My entire life I knew I wanted to be a queen!  In Somerset County there is a queen to promote almost every commodity. I wanted to represent a little bit of everything Somerset County has to offer and when my grandmother suggested that I should run for the Somerset County Fair Queen, it was just the push I needed to make my dream a reality. 

            No introductions were needed for the 2011 princesses to know each other. Katarina Stoltzfus and I have been best friends for years, Elisheba Coughenour and I were in the same 4-H club, the Brotherton Belles and Beaus, and Echo Kincaid and I traveled to Montana together on the Interstate Exchange trip. I would like to thank each and every one of you for a great experience. Kat, what everyone says is true, “to be able to enter the contest as friends and to finish the contest as an even better friend is completely amazing.”  Libby thanks for helping at the events and always having a smile on your face. Echo thanks for inviting all of us to dress for the contest in your camper.

            The people who deserve to be thanked are countless. Breanna Robinson, thanks for being there through my entire reign. Katie Marteney gave me pointers on my promenade and Micheala Shaffer helped with quick wardrobe changes.

            Where to begin with thanking the fair board… Jeff and Jill Romesburg, thank you for all the milkshakes. Donnie and Debbie Miller, you are the most amazing people I have ever met. The state competition would not have been the same without you. Byron and Judy Glessner you really are the face of the Somerset County Fair!  James T. Yoder, from the very moment you chauffeured us to the grandstand, I knew you were going to be there for each of us.  Mike Epply, the “high speed” golf cart rides were appreciated. Darlene Fullerton drove me in parades and gave me positive words of encouragement and Amy Buterbaugh was a great, hard-working fair queen coordinator. I never realized what each member of the fair board gives of themselves in making the fair successful.

            To Branden Lynne Snyder, you really did “stalk the queen.”  Thank you for always providing a seat and a listening ear at your photography booth. The pictures you captured will remind me of my amazing experience as the 2011 fair queen.

            Duct tape sashes, plastic crowns and huge smiles adorned the Fair King crew every day. Thank you!

            The fair is the place for 4-H’ers and FFA members to display their many talents. I would like to thank Donna Glessner for all she has done for me throughout my 4-H career.

            Ed, Paulette, Carley and Marissa Denner, Larry and Gale Hay and the many Berlin and Shanksville teachers, thank you for all you did to prepare me for the county contest and state competition.

            Thank you to the Class of 2013 at Shanksville-Stonycreek High School for listening to my speech, giving me pointers, and sending encouraging texts throughout the competition.

            The statement “saving the best for last” really is true. I cannot begin to describe how much my family means to me. A simple thank you does not seem like enough.  My cousins were on my deck every day leading up to the contest, listening to my speech and introduction and watching my promenade.     My grandparents, “Gram and Paw,” thank you for all the support you have given me throughout the years. Every basketball game and 4-H event was never complete until I saw your faces in the crowd. Thank you for encouraging me to do my best.

            Mom and Barry thank you for helping me along in not just my fair queen experience but through every journey I have taken in my seventeen years of life.

            To my brother, Sam, I am so incredibly blessed to have you as my big brother. You have always looked out for me.  My younger sister, Janna, it is a total honor to be able to call you my sister.  The bond we have as siblings cannot be broken.

            Thank you for being there for me the entire time, encouraging me to keep my head up and to try my very best. From “smile pretty” text messages to pushing me to give my all not just in queenly duties but in life in general you have always been there. You know who you are.

            Lastly, to this year’s contestants, hold on to your sashes, you are in for a wild ride! I look forward to getting to know each of you and urge you to enjoy the experience!


Kylie Shober

2011 Somerset County Fair Queen