Griffey Crowned Tyler County Fair Queen
As is tradition, the Tyler County Fair held its annual pageants on Monday evening. The night began with the Littlest Miss, the Little Miss, and Little Mister pageants. Contestants from these categories were eager to please, waving to the crowd and blowing kisses to judges. Winners and runner-ups were chosen for each, and two girls and one young man were crowned for their perspective titles.
Following the young pageants, the Pre-Teen and Teen pageant was held. 2018 Tyler County Fair Pre-Teen Queen said an emotional goodbye to her reign, and handed the crown off to this year’s Pre-Teen Queen Makenzie Utt.
2018 Tyler County Fair Teen Queen Claire Miller also made her final march across the big stage, taking the time to thank her family, friends, co-royalty, and all the people who helped her along the way. After waving one last goodbye, she then crowned Samantha Melvin as this year’s Teen Queen.
Following these two pageants, the greatly anticipated Queen pageant began. Mrs. West Virginia America and Pageant Director Melissa Smith introduced this year’s contestants to the crowd, who were all eager to see their favorite contestant walk across the stage in hopes of claiming the crown.
Vying for the title this year was Oceana Smith, Morgan Palmer, Shayla Griffey, and Alexis Helmick. The four contestants joined 2018 Tyler County Fair Queen Kelsi Anderson on the stage for a dance routine that garnered applause and smiles from the crowd.
Following the fun and entertaining dance performance, each contestant approached the mic to tell the fair attendees and judges what they can expect and anticipate from the Tyler County Fair.
2018 Queen Anderson gave fairgoers a taste of 2018 by performing her promo from her time as a contestant.
As Contestant One, Smith kicked off the contestants round of promos. While nerves momentarily got the best of the perspective queen, Smith didn’t let that keep her down. After taking a short break to collect herself, she came back to the stage ready to wow the judges.
Although her performance was cut a bit short due to her nerves presenting themselves once again, Smith exhibited confidence and a great ability to bounce back in the face of adversity and fear. The crowd showed their support for Smith by cheering her on and showering her with applause.
Following Smith, Palmer, Griffey, and Helmick took the stage to tell the crowd about the Tyler County Fair.
Once each contestant completed their performance, they retired backstage to change into their chosen evening gowns. Mrs. West Virginia took this time to thank the sponsors of the pageants, as well as all those who made the event and the evening possible. The state title holder then invited Queen Anderson to the stage where she expressed her appreciation for Anderson and her time as queen.
Anderson was also given a chance to look back on her time as the Tyler County Fair Queen, and reflect on all the moments that made her year as reigning Queen one to look back on. Anderson laughed in joy at the memory of her and her fellow royalty – Pre-Teen and Teen Queen of 2018 – singing with an Elvis Presley impersonator at the 2018 fair.
It was also during this time that the Tyler County Fair Board President took the stage to present a gift to Anderson in dedication of her year of service as 2018 Tyler County Fair Queen.
Immediately following this, the contestants were once again welcomed to the stage for a questionnaire. Melissa Smith took this time to give the crowd and judges a deeper look into the lives of the contestants. Smith also presented each young woman with a question about particular aspects of their life.
Oceana Smith took to the stage first, and reassured the judges and awaiting crowd that while she was still experiencing nerves, she was ready to forge ahead in this competition.
Pageant Director Smith announced to the judges that Oceana aims to achieve a bachelor’s degree in community education, and hopes to one day become a social media director for a non-profit organization.
When asked what sparked an interest in pursuing this degree, Oceana explained it was largely due to her indecisiveness. While having only completed one year of college, she told judges she had already changed her major four separate times. With a degree in community education, she would learn various skills which she says will aid her in various career paths.
As to her desire to be a social media director, Oceana explained there are many different non-profit organizations she proudly supports, and would love to be able to offer aid in acheiving its goals.
Smith then asked her the most important question of the night: Why should you be the Tyler County Fair Queen?
