The Hartford Independent Fair opened on Sunday and runs through this coming Saturday. Traditionally, the night before the fair opens, members of the Hartford Junior Fair Board host the Hartford Fair king and queen contest at the fairground’s pavilion.
Five queen candidates and only one king candidate sought the coveted honor of representing the Junior Fair Board, not only during the Hartford Fair, but also at a host of other events and parades throughout the coming year.
With a standing-room-only crowd on hand, Ben Abel and Caitlyn Blecha were selected to serve as the 2016 Hartford Fair king and queen.
In addition to Abel and Blecha, members of the 2015 Hartford Fair court are Olivia Dorman, Ashley Parker, Abby Pettet and Madelyn Wecker.
This year’s contest judges were Bryn Bird, Jonathan Walker and 2016 Ohio Fairs queen Mary Buehler.
During the event, 2016 Licking County 4-H Commodities and Species Royalty were introduced.
Wecker is a 2015 Big Walnut High School graduate, was the 2015 Delaware County Fair queen, and a member of Kountry Kids 4-H Club which shows at the Hartford Fair.
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093