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Fair fairly sizzles

Fair fairly sizzles
Fair fairly sizzles
Harrison County Fair queen Laura Mathes poses for pictures Sunday night with, from left, Brittany Long, Liz Marshall and first runner-up Sara Litch. (Photo by Randy West)

It’s been a pretty good summer so far for Laura Mathes.
First, she graduated from Corydon Central High School (seventh in her class), then she went to London, Paris and Rome with some classmates and teachers, and then she came home to Corydon and was crowned queen of the 142nd Harrison County Fair.
She’ll go to Indianapolis in a couple of weeks to compete in the Indiana State Fair queen contest the day before she starts classes as a freshman at Ball State University in Muncie.
Laura, 18, daughter of Eldon and Sharon Mathes of Corydon, was crowned queen Sunday night, following a ceremony that actually started with the 94-unit fair parade around 7:15 p.m. and concluded with Laura’s crowning about 9:15 p.m.
With the intense heat and after a thunderstorm, the humidity level at parade time was almost stifling. The queen contestants probably feared for their hair and make-up as they watched the long line of parade participants file in front of them and the grandstand audience.
Lisa Marie, a 15-year-old country singing sensation from Depauw, entertained with Shania Twain and Dixie Chicks numbers while pageant judges pored over their notes. Chris Stoner emceed the pageant for Tri Kappa sorority and asked each of the 13 contestants a question to test their poise and see how they could think on their feet.
Asked about her trip to Europe, Laura said stepping out of the subway one night in Rome and seeing the Colosseum all lit up was an awesome sight. She said the 16-day trip confirmed much of what she had studied in school.
Brittany Long was named third runner-up, Liz Marshall was second runner-up, and Sara Litch was named Miss Congeniality and first runner-up.
Laura said the contest gave her the chance to meet some “wonderful girls.” Being crowned queen (by last year’s queen, Indiana State University student Ashley Haub) was “just a bonus.” Laura’s escort was Brandon Bullock, 18, and her mother, a Mary Kay Cosmetics consultant, was her sponsor.
“Harrison County is a wonderful county,” Laura said. “I’m very proud to have lived here my entire life. It’s a great place to live and grow up.”
The Little Miss and Master Contest preceded the parade. Kelsey Marie Smith, 4-1/2, daughter of Dan and Nancy Smith of Corydon, was named Little Miss (she said she thought she’d win), and Joshua Corgan Saulman, also 4-1/2, son of Missi and Jon Saulman of Corydon, was named Little Master. Josh’s cousin, Abigail Saulman, 5, daughter of Nicole and Joel Saulman of Corydon, was last year’s Little Miss.
The parade contained the usual number of fire trucks, tractors, sweating high school band musicians, old well-kept cars, and new candidates for political office. Antique car buff Dick Brown drove an old hook and ladder truck from Louisville, a 1957 Seagrave; Bob Walther drove a 1910 IHC auto-wagon, which carried passengers as well as the mail from Corydon to Mauckport, a 30-mile round trip, from 1912 to 1921.
Riding a garden tractor, Roger Kitterman pulled a “barrel train” loaded with little kids, and former county commissioner Ed Emily led a golf cart train from Emilyville, U.S.A., sponsored by Bush Trucking Co.
The Palmyra Volunteer Fire Dept. brought along its safety trailer, featuring a firefighter in full gear standing in a smoking doorway. Ramsey also brought its Hum-Vee brush truck and hosed down the unsuspecting crowd in the grandstand. The fine spray cooled people down, but, despite the heat, not everyone appreciated the soaking. The Hurst Lumber Co. truck had swings mounted high on either side with real people on them.
Dr. Sharon Uhl and Sherry Leclair coordinated the parade for the Kiwanis Club of Harrison County. “It was a wonderful parade because there were so many people in it,” said Uhl. “Everybody seemed to have a good time, and that’s the important part of a parade.”
Uhl said the crowd along the parade route was full. Some spectators had picked out their spots on North Capitol Avenue and some parade participants were in their designated staging areas two hours before the parade.