DAYTON -- With smiles to match their sunshine-yellow shirts, the four members of the 2011 Columbia County Fair Court were introduced Saturday during the fair kickoff. The Columbia County Fair dates are Sept. 9-11.
For the first time since 1980, two court members are males.
Hosts Micah Yeater and Chris McHaffie, both 17, will represent the fair in parades and events throughout the summer along with hostesses Ashley Myrick, 16, and Lexus Ward, 14.
In 1980 hosts were Richard Jones and Jay Miller, and hostesses were Ilene Howard and Susie Startin.
Introduction of the court was the culmination of an evening of music, food and a local version of "Hee Haw."
The court's yellow shirts are reflected in the them of this year's fair, "Sunshine Days & Country Ways."
Ashley is a junior at Dayton High School. She participates in track and field and plans to study nursing with an emphasis in pediatrics. She is in Barnyard 4-H Club with a swine project. Her parents are Merle and Teresa Myrick and Michelle Stedman.
Lexus is a freshman at Dayton High School. She participates in Volleyball and softball and is manager of the baseball team. She plans to attend Jamestown (N.C.) College and study nursing. She is a six-year member of Barnyard 4-H Club and her first year in FFA. Her parents are Joe and Mary Ann Ward of Dayton.
Micah Yeater is a high school junior being homeschooled. He has participated in football and track and is a certified scuba rescue diver and lifeguard. He also holds a third-degree brown belt in karate. His parents are Carl and Elizabeth Yeater of Dayton.
Host Chris McHaffie is a high school junior being homeschooled. He has participated in football and baseball at Dayton High School. He wants to attend Spartan School of Aeronautics and Technology in Oklahoma, then pursue further training in helicopter aviation. He hopes to work on life flight missions.
Chris' parents are Bill and Robin McHaffie of Dayton.
Three past fair board chairmen, Don Howard, Roland Schirman and Raymond DeRuwe were recognized for their long-time service to the fair.
In the course of "Hee Haw" skits, fair entertainment and activities were introduced.
Midway entertainment on the Columbia REA Midway Stage includes Nevada Slim and Cimarron Sue, Brady Goss, "piano man extraordinaire; magician Adam the Great; CountrySide Ride Saturday before and after the Bull Bas, and Bronkar Lee's Amazing Circus of Sound, beatboxing juggler.
In the KidZone there will be hands on activities, Old McDonalds Farm, Sparkle the Clown, Blue Mountain Raptors and Build with the Home Depot.
Friday night Demolition Derby returns to the fair. The demo derby will follow a day of livestock judging and horse show, along with entertainment, free breakfast (with gate admission) and midway entertainment and vendors.
Saturday's events the livestock market sale, along with "Best BBQ You'll Ever Have." The Bull Bash on Saturday evening will be followed by a Midway Street Dance.
Sunday's events include Church in the Chicken Chapel, midway entertainment, family fun day in the main arena farmer Olympics and equine games of precision and sport.
Carrie Chicken can be reached at email@example.com or 522-5289.