Despite torrential rainfall and pounding thunder that interrupted some pageant contestants as they spoke to the audience, this year's Erie County Fair King and Queen Pageant came off without a hitch.
Newly crowned 2007 Erie County Fair King Spencer Farrar and Queen Mary Griffith are still adjusting to their new titles.
"I'm just ecstatic," Griffith said. "I'm looking forward to this year. There were so many girls, and it was a really big competition."
Griffith, 17, is a senior at Margaretta High School, where she is student council vice president and president of National Honor Society. She plans to study pharmacy at Ohio Northern University.
"I'm happy," was the initial response from Farrar, who said he is "not a man of many words."
Farrar, also 17, is a senior at Sandusky High School and a member of Carteens 4-H club. He has been president of his class for four years and was selected as a delegate for Buckeye Boys State. Farrar plans to pursue a career in physical therapy.
"At the end it got a little intense," Farrar said, adding that he is looking forward to representing the county.
The two were among this year's 16 contestants who toughed out a grueling two hours of questions and waiting. As fair royalty, both will attend various parades, festivals and events for the year.
This year's question was, "What do you feel are the pros and cons of selling alcohol at the Erie County Fair?" Responses varied from citing the monetary benefits sales would reap to the likelihood of underage drinking.
Farrar told audience members a "responsible adult could enjoy a cold beverage on a hot day," but serving alcohol can be a bad influence on young people. Griffith said she read articles pertaining to the Ottawa County Fair sales of alcohol this year to make a decision. While selling alcohol would yield monetary gains, Griffith also mentioned underage drinking arrests as a con.
The pool of contestants was then reduced to seven finalists, who were each asked questions specific to their pageant applications. While judges tallied their scores, 2007 Miss Ohio, Roberta Camp, 23, presided as mistress of ceremonies and sang for the audience.
A panel of three judges also evaluated the contestants for poise and personality, communication skills, appearance and presentation and activities.
2007 Erie County Fair King and Queen Pageant Winners
* Queen: Mary Griffith, 17, Margaretta High School
* King: Spencer Farrar, 17, Sandusky High School
* 1st Runner-up, King: Christopher Dahs, 15, Monroeville High School
* 1st Runner-up Queen: Lindsay Schaeffer, 17, Margaretta High School
* 2nd Runner-up, King: Kevin Gast, 17, Perrysburg High School
* 2nd Runner-up, Queen: Laurel Cook, 15, Lake Ridge Academy
* 3rd Runner-up, Queen: Amy Salyer, 16, Firelands High School
For a complete listing of this year's fair events, visit the funcoast.com events calendar.