Touching moments shared as Jefferson County Fair opens

ROYALTY CROWNED — The 148th-annual Jefferson County Fair opened Monday with the crowning of a king, queen, prince and princess. Royalty includes, from left, Samantha Glenn and Catalina Mazzaferro, queen’s court; Kaydence Kinyo, princess; Sarah Mazzaferro, 2019 queen; Hayden Johnson, 2019 king; Christian Hoffman, prince; Elijah Fox, kings court; and Krysten Mazzaferro, queen’s court. -- Esther McCoy

SMITHFIELD — Some touching moments occurred Monday at the Rozsa Gazebo during opening ceremonies for the 148th-annual Jefferson County Fair.

Ray Hilderbrand, fair board president, remembered Gary Cain, the dedicated auctioneer at the junior fair for more than 60 years. He told how Cain, who died Feb. 4 at the age of 81, would arrive two hours early to set up his equipment and ready himself for the time that 4-H members would long remember, going into the auction ring.

“He asked for nothing, he just gave,” the board president said.

“We lost him in February, and all members of the board agreed that we should do something to honor him. So, from now on, the sale barn will carry a sign proclaiming it to be the Gary Cain Sale Barn.”

Hilderbrand held up a smaller sign similar to the large one that hangs over the barn where many 4-H members will be entering to see what their work has brought.

But Cain will be missing from the podium when Saturday’s auction begins. The sign was presented to Margaret Cain, Gary’s widow, and Brad Cain, his son, and will be placed in the Realtor’s office.

During the coronation ceremonies, an emotional Corissa Griffith, a good friend of Mackenzie Smith, took off the crown she wore as the 2018 princess and handed it to Vickie Whinnery, junior fair coordinator. The 14-year-old Smith, who lived in Bloomingdale, died Sunday.

Griffith wanted the crown to be given to Smith’s parents, Ross and Marsha Smith, in remembrance of the fact that she had interviewed for the 2019 princess title earlier in the week.

Sarah Mazzaferro, 17, daughter of Todd and Barbara Mazzaferro of Bloomingdale, was crowned 2019 Junior Fair queen in coronation ceremonies conducted by Whinnery. She is a 13-year member of Lucky Leaf Livestock and a nine-year plaque-earning honor member. She received honors including Most Outstanding Junior 4-H’er, was second in most outstanding swine competition-junior and first in most outstanding horse and dog junior competition and in demonstration. She has attended 4-H Camp, Leadership Camp, Horse Camp, Space Camp and Sea Camp.

Hayden Johnson, son of Kurt Johnson of Richmond, was named Junior Fair king. He is in his 12th year of 4-H as a member of the Buckeye Variety Livestock Club and has shown lambs, pigs and chickens throughout the years. At the Ohio State Fair, he placed with lambs, chickens and turkeys. His other honors include Most Outstanding Exhibitor for six years, and second in poultry skillathon and market chicken and turkey showmanship. He is on the junior fair board, a Junior Leader and attended 4-H camp as a camper and a camp counselor.

The queen’s court consisted of Samantha Glenn, 18, the daughter of Carl and Aimee Glenn of Irondale. She is a 13-year member of the Country Rangers and serves as its president. Krysten Mazzaferro, 19, the daughter of Matthew and Tammy Mazzaferro of Wintersville, is a sophomore at Ohio University and was a 12-year member of the Lucky Leaf Livestock Club. Catalina Mazzaferro, 17, is the daughter of Matthew and Tammy Mazzaferro and is an 11-year member of the Lucky Leaf Livestock 4-H Club and four-year Junior Fair board member.

Earning a spot on the king’s court was Elijah Fox, son of James and Neva Kay Fox of Rayland and a member of the Country Kids 4-H Club. He is enrolled in the transition work program at the Jefferson County Joint Vocational School. He placed first in a Job DemoTTW2 competition and has received first in many rabbit competitions.

Kaydence Kinyo, 14, was named Junior Fair princess. She is the daughter of Ken and Krista Kinyo of Harrisville and a member of the Windy Ridge 4-H Club. She will be a freshman at Buckeye Local High School and was a delegate to Washington Focus

Christian Hoffman, Junior Fair prince, is in the eighth grade at Harding Middle School and has been in the Liberty Gals and Guys 4-H Club for eight years. He is a Life Scout with Boy Scout Troop 3 in Steubenville and is going for his Eagle Scout Award this week.

The Jefferson County Veterans Association raised the flag at the start of the program, and Dan Jones played the guitar while his daughter, Rhiannon, sang the national anthem.

Debbie Hukill announced Janine Yeske, retired 4-H Extension agent, would serve as the fair parade grand marshal. Yeske; Angie Allison, 4-H Extension agent; and Dick Rine, vice president, cut the ribbon to officially open the fair.