It all started when...my mom had been pestering me for a few years to compete for the Fair Queen (now the politically correct Fair Ambassador). My Aunt Caralyn had done this in 1991 (ten years before me), and got runner up, and had a great time. And my mom always thought I should do it. 'Cause I had such a winning personality, I guess:-D
The Markham Fair is kind of a big deal. It is the largest fall fair in all of Canada! It was only about 3 km from my house, so we grew up devoted Fair participants and attendees.
|They misquoted my age in the article as being 17. Lol.
|The night I won
|All the swag I won. It was awesome. I didn't realize I would actually win anything if I won, so I was surprised. Money, gift certificates, gifts, etc etc etc. It was so amazing!!
Now, I wasn't wanting to win, or thinking I would. But there is a pang of human nature that comes out when you least expect it. They announced the 3rd and 2nd runners up. It wasn't my name. I was indignant, thinking, HEY, I wasn't that bad! I should've got runner up!! Then they announced the winner, and I was so mentally caught up over the fact that I wasn't good enough to place 2nd or 3rd that I heard it a few seconds late.
And I was standing on a ramp up to the stage. And I was wearing high heels. And I've always been known for being oh-so-graceful. I literally fell off my shoes. Which was awkward as they were also strapped to my ankle. Quick recovery and on to centre stage to be crowned.
Then I had to go into work and embarrassingly tell them that I would need 3 days off of work because I entered this thing...and I won...so now I need to be there. Of course they were ok with it!
What a blast. All my initial fears - unfounded. What a phenomenal experience!
|My sister Lauryn and I singing Oh Canada accapella to open the Fair. Not every Queen has to do this, just me, since I could. We did a GREAT job too!
|The Fair and personnel there are SO nice! This was a bouquet for my mom. She was in the hospital still recovering from her aneurysm surgery
|Greeting people and handing out info at the entry gates
|TV interview. Come see us at the Fair!
|Here they all are!
Me and President of the Fair in 2001, Ray Brown. In our blue jackets:-)
|And of course, another sponsor, Molson Canadian beer
Another really cool thing I got to do was start off the Winged Wheels show. They are amazing to see. The part I played? I was warned and lectured before hand. DO NOT FLINCH. They are riding around in their formations, and then blaze toward you, at full speed. I PROMISE I WON'T HIT YOU. I was clinging to that promise. He didn't hit me. He stopped right there, on a dime, at my shoe. I didn't flinch. Very brave of me, I wanted to start running! It was a little scary, but pretty cool.
|uuuh, a little dizzy!
So after the Fair is over, there is still more work for the Queen! I had to give speeches and attend events throughout the year. Every time I had to go to a fancy event, they sent me money for a new dress. They also sent me flowers after the events to my home. YES! I wrote a letter that was published in the newspaper...
|Giving a speech!
Loved my tiara. Still love it. I actually used it as the headpiece in my wedding. It was fitting as it had been a "winning gift" from Patricia's Bridal in Markham, which is where I ended up getting my wedding dress a few years later!
Canadian National Exhibition (the Ex) is kind of a big deal too. I in no way desired to win this one, thankfully the "team" behind me at Fair did not put pressure on me to do well or win. I really couldn't have handled all the time off work to do the CNE circuit of things, as cool as it would have been, I suppose. I also attended a few functions...now I can't remember what they were for. I got to stay at the Royal York 2 times though! It was soooo gorgeous, it was my first recommendation for a honeymoon location. Brian listened well.
|I'm kind of middle, centre, with black hair (blue sash)
|Crowning Miss Markham Fair 2002
|My sash today