Last updated: August 25. 2013 8:07AM - 278 Views

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OTTAWA — And the new Little Miss and Mister Putnam County are ...

Nervous parents and precocious children waited with baited breath for the big announcement as to who would be selected as the 2013 Little Miss and Mister Putnam County in the Entertainment Tent at the Putnam County Fair.

Thirty-six contestants paraded around the tent, waving and smiling to the judges, their parents, and families, in hope of getting the title and the crowns.

Some of the children suffered a bout of stage fright as they climbed the stairs to the stage. They clung to their mothers, plaintively wailing, “Nooooo!” One little guy crossed his arms, scowled, and told his mother he was not going up front. A few children who had been extremely active and talkative before the contest got to the stage and clammed up. One little guy fell asleep so soundly, his mother could not awaken him.

The 2012 Junior Fair Queen, Megan Verhoff, who was the mistress of ceremonies, asked each of the contestants a series of questions: “What is your name?” “What is your favorite thing at the fair?” and “What is your favorite color?” She then asked each child, “Can you say, ‘Have fun at the fair?’” The crowd chuckled when one contestant answered the last question honestly, “Yes!”

Judges for this year’s contest were Mary Beth Recker, Sherry Liebrecht, and the 2012 Junior King, Aaron Siebeneck.

Although the decision was a difficult one, the newly crowned royalty were Gabbie Baxter, 3, from Vaughnsville, and Valen Turner, 4, from Ottawa.

Gabbie likes the merry-go-round at the fair. Her favorite color is purple. Valen, whose favorite color is blue, likes the pigs.

The children were crowned by the 2013 Putnam County Junior Fair King and Queen, Jeremy Schnipke and Morgan Ricker.

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