Homecoming might be weeks away, but Edgewood-Colesburg High School already has royalty walking the halls. Junior Hunter Thompson and senior Chezney Priem were recently crowned king and queen of the Clayton County Fair.
Priem said the fair has been a tradition for her parents, Travis and Amy Priem and her brother, Tyler. “I started going with my family when I was younger and then started showing livestock in fourth grade.”
Priem, 17, shows beef cattle, both breeding beef and market beef. In addition, she began showing swine a few years ago.
“I thought running for fair queen would be a good experience for me,” she explained. “I told the judges I thought it would be a way out of my comfort zone. I never really wanted to be in the spotlight.”
Priem interviewed with a panel of three judges before joining the other queen candidates for a group interview with the judges. She was chosen the Wednesday of the fair, which gave her added responsibilities the rest of fair week.
“I spoke with 4-H members, attended livestock shows and was in the celebrity bingo game. I walked around talking with people at the fair. My favorite part was seeing all the little kids that smiled and waved at me.”
Priem wants to use her title to inspire others. It’s something she remembers past queens doing for her. “Over the years some of the fair queens have been an inspiration to me growing up. I want to be an inspiration to younger generations. I want to make an impact.”
Priem is treasurer of the Mallory Minks 4-H Club as well as president of the Edgewood-Colesburg FFA chapter. She plans to attend Kirkwood Community College after high school, where she will major in agriculture business and finance, while minoring in beef production.
“I want to become a loan officer. I got started being able to show my cattle and livestock and get my herd through a loan officer. I just want to be able to give back to others by doing that.”
Her year as queen will see her assist with fair fundraising, as well as appearing in parades and at schools, helping to promote the county fair.
“Pushing myself out of my comfort zone will help me prepare for the real world. I may be doing things I’m not used to doing, but I’m still doing good things,” she said.
Thompson is the first king in the history of the fair. He said he sees it as an opportunity to help promote the fair.
“The main point is to be another representative and spokesperson for the fair. Now they can have both king and queen walking around, talking to people and helping out at events. We can split up and reach more people.”
Thompson is a member of the Peppy Pointers 4-H Club and is also treasurer of the Edgewood-Colesburg FFA chapter.
The 16-year-old said being king is a way for him to help out even more during the fair. “The fair board and extension office put in so much time for people to have a good time at the fair. I wanted to help them even more.”
Thompson’s mom, Jeri Kay Schiffman, is on the fair board. He said she approached him about the idea of running for king. “At first I was iffy about it, but I liked the idea of being a spokesperson for the fair.”
Thompson said he enjoyed representing the fair as king. “I talked to a lot of people and helped out with a lot of shows and events. By the time the fair was over, I barely had a voice left.”
Thompson hopes to speak throughout the year about the fair. “I take this as a huge honor. I try to come in with a good spirit and a nice smile. I’m glad I was chosen and I’m really happy to help promote the fair through the entire county.”