At around 5:30 p.m. July 23, Katie Shaak’s reign as fair queen ended, and Chloe Bomgardner’s reign began.

A display of the Lebanon Area Fair Queens in Center Hall.

Bomgardner competed against Kylee Williams for the title of 2022 Lebanon Area Fair Queen.

Once deemed eligible to compete, Bomgardner and Williams each wrote an essay in response to the prompt, “What my fair means to my community.” A panel of judges made up of Tiffany Armstrong, Sheila Davidson, and Jeff Hackman then interviewed the candidates individually.

Following the interviews, Bomgardner and Williams each prepared a speech about “Why you should come to my fair.” The candidates delivered their speeches in the Ag Center around 2 p.m. Saturday.

In her prepared speech, Williams spoke about her experience raising and showing market hogs at the Lebanon Area Fair. She described the work that exhibitors and volunteers put into the fair. Williams also discussed how the fair has something for everyone and the special way that it brings the Lebanon community together for a week.

In Bomgardner’s prepared speech, she detailed a day in the life of youth agricultural exhibitors at the Lebanon Area Fair. Bomgardner mentioned the fair’s versatility with its events, shows, rides, zoo, and food. In addition, she explained how the Lebanon Area Fair is a source of pride for locals and an opportunity for them to give back to the Lebanon community.

At 5 p.m., the coronation ceremony opened in the North Hall with a greeting to the audience and introductions of the two candidates, three judges, and some of the other figures present, such as the 2022 PA Fair Queen and the Lebanon County Dairy Princesses.

From left to right: fair queen coordinator Moore and emcee Schaeffer address the audience.

During the ceremony, Nadine Moore, fair queen coordinator, and Melanie Schaeffer, emcee for the coronation ceremony, announced that they would be stepping down from their positions.

The now-vacant fair queen coordinator position involves running the fair queen program, providing opportunities for the queen to promote the Lebanon Area Fair, and taking a three-night vacation to the Hershey Lodge, 325 University Drive, where they would prepare and chaperone the queen at the state convention.

Moore also announced the three recipients – Hannah Wolfling, Luke Dresch, and Crystal Bomgardner – of the Lebanon Area Fair and BBQ scholarships.

In addition, Shaak delivered a fairwell speech in which she quipped that she “is not naturally a queen.” She continued to reveal that she was surprised by the positive feedback she received from those at the fairgrounds because she holds herself to a high standard. Shaak also expressed gratitude for her family’s, friends’, and community’s support.

Shaak gives her farewell speech.

Bomgardner and Williams were each asked to give an impromptu speech in response to a prompt about how they would use the motto, “Don’t work for recognition, but do work worthy of recognition,” if they were given the platform of fair queen.

After the speeches, the judges left the room to debrief. When they returned, they had made a decision.

The judges awarded Williams the title of 2022 Alternate Lebanon Area Fair Queen.

And the judges crowned Bomgardner the 2022 Lebanon Area Fair Queen.

Like Shaak, Bomgardner will be given opportunities as fair queen, a vacation to the Hershey Lodge, and a $1,000 check upon the completion of her reign.

From left to right: 2022 PA Fair Queen Anna Haldeman, 2021 Lebanon Area Fair Queen Katie Shaak, 2022 Lebanon Area Fair Queen Chloe Bomgardner, and 2022 Alternate Lebanon Area Fair Queen Kylee Williams.

The 2022 Lebanon Area Fair queen competition was sponsored by the Lebanon Area Fair, Tim McGowan Studios, Leitzel’s Jewelry, Grumbine’s Flowers, and Wanda Livering from Hair Affair.

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Lexi Gonzalez has worked as a reporter with LebTown since 2020. She is a Lancaster native and became acquainted with Lebanon while she earned her bachelor's degree at Lebanon Valley College.