Blazer crowned princess at county fair
A Blair student was crowned princess of the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair on Aug. 10, and will be representing Silver Spring on the royal court.
Blazer junior Leah McLean and nine others on the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair royal court were crowned Sunday. According to Fair officials, in order to be selected for the royal court, one must be a member of the Montgomery county 4-H club , the Montgomery County Agricultural Organization or Montgomery County Agricultural Center. Contenders also must fill out an application and interview with three judges. Finally, a king and queen, a first prince and princess and six other princes and princesses are selected. The king and queen receive $1500 in scholarship money, the first prince and princess each receive $300 and McLean, along with the remaining princes and princesses, get $200 apiece.
McLean's continual involvement in the community led to her coronation. McLean is a member of the Montgomery County 4-H club, a youth development organization dedicated to engaging youth and implementing a community change through specific programs. McLean has also acquired over 300 volunteer hours and received a gold level President's Volunteer Service Award for her efforts. Additionally, Mclean has participated in programs such as Honor Flights and Reading Buddies through her 4-H club. According to McLean, her eagerness to volunteer wasn't because of a need to accumulate service hours or win awards. "I enjoy volunteering because it allows me to feel like I'm doing something to help other people. I'm somewhat making an impact on someone's life," she said.
Although this is McLean's first time as fair royalty, she has volunteered at the fair for four years, entering foods and helping with crafts and demonstrations. "I've volunteered at VIP Day, a day made for disabled kids and their families," McLean said, "as well as Senior Citizen Day, and in the Cheese Booth."
McLean's decision to become a princess was spawned by curiosity. "I found out about the royal court from my 4-H club leader. My friends, the king and queen this year, were on the court last year and told me how much fun they had, so I decided to try out," she said. As a princess, McLean will be serving as a host at the fair, promoting events to visitors and presenting awards during animal showings. In the months leading up to the fair, McLean and the rest of the royal court participated in library visits for kids.
The fair coronation, held on the PEPCO community stage, commenced following a parade. "The parade was super fun," McLean said. "Many 4-H clubs had floats in the parade and the royalty rode in pairs in trucks." McLean said her favorite part of the ceremony was dressing up and being photographed; however, not because of the attention, glam our or spotlight. "I'm able to be recognized by so many people for the work I do. I love seeing the kids' faces when they realize I'm part of royalty," McLean said.
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