Denver Fair Queen crowned

By on September 12, 2018

Drizzles couldn’t dampen the spirits of newly crowned Denver Fair Queen, Kathryn Voler, as she beamed at the attendees of the Denver Fair’s opening ceremonies and coronation on the evening of Sept. 11.


By Aubree Fahringer


Despite the dreary clouds overhead and muddy puddles below, faithful fair-goers flocked to the ceremony that would kick off four full days of community fun and fellowship.

The opening ceremonies began with the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem, sung as a duet by Kathryn, and Lebanon Valley College freshmen and Cocalico grad, Ashlyn Frederick.

“This is the 37th annual Denver Fair,” said MC Nevin McQuate. “Seventeen years ago, September 11th was the opening night of the fair.”

Miss Denver Fair 2018  Kathryn Voler

He recalled the solemn atmosphere at the fair onthat long ago night in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. In remembrance, he led the group in a moment of silence during the opening ceremony.

Kathryn, and the two other Miss Denver Fair runner-ups, Rachel Gehr, who won Denver Fair Sweetheart, and Rebecca Gideon, were asked to speak on what the fair meant to them. Each girl shared tales and recollections of their experiences at the fair over the years.

Kathryn quoted Coretta Scott King, saying, ‘”The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.’… The Denver Fair is everything you could ever imagine or want in a community, poured into five days.”

Kathryn enjoys seeing friends at the fair and volunteering in the Lions Club stand. “You can never be too old for the Denver Fair…I’m always in awe of how much there is to do.”

“I’ve gone to the fair for as long as I can remember,” Rachel said. She shared about anxiously waiting for the fair booklet to come out to look through all of the upcoming activities with her siblings.

“There’s still a childlike excitement,” she said. “It’s a week of memories.” Rachel has participated in art exhibits, the baking events, and even won the Jell-O eating contest one year.

“It brings many people together,” said Rebecca. She appreciates the diversity that the fair encourages and how it connects the community to local businesses and organizations. As a lover of music, Rebecca performs at the Thursday night school music event, attending for the first time in eighth grade.

Photos by Missi Mortimer
Denver Fair Queen Kathryn Voler (left) with (left to right) Rebecca Gideon and Rachel Gehr.

For many girls, being a part of the long-standing tradition of Miss Denver Fair is a coveted activity.

“I’ve been waiting to participate in Miss Denver Fair since I was a little girl,” said Kathryn. “I’d watch all the big girls, just waiting for my turn.” Kathryn’s two older sisters were both runner-ups in previous Denver Fair Queen pageants. Kathryn was crowned by last year’s Denver Fair Sweetheart, Emily Moran. Following graduation, Kathryn hopes to attend a four year college to major in law or something in the communication field.

Kathryn, Rachel, and Rebecca agreed that being part of the fair and the process of the pageant was a rewarding experience for them all.

“(The most rewarding part of participating in the pageant) has been getting to know Rachel and Rebecca, and the interview process,” said Kathryn. “I’m getting to contribute to the fair. I’d really encourage other girls to take part in Miss Denver Fair next year.”

“It’s been rewarding to be a part of this tradition,” said Rebecca. “It’s a chance to ‘make your mark’, and make memories.”

“I’ve loved volunteering in the tents,” said Rachel, who helped in the vegetable tent earlier on Sept. 11. “I’ve enjoyed helping behind the scenes.”

Denver Fair Queen director Becky Brubaker took part in the pageant during high school herself.

“I love passing the tradition along to other young girls,” she said. “Seeing them come out and their love for the fair &tstr; it makes it all worth it.”

The weather was a concern early in the week, but the Denver Fair has only been canceled once in its last 37 years of existence.

“It was devastating a few years ago when the fair was canceled due to the rain,” said Kathryn.

But thankfully, the community braved the mist and mud to enjoy the opening ceremonies, which is a real testament to the beloved place the fair holds in the hearts of many.

The Miss Denver Fair coronation is sponsored by Adamstown Veterinary Hospital.

Other opening night events at 7 p.m. were the swine show and the super candy scramble, which were held in spite of the day’s earlier wet weather. The fair runs from Sept. 11 through Sept. 15. Popular activities held over the next few days include the business expo from 5-8 p.m. on Sept. 12, the goat show on Sept. 13 at 5 p.m., and the livestock auction on Sept. 14 at 6 p.m.

Sept. 15 will be full of fun events for everyone. The day begins with the pet show at 9 a.m., followed by the baby parade at 10 a.m., and Jell-O and wings eating contests at 1 and 2 p.m.

The fair will conclude following a performance by Flamin’ Dick and The Hot Rods at 7:30 p.m.

Aubree Fahringer is the Cocalico editor for the Ephrata Review.

Denver Fair 2018 – Tuesday night
Dylan Pannevecker showing his skills at one of the basketball games.

Denver Fair 2018 – Tuesday night
Izzy McMecher from Reinholds taking her turn on the merry-go-round

Denver Fair 2018 – Tuesday night













Social media editor and staff writer for Ephrata Review and Lititz Record Express.

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