Future fairest: Kids ready to smile, be nice

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Catherine W. Idzerda
Saturday, August 31, 2013

ELKHORN—The competition at Saturday's Future Fairest of the Fair contest was brutal.

All of the contestants were articulate, more or less poised and excelled in the talent portion of the show—a round of “Simon Says.”

Every year, the Walworth County Fair hosts a “Future Fairest of the Fair” contest. There's no pre-registration, kids just show up in Kiddieland at the right time on the right day and they're in.

Contestants are usually girls between who are 4- to 7-years-old, and there's only one rule: Smile and be kind.

“Whether you win or lose, you should smile and be nice to the other girls,” Abigail Jensen, 19, of Delavan told the group of assembled girls.

Jensen is this year's Fairest of the Fair, and she has spent the last four days smiling and being nice—in 90-degree temperatures, in downpours, in barns, in the grandstand and in Kiddieland, surrounded by little girls who thought she was a princess.

Jensen was assisted by Kate Flitcroft, 5, Elkhorn, the 2012 contest winner.

Jensen asked the girls for their names, their favorite color, and what animal they liked best at the fair.

Horses were high on the favorite animal list, although one of the contestants said a giraffe was her favorite fair animal.

Cosette Wildermuth, 7, a standout in Wednesday's corn-on-the-cob eating contest, said she liked chickens best.  She told Jensen that if she had a chicken as a pet she would name him “Bob.”

Addyson Popp, 7, of Platteville, took home the prize for future fairest.

Popp, the daughter of Bryan and Shannon Popp, comes from a family with plenty of fair history. 

Her mother showed at the fair, and her grandmother, Kathy Duhigg, is from Walworth.

“When she shows, she's going to show here, too,” said Shannon.

Future Fairest of the Fair winners can participate in parades and events such as the Walworth County Dairy breakfast, if they chose to do so.

Last year's winner, Kate Flitcroft, participated in parades and a variety of other events, said her mother, Kim Flitcroft.

The best part of Kate's year? 

“Dancing with Abigail,” Kate said, smiling in Jensen's direction.


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