Irwin, Houin become Holmes County Fair queen, king

Irwin, Houin become Holmes County Fair queen, king

Image Credit: Dave Mast

Sarah Irwin has gotten a taste of what it takes to represent Holmes County, its fair and the 4-H program. As a member of last year’s royal court, Irwin traveled and spoke at many festivals, which definitely prepared her for what was to come.

What came was her being tabbed as the 2022-23 Holmes County Junior Fair queen, where Alysa Pringle, Dakotah Ringwalt, Gennavieve Miller, Sierra Parks and Brianna Vansickle joined her in a queen coronation loaded with talented young ladies who would all have been fantastic representatives for the fair queen role.

Garrett Houin didn’t have to sweat it out like the girls did. As the lone king representative at the coronation ceremony that took place Monday, Aug. 8 in the large arena at Harvest Ridge near Millersburg, Houin could relax and enjoy the experience, knowing he would become the newest fair king.

That was not the case for the girls, where Irwin was joined by queen attendants Pringle and Vansickle as the newest crop of royalty that will take on the task of traveling to fairs and festivals to tout the aspects of their county, 4-H and fair.

Irwin said one thing that really helped her prepare for this opportunity was talking to as many past queens as possible. She said their input gave her more confidence during her interview process.

“I basically took what I did last year and added a little more spice to it,” Irwin said.

She is eagerly anticipating traveling with her court this year and said they have a built-in advantage when it comes to making the tour together.

“I know most of my court members really well,” Irwin said. “I am happy to see what is going to happen when we travel this year. I am so happy right now. This is a dream come true for me because I enjoy Holmes County, I love the community of people and my roots are here, and I am happy I get to present that on a higher scale across Ohio.”

Pringle reiterated the joy of traveling with friends she has gotten to know well through 4-H and the junior fair board, and she said she is ready to have this experience add to her individual growth.

“I do a lot through 4-H throughout the state, so I have been able to talk to members throughout the state about how 4-H is different here, and this will be another opportunity for me to do that,” Pringle said.

She said the facilities at Harvest Ridge show how a community can make something special happen when they unite in a common goal. She also said she admires how close-knit this community is.

Vansickle said this honor means a great deal because of the effort she has put in.

“This is something I’ve always strived for,” Vansickle said. “When I was a little girl, I always wanted to be one of the girls wearing a crown. I am glad I got the opportunity.”

Vansickle said it is a great honor to be able to represent the community and the small towns she grew up in, including Big Prairie and Millersburg.

As a three-year member of the junior fair board, Vansickle said she has enjoyed doing the behind-the-scenes work they do, and that experience has helped her grow.

Houin, who has been heavily involved with Holmes County 4-H and also is a member of the Holmes County Junior Fair Board, said this upcoming experience will be good because it will take him to places he hasn’t been before.

“I get to see things I normally don’t get to see because I have fallen into the habit of working the same things through junior fair board. Now I get to go out, learn new things, and I am looking forward to visiting the other county fairs I’ve never been to,” Houin said.

Houin said he has looked forward to the opportunity to serve as the Holmes County Fair king for some time, so he is more than ready to serve.

In serving her final days as the reigning county fair queen, Ally Ogi said it was an honor to be able to represent her county, her peers, 4-H and the Holmes County Fair in her travels this past year.

“This is it,” Ogi said. “This experience has been like no other. I have been blessed to meet so many new and wonderful people. I have seen so many new things, and it is amazing to get to experience all of it,” Ogi said.

She said she made memories that will help her in the future, met people who will be lifelong friends and wouldn’t trade any of the year-long experience of representing her county.

That is an experience this new royal court will get to enjoy over the next 365 days.