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Karen Schlichter named 2010 Fairest of the Fair



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September 08, 2010 | 08:41 AM
Elkhorn — Karen Schlichter, 21, of Elkhorn was named Fairest of the Fair Sept. 1at the Walworth County Fair.

And so was Hannah Eucker, only not for now. Eucker, 19, also of Elkhorn, will be royalty for the 2010 Fair. Then, during a special ceremony in June 2011, she will be crowned Fairest for 2011 and Samantha Simen , 19, of Burlington, daughter of Dawn Simen, will be royalty.

Transition year

This is a transition year, said Susan Pruessing, fair marketing and public relations manager. Until this year, Fairests were selected in the year they reigned.

From this year on, the fair board decided, Fairests will be selected a year in advance. The change will make it possible for the Fairest to promote the fair she was chosen to represent, Pruessing said.

"This summer, when I was out promoting the 2010 Fair I was accompanied by the 2009 Fairest of the Fair," said Pruessing.

Likewise, when the Fair opens, it's the Fairest from the previous year that presides. With the change, the 2011 Fair will be promoted and opened by the 2011 Fairest, she said.

Three from five

The three winners this year were selected from five contestants.

This year's Fairest, Schlichter, is a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is the daughter of Laura Tidwell.

During the competition, Schlichter was asked what in the Fairest contest did the most to teach her confidence. "I don't think I've ever been this nervous in my life," Schlichter replied. "So I'd say this is my biggest lesson in confidence."

After being crowned by last year's Fairest, Maura Wieners, Schlichter said she and her family had come to the fair annually since she was 3, but she had never showed there. Schlichter said she was curious about the Fairest contest and showed up for the informational meeting, not sure that she would qualify.

Schlichter said she wasn't concerned about the changes in the Fairest traditions. With three winners being selected at this contest, "chances were very good this year." Schlichter won a $1,000 scholarship and will compete for the honor of the Wisconsin State Fair's Fairest of the Fairs in January.

Hannah, daughter of Butch and Sally Euker, said she did show pigs a few years ago, and was FFA president at Elkhorn High School. She said she wasn't confused about the transition in the Fairest nor what her duties are for this Fair.

Right hand man?

"I walk around the fair and I help out the Fairest of the Fair," Eucker said. "I'm the right hand man."

Eucker said several friends told her she should try out for Fairest this year. "There were people telling me it would be good for me," she said. As royalty this year, Eucker will receive a $500 scholarship.

Also competing this year was Deanna Malin, 20, of Walworth, daughter of Dean and Jo Malin. A Big Foot High School graduate, she is now attending the University of Wisconsin - Platteville. Lynn Kosmatka, 20, of Lake Geneva, was also a contestant, but didn't make it to the fair for the contest because of a transportation problem, judges said.

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