Katy Baker, 2017 Miss Fairfax, rides in the Fairfax Fair Parade Saturday, August 12, 2017. Katy was crowned Friday night at the fair.

The 52nd annual Fairfax Fair truly symbolized what a “Small Town, Big Heart” is all about. Hundreds of people gathered in Fairfax, Missouri, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, August 11-13, to take part in this annual event.
Friday night’s festivities began with opening ceremonies a little after 6 p.m. The stage was decorated by Sarah Osburn and KG Buds. Fairfax Legionnaires raised the flag and last year’s Little Mr. and Miss Fairfax, Knox Oswald and Avery Fast, as well as other children, led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance. Olivia Morris gave the invocation and Ryan Hopkins sang the Star Spangled Banner. Fairfax City Councilman Michael Oswald gave a speech welcoming all to the Fairfax Fair.
The baby show had adorable tiny tots and their doting parents and grandparents lining up on the stage. Babies and youth from birth to six years of age were showcased, and man were they adorable. The six tiniest babes, the youngest only three weeks old, were so content and quiet. Then two, wide-eyed 8 month old babies enjoyed taking it all in, followed by the 15 one year olds, the 9 two year olds, and the five three year olds who hammed it up by waving at their fans sitting off stage or ran around making their own show. The five four year olds, seven five year olds, and one six year old were happy to be on stage and were all smiles. Those competing in the Little Mr. and Miss Fairfax Contest were each asked a question and then judges picked the two winners. The questions ranged from their favorite zoo animals, to if they have a special hiding place, to what do they like most on top of their ice cream. The answers were adorable, making the judge’s decision a tough one. But ultimately, Alex Wintz was selected as Little Mr. Fairfax and Mackenzie Oswald was selected as Little Miss Fairfax.
The queen contest was emceed by Cal Morton. Kendal Straub was the only contestant for the Junior Miss Fairfax competition, so following a question and answer session and her talent portion (singing “Tomorrow” from Annie), Kendal was crowned Junior Miss Fairfax. This year’s Miss Fairfax contestants included Gena Mitchell, Morgan O’Riley, Jaelynn Hill, Jaycee Graves, Jesse Graves, McKenzie Frohn, and Katy Baker. Each contestant was introduced and then showed off their talents. Gena Mitchell awed the crowd with her singing of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” Morgan O’Riley and Jaelynn Hill performed a duet of “Say Something” by A Great Big World. Jaycee Graves presented a lovely poem she wrote entitled John 3:16. Katy Baker gave a beautiful performance of “Songbird” by Fleetwood Mac. Jesse Graves showed off her skills playing a song on the bells and McKenzie Frohn had everyone rocking out to Pink’s “Perfect.” The girls were each asked a question by Emcee Morton and then the judges tallied their votes. Besides that night’s performance, the judges had also met with the girls individually that day to get to know each one in a more informal environment. Gena Mitchell was chosen as “Miss Congenialty.” Jaycee Graves was the 1st runner-up. Katy Baker was chosen as Miss Fairfax. Katy was serenaded by Tim McFarland, who sang the Miss Fairfax version of Miss America’s song, while she was crowned and wrapped in a green cloak by last year’s Miss Fairfax, Shelbey Morris. The Miss Fairfax contest was recently turned into a service scholarship award. The winner is required to provide 25 hours of community service and attend community organization meetings. She will receive a $1,000 scholarship upon her graduation. All Miss Fairfax participants were provided with a key to the City of Fairfax. Little Mr. and Miss Fairfax, Junior Miss Fairfax, Miss Congeniality, 1st Runner-Up, and Miss Fairfax all rode in the Fairfax Fair Parade on Saturday.
Before the parade began on Saturday, an old time tractor reunion, put on by Harry Combs, was held in the parking lot of the old hospital site on Main Street. Tractors and farm machinery of all ages, shapes and sizes were displayed and some were driven in the parade.
The parade is one of the highlights of the fair weekend and parade goers were lined up the entire length of Main Street waiting to see all the sights and sounds and to pick up as much candy as possible. The parade was led by legionnaires, followed by the Fairfax Marching Pride, and also included emergency vehicles, Shriners’ horses, buggies, and cars, antique and classic cars and trucks, floats, ATVs, tractors, farm trucks, semis, and wagons. The Optimist Club members threw out ping pong balls from their float and the lucky recipients were able to turn in their ping pong balls at the park for a prize.
The park was full of game, food, and organization booths and many people enjoyed stopping at each one both Friday and Saturday. Saturday night entertainment included the East Atchison cheerleaders, the Southeast Nebraska Community Band, ventriloquist/magician Kevin Horner, and performances by Olivia Slaughter, Ann Marie Jones, Darius Skillen, Ryan Hopkins, Josie Watkins and bandmates Dalton Brake and Mercer Deatz, and Shawn Minter. The night’s events were emceed by Bill Slaughter, who also handed out raffle prizes sponsored by various organizations. The local youth were treated to a dance on the concrete slab both Friday and Saturday nights as well.
Sunday dawned with the Fairfax Ministerial Alliance holding a community church service, followed by a dinner sponsored by the After Prom Committee. The Larry Lewis Memorial Garden Tractor Pull was held in Fairfax Sunday afternoon and had a great showing. (Results will be printed in the August 24 edition of the Atchison County Mail.) This was a Northwest Missouri Garden Tractor Pullers Association sanctioned event.
All in all it was a beautiful weekend and a beautiful example of the blessings of small town living, a “Small Town with a Big Heart.”