience a fair atmosphere.” She added, “Avery County has a yearly fair, and so do many locations in the foothills and piedmont. Here is hoping that Watauga County can as well.”
WataugaOnline.com also spoke candidly with some of the staff and employees of B&K Carnival, the company in charge of providing the rides. They were impressed by the attendance figures each night, the positive attitudes by attendees and the change of pace weather wise. A supervisor noted, “As we always do, we turned our AC on in our RV before going to bed. When we woke up the next morning it was not running. We first thought it was broke, but then discovered that with an outside temperature of 60 degrees it had shut itself off”
The other milestone as part of “Fair Week” was the tremendous success of the Watauga County Miss Pageant. Mountain View Speedway presented the Watauga County Miss Pageant on August 18 with Stacey Bare (Jefferson, NC) as director.
With her extensive background in the pageant field, Bare reached out to fair organizers to offer her help. In just under 2 weeks of preparations the pageant became one of the most successful events during Fair Week.
In recapping the pageant Bare says:
“Thirty-eight contestants were divided into 3 age divisions: Baby, Young, and Teen.”
“The contestants were judged by a panel of three judges that lived in Ashe County.” Each contestant was asked to wear something they would wear to school, from there each contestant was judged on first impression, personality, and natural beauty. “The highest score in each division became our winner. The winner received a beautiful crown, sash and flowers.”
The age division winners were as follows: Baby Miss- Cree Lunceford, Young Miss- Asha Batchelor, and Teen Miss- Hannah Saunders. One girl over all the pageant received the title of Watauga County Sweetheart, this winner was chosen by the crowd by voting on their favorite contestant. The crowd choose Canzada Rash as their winner.
“Each girl did a fantastic job and we are planning another pageant will occur late this year or early next year” says Ms. Bare ” We are making the beauty pageant an annual event and we hope to see everyone next year!”