Meet the Queen, Darby Kasper!
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture held its 2016, 30th annual State Fair Queen competition with the crowning on Saturday, January 23rd. Sixty women from around the state proudly represented their home county fairs.
In 1989 the Tioga County Fair sent their first representative, Trace Rouse, to enter the competition. This year our Tioga County Fair Queen, Darby Kasper, competed. Darby was crowned PA State Fair Queen for 2016. Darby’s crowning is an especially exciting victory, since it marks a comeback for Tioga County after a twenty-seven year stint in which representatives never placed as finalists.
Darby grew up in Roseville, PA on a dairy farm. It was there she learned to love the land, the animals she cared for, and especially the county fair. “I think it’s great that the fair gets to share that love of animals and love of agriculture with people that live in town and that might not be able to get that experience,” Darby expounds.
Since childhood, Darby has been raising two types of rabbits, California and dwarf hotot, which she has shown in multiple competitions at the Tioga County Fair over the years. Darby also spends her time figure skating, another passion she discovered as a child while attending a church youth activity. She pursued the activity through group lessons, and eventually attended private lessons with instructor Sarah Park. Darby participates in an annual competition in Pittsburgh each year and recently became a certified ice skating coach through training with the Ice Skating Institute.
As the Tioga County Fair Queen, Darby won a $500.00 scholarship. As a result of winning the PA Fair Queen title, she is receiving an additional scholarship for $2,500.00 to put toward her tuition at her school of choice. One of Darby’s responsibilities as the State Fair Queen include travel to PA county fairs. There are one hundred and nine fairs—Darby hopes to visit at least twenty-three. Tioga’s 50th annual county fair, of course, will be among them.
Darby is a junior at Mansfield High School and also attends classes at Mansfield University to further her education. She encourages others to follow their dreams and pursue their talents, whatever they enjoy, and do it in a way that benefits the community.
Those pictured with Darby at her coronation are Jennie York, Tori Hamblin, Samantha Wilcox, Dennis Reece, President David ‘Doc’ Reece, Lynda Swan, Kevin Crumb, Tim Kaltenbach and Jennifer Thomas.
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