Today With Many
BY VELMA SOUTHERLAND
North Greene High School senior Kelly Mrock fulfilled a longtime dream Monday evening when she was crowned the 2013 Miss Fairest of the Fair on opening night of the 64th annual Greene County Fair.
Mrock, 17, was competing against six other young women, age 16-21, during the "No Place Like Home"-themed event on the Main Stage at the fairgrounds.
Mrock was crowned by the 2012 Miss Fairest of the Fair, Emily Bryant.
Also announced were members of the court: Baylee Jarrell, 17, first runner-up; Madeline Wood, 17, second runner-up; Alyssa McClanahan, 19, third runner-up; and Whitney Johnson, 17, fourth runner-up.
It had been announced earlier in the evening that McClanahan and Johnson had tied for the "Miss Congeniality" award, for which the contestants had voted Sunday during a tea held at the City Garage Car Museum.
It was during that time that the seven young women had had their private judges' interviews and the three judges had written the questions which the five finalists answered onstage during the final portion of the pageant.
Mrock's question was to name one characteristic she would not tolerate in a friend.
Her answer: "Someone I could not trust. If you don't have trust, you don't have anything."
Following the crowning, as family members and friends of the contestants gathered onstage, Mrock said that, once she and Jarrell were the only two remaining, she was "very nervous, but knew that either way, I was going to be happy" with the outcome since "Baylee is a great girl."
However, receiving the crown was better because, she said, "It's something I've wanted a really long time."
The contestants were judged 50 percent on beauty, 25 percent on poise and personality, and 25 percent on the private interview.
Mrock had a bevy of trusted friends in the audience, all wearing T-shirts they had had made when they went to Jackson earlier this year to support Mrock, the reigning 2013 Greene County Outstanding Teen, as she competed at the state level.
The backs of the friends' shirts were inscribed "Keep calm and crown Kelly."
Mrock is the daughter of Doug and Gayle Mrock and is a member of the 2012-13 Greene County Youth Leadership class of the Greene County Partnership.
She is a 2013 Greeneville Sun Calendar Girl, is cheer captain at North Greene and is a member of the youth group at Union Temple United Methodist Church.
Following the Fairest of the Fair competition, the name of Bobby L. Dixon, of Church Hill, was drawn for a $1,000 prize, which was sponsored by Family Attractions Amusement, the carnival company on the midway.
RAIN HOLDS OFF
As the Fairest of the Fair competition got underway, Bobby Holt, fair president, welcomed the crowd, which filled perhaps half the seating at the Main Stage under an overcast sky.
No rain marred the event, and an occasional cool breeze made things more pleasant.
The pageant was emceed by 1998 Miss Fairest of the Fair, Keema Bowman Greenlee, and Ron Metcalfe, Operations Manager of Radio Greeneville.
During the opening number, a dance to "Ease on Down the Road," the contestants were attired in white shorts and blue gingham shirts, and Bryant and members of Lesa's School of Dance were costumed as "The Wizard of Oz's" Dorothy, The Scarecrow, The Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion.
SONGS, SHELTON TICKETS
Throughout the evening, Jerry Scott, a former winner of the fair's Greeneville's Greatest! competition, sang a number of songs.
The popular vocalist has recently moved to Nashville in order to have more opportunities in the music industry. He referred to the show's theme and said he was glad to be home.
About halfway through the competition, Metcalfe announced that somewhere in the audience was a chair with tickets to see Blake Shelton taped underneath. There was a prolonged scramble as the audience checked their own seats, then the empty seats for the coveted prize sponsored by Radio WIKQ.
Linda Sweat discovered the right chair.
Monday evening's attendance was 3,114, considerably down from last year's opening night,ik which saw 4,248 people attending.
Holt attributed the decline to the weather, noting that less than two miles from the fairgrounds there had been heavy rain on Monday evening "and that probably kept a lot of folks in."
Today and tonight's forecast is also calling for rain, but once the cold front moves through and the predicted warm front arrives, Holt is hoping for "good nights on Thursday, Friday and Saturday."
Other events on Monday included the Little Britches Contest, the Junior Dairy Show, preliminary rounds in the Greeneville's Greatest! competition held in the Andrew Johnson Bank Pavilion, and a Tractor Pull, sponsored by Meade Tractor in the Jim Saulsbury Motorsports Arena.
As the fair continues today, Senior Citizens' Day is being observed and anyone 60 and older will be admitted for $4.
There will be a drawing for a $1,000 prize, sponsored by Greeneville.com
Scheduled for today is the Open Dairy Show at 1 p.m. The gates open at 4 p.m., and the carnival opens at 5 p.m.
The first of several baby shows will begin at 6 p.m. in the Andrew Johnson Bank Pavilion.
Meade Tractor is again sponsoring a Tractor Pull at 6:30 p.m. in the Jim Saulsbury Motorsports Arena. A Corn Bag Toss tournament will be held at 7 p.m.
The group Ricochet will perform on the Main Stage at 8 p.m., and Living Testament will perform at the Andrew Johnson Bank Pavilion at 9 p.m.
The fair continues through Saturday with a variety of events planned for each day.