Oceana told everyone present it has long since been her desire to follow in the footsteps of the long line of wonderful ladies who represented Tyler County. She explained her desire wasn’t to win any other pageant but the Tyler County Fair Queen pageant.
Taking the stage after Oceana was Palmer, who reportedly wants to become a licensed cosmetologist. Palmer said this goal stems from her desire to bring out the confidence hidden inside both men and women alike.
When asked why she should be crowned queen, Palmer expressed she enjoys being a role model to young children, and being the queen would give her a platform to do so.
Following the applause for Palmer, Griffey approached the stage with a bright smile for the judges. She said her goal is to achieve a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and eventually go on to obtain a masters degree.
Griffey told judges she made this decision based on all of the time she dedicated to playing teacher growing up. When playing school with her friends and family, Griffey expressed she would always fight for the teacher position. The contestant also said because she has always been involved with children, elementary education seemed to be a perfect fit.
In answer to the question of why she should be queen, Griffey also said she would enjoy being a role model to the young children of the county. However, she added people in small towns have a lot to offer, but are unfortunately often overlooked. “I feel like being fair queen would give me the opportunity to promote everything we do have to offer.” she said.
Once Griffey waved goodbye to the crowd, Helmick waltzed onto the stage with a grin. She conveyed her desire to be a veterinarian with a specialization in equirian nutrition as she has always been involved with and interested in animals, especially horses as she regularly cares for them.
When Smith asked her why she should be Tyler County Fair Queen, she told the judges she would like to give back to the community and the fair that has provided her so many great and lasting memories.
Following the questionnaire, each contestant then took part in the evening gown competition. The four young ladies vying for the crown made their way across the stage, smiling brightly under the multitude of lights aimed at them. After Helmick proudly showed off her choice of a gown, the judges then began to deliberate on a verdict.
In order to alleviate the crowd’s anticipation during the wait, Melissa Smith invited any visiting royalty to the stage. Royalty present at the the Queen pageant that night included 2019 New Martinsville Area RegattaFest Junior Teen and Teen Queen, as well as the 2019 RegattaFest Queen, the 2018 Middle Island Harvest Festival Queen, 2018 Town and Country Days Queen and 2019 Backhome Festival Queen, 2019 Wee Miss RegattaFest Queen and 2019 Ripley Fourth of July Wee Miss Queen, Mini Fest West Virginia, Miss West Virginia Spectacular America, 2018 Preteen Miss Vera, as well as pageant director Melissa Smith – the 2019 Mrs. West Virginia America.
Smith told the crowd that she would be leaving for nationals in Las Vegas on the Friday following the fair week, and thanked everyone for all of the love and support they offer.
It was during these royal’s introductions that the judges decided on the winners of the 2019 Tyler County Fair Queen pageant. A folder with the verdict was passed to Smith who invited the contestants out one last time.
Before Smith announced the winners, 2018 Queen Anderson took her last walk as Tyler County Fair Queen. After one final wave goodbye from the 2018 Queen, Smith announced the winners of the 2019 Queen pageant.
Winning the title of Most Photogenic was Oceana Smith; Mrs. West Virginia America also announced that Morgan Palmer would be taking the title of Miss Congeniality.
As the crowd held their breath for the final, long awaited verdict of who would be crowned as this year’s fair queen, 2018 Queen Kelsi Anderson prepared the crown and sash for the one who would follow in her footsteps.
The winner of the 2019 Tyler County Fair Queen pageant, and the next reigning role model for the county, was announced to be Shayla Griffey. Alexis Helmick came in as First Runner-Up, which the pageant director explained was a vital role. Griffey was awarded a crown, sash, flowers, and was showered with gifts and love from family and friends.
While all of the contestants in this year’s Queen pageant were amazing contenders and fierce competition for the crown, Griffey was able to snag this year’s title.
Congratulations is issued to Griffey and the rest of the recently crowned royalty on this amazing feat. If you see any member of Tyler County Fair royalty, past or present, during the fair this week, be sure to congratulate them or thank them for their dedication and time spent as fair royalty.