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From livestock barn to pageant runway, Fairest of the Fair has experienced it all

From livestock barn to pageant runway, Fairest of the Fair has experienced it all

Posted: Tuesday, August 11, 2009 10:11 pm
By: Donna Ryder Messenger Associate Editor

 By DONNA RYDER Messenger Associate Editor In her first-ever beauty pageant, Katherine Adelyn Parker, 18, of Union City took the title of Obion County Fairest of the Fair. Her father, Nick Parker, told The Messenger after the pageant Monday evening that the family had tried to talk her into entering beauty pageants and she finally decided to enter the pageant at the fair. In fact, during the interview portion of the pageant, during which each top 10 contestant was asked, “Why do you want to be the Obion County Fairest of the Fair?” Miss Parker said the fair has been a part of her life because she raises livestock. She said she wanted to be able to diversify and so she decided to enter the pageant. She brought a chuckle from the audience when she added that at least her fellow contestants smelled better than what she was accustomed to in the livestock barn. Miss Parker is also the daughter of Julie Parker and is a student at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Members of her court include first maid Rebecca Lauren Easley of Union City, 17, daughter of John and Delana Easley and a senior at Union City High School; second maid Jordan Brooke Jones of Kenton, 18, daughter of Greg and Kim Jones and a student at the University of Tennessee at Martin; and third maid Olivia Brooke Beachum of Union City, 17, daughter of Dr. Steve Beachum and a senior at UCHS. Tara Marshall Elam, 14, of Union City won the Teen Miss competition. She is the daughter of Tom and Yvonne Elam and is a student at UCHS. Her court includes first maid Lauren Donell Richards of Union City, 15, daughter of Dewayne and Lisa Richards and a student at Obion County Central High School; second maid Molly Katherine Maclin of Union City, 13, daughter of Hank Maclin and Brad and Cindi Cook and a student at Union City Middle School; and third maid Ali Brooke McEwen of Union City, 14, daughter of Aby and Jason Morris and a student at OCCHS. The Obion County Fair in-ducted two members of the Miller family, Royce Miller and the late Dave Miller, into the Hall of Fame Monday night. Jim Rippy, a former Obion County Fair president and former Tennessee Association of Fairs president, said there would not be an Obion County Fair if it weren’t for the Miller family. Rippy said in the late 1950s, the late Hunter Miller, who worked for a local bank, was the chairman of the Obion County Fair. His dad, Dave Miller, and his brother, Royce Miller, were the only other people working with him. He said the old fairgrounds was at a baseball field and they had only a little tractor and no power tools. Three generations of the Miller family, including current board members, David Miller and Tommy Miller, have volunteered with the Obion County Fair. Also remembered Monday night was the late William Thompson, who died last fall while still serving on the fair board. Tim Smith, Obion County office director of the University of Tennessee Extension Service, said of Thompson, “If you’re lucky in life you will get to cross one or two men who truly make a difference in your life and William was one of those types of men. He was a man of great character, and he was a character, and he had a lot of morals and a great personality about him you just couldn’t help but love.” During the nightly drawing Monday, Brad Walton won $500 and Hoyt Sampson took home the Pick Tennessee basket. Because the ticketholder of the first ticket stub drawn was not at the grandstands on Monday evening, the first ticket drawn tonight will be worth $1,500. Beginning at 6 p.m. tonight and Wednesday night, admission will be $10 regardless of age. The special Pay One Price night will get the fairgoers unlimited rides at the carnival. Season tickets will still be accepted at the gates, but those wishing to have the special ride stamp must pay the $10 fee. It was already busy at the fairgrounds this morning, with area students showing their junior market hogs, lambs and steers in the Hunter Miller Livestock Barn. They will have their animals auctioned off tonight beginning at 7. Kimberlie Helton will be in concert at the Back Porch Stage at 6 and area youth who are involved in the youth musical “Encore” will perform at 7 in the Whitney Cozart Pavilion. Petite Miss, Little Miss and Junior Miss pageants will begin at the Reelfoot Bank Stage at 6:30. Junior and open swine shows will be held Wednesday beginning at 5 p.m. The youth musical will be in the Whitney Cozart Pavilion at 7 and 9, with Back Porch Stage entertainment set for 9. The truck and tractor pull will be held at the grandstand at 8. The fair is scheduled to be held through Saturday. Season tickets — available at the fair office and at BP, formerly Skaggs Market, both in Union City — cost $20 each. General admission is $6 for adults and $4 for children ages 6-12, with children ages 5 and younger admitted free. Associate Editor Donna Ryder can be contacted by e-mail at dryder@ucmessenger.com. Published in The Messenger 8.11.09

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