2020 Somerset County Fair Queen

ABIGAIL KNAPP

Farewell Speech

 

   American actress Judy Garland captured what means to love one’s community in one simple statement, “There is no place like home.” Our fair has been a centerpiece in my life ever since I could remember. I woke up early to feed my fair animals. I weeded and planted a fair garden. I was always working on new crafts to enter into the fair. This year I had the privilege to experience a whole new aspect of our fair as the 2020 Somerset County Fair Queen. As fair queen I have received a lot of nicknames which include The Quarantine Queen, Queen Corona, and many more. But the one that particularly stood out to me was Miss America’s County. I know most families struggled through this year’s pandemic and we have all experienced loss. In spite of all of the hardship, the people of Somerset County did not admit defeat. Some would say that Somerset County folks are just pigheaded and dense, but I believe that we are so much more. We aren’t America’s County because we are single-minded hillbillies. We are America’s County because we are determined, compassionate, and forward-thinking idealists which can be seen in our response to the Quecreek Mine Rescue, Flight 93, and now the Coronavirus Pandemic, as one of the only fairs in the state of Pennsylvania to still occur. The Somerset County Fair showcases Americas County by encapsulating its eagerness to advance in agriculture and other industries while illustrating its unique sense of kinship, hard work, competition, and selflessness. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to represent the treasure that is the Somerset County Fair. During fair week my hardworking court and I handed out ribbons, held a youth dance, and attended all of the events we could. After a wonderful fair week, that as usual was filled with rain an at least one tornado warning, I traveled to the Camp Harmony Light Up Night, the Fire and Ice Festival, and eventually made my way to the Pennsylvania State Fair Queen Competition. Which was not so far away because the contest was virtual, but was still as nerve wracking as previous years. I am honored to now be able to share my love of agriculture and our fair to a greater degree as the 2021 Pennsylvania State Fair Queen Alternate and be among the six girls from Somerset County to receive a state title.  I am incredibly grateful to all those whose unwavering support helped me throughout my reign. To my grandma, thank you for listening to my speech numerous times, asking me a million questions in preparation for the interview, and helping me get over my “ums”. To my dad, thank you for always listening to me, helping me with my essays, speeches and videos, and being the best chauffer. To my mom, your love of the fair sparked mine and I will forever cherish our memories we had there. To Gale and Larry, thank you for having so much faith in me and for all the hard work you put into this program to make it happen. To Suzy, thank you for helping me always look my best and always being willing to spend the time to practice even though you don’t need it. To Aunt Lisa, thank you for your love and help getting ready. To Chloe, Brandy, Mikayla, Danny, Kristin, and Krista, thank you for all the time you spent helping me prepare and listening to my speech a million times and asking me questions. To my fair court, thank you for your hard work, all of the love and support, and your dedication to the fair. To my brothers and family, thank you for your encouragement and love. To my fair family, thank you for your well wishes and the countless memories we have from over the years. To the Fair Board, thank you for your tireless efforts in making the Somerset County Fair such a special place.

Looking back on my time as the Somerset County Fair Queen, I’m filled with joy and gratitude. I welcome the next fair queen to the fair queen family and I hope you get as much out of this experience as I did as spokesperson for the showcase of America’s County. Look forward to a week full of bubble tea, lack of sleep, and smiling faces. And remember, there truly is no place like home, the Somerset County Fair. 

 

Abigail Knapp