A day in the life of a Lakefair judge

January 31st, 2016 by Ken

Capital Lakefair was selecting its 59th royal court consisting of  four princesses and a queen. I had been invited to participate as one of five judges.   Girls from 11 capital area high schools had been selected by their respective schools to represent them in that effort.  (Bet you didn’t know there were 11 high schools in the Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater area?  Actually there are 12.   One decided not to participate.)

The all-day Saturday event was being hosted by The Red Lion and started with breakfast at 8 am.  Judges, candidates and Capitalarians participated in the eating ritual.   While the nervous girls were eyeing the judges, trying to determine who we were – – the judges were also eying the social and eating habits of the young ladies.

The first interviews started at 9 am when the panel of five judges interviewed each candidate for 15 minutes.   Prepared questions were distributed to the judges so that each girl was asked the same questions.   Previously the candidates had submitted an essay on a topic of their choosing.   The essay had been judged separately by a committee from South Puget Sound Community College.   The girls were judged on poise, personality, appearance, and how they answered the questions.

From the very beginning it was obvious that candidates from the larger schools were more poised and better prepared.

After the panel judging was – – lunch.   The judges ate separately from the young ladies and talked – in general terms – – about the candidates and the process.   Following lunch was – – more interviews.   This time each judge met with each candidate for ten minutes.  The girls called it – – Speed dating.  I liked this part because it gave me an opportunity to follow up on some of the answers from the morning session and also to ask some of my own questions.   Some of the judges were better at this part than others.    The candidates were judged on the same criteria as the morning.

The judging sheets were turned in and we prepared for the evening festivities – – the big annual Coronation finale.

The room was packed with family, friends, supporters of Lakefair and Capitalarians.  The 11 participants were on stage as were the outgoing  2015 Royalty Court.    The candidates were introduced – then left the stage to reappear one at a time to give their three-minute speech,.  Judges were seated at a nearby table and judged the speeches.   The same criteria applied with the addition of speaking ability, speech content and delivery.   Then emcee Jerry Farmer asked each girl a question.   They were also judged on their response to that question.

Judging sheets were turned in and the outgoing Royalty court had an opportunity to speak while the score sheets were being tabulated.

Shortly after 9 pm the results were announced.   The 59th Lakefair Queen was Jackie DeShaye from Olympia High School.    Members of her court were Erin Hobbs, from Timberline, Rachel Pierson from North Thurston, Hailey  Sanne’ from Tumwater and Tyjai Shaw from South Sound High School.

Your Lakefair judge went home tired but with a better knowledge of young women and a feeling that the world was in good hands.

Posted in Informational, The Real News

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