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Barbour Co. Fair has new royalty

by James Fisher

REGIONAL WRITER

PHILIPPI -- The newest Miss Barbour County, Lisa Poe, may have had a leg up on the competition Sunday night -- the exiting Barbour County Fair queen is her cousin.

"Last year, I went different places with her and visited people with her," Poe said Monday, as she prepared to ride in the parade, her first official duty as queen. "I did her hair and stuff, so I was a little familiar with it."

Poe, 20, is a Belington native and is attending Davis & Elkins College, where she majors in physical education with a minor in athletic training. She attended West Virginia University last year.

Aside from the honor of representing Barbour County at the fair and numerous events throughout the year, Poe received a $1,000 college scholarship.

Seven area women competed for the title Sunday night, said pageant director Cheryl Hawkins.

"She'll have appearances all this week, and we try to get the queen to visit all of the vendors at least once," Hawkins said.

Poe does not have an extensive history in competing at pageants -- she was named First Princess when she competed in the Miss Belington contest -- but she said she decided to enter because "it seemed like fun."

"I thought it would be really neat," she said. "It just feels like a dream, everything is happening so fast. I think this week is going to be very exciting, and I don't want it to end."

Poe said the moments after her name was called as the newest Miss Barbour County were a blur of emotion, happiness and disbelief.

"I remember thinking, 'What am I supposed to do next? Where do I go? What do I say?' and then I don't really remember anything," she said.

Poe even told Hawkins Monday afternoon that being named queen still didn't feel real and she thought they were going to take her crown away at any moment.

Poe's mother was excited about her title, she said, but her father took a more pragmatic approach.

"He said to me, 'See, I didn't have to come to the pageant to see who the prettiest girl was,'" she said.

The fair continues today with several events scheduled. Gate admission is $6, with those 55 years old and over receiving a half-price discount from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Today's schedule is:

9 a.m.-1 p.m. -- Judging competitive exhibits

10 a.m.-2 p.m. -- Senior citizens activities

4 p.m. -- Commercial exhibits open

5 p.m. -- Open-class Swine Show

6 p.m. -- Midway opens

7 p.m. -- Market Hog Show & Showmanship Contest

7:30 p.m. -- Demolition derby

10:30 p.m. -- Midway closes.

Regional writer James Fisher can be reached at 626-1446

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