Road to the county fair: Weld fair royalty chair gets new perspective on the royalty
May 14, 2017
Road to the county fair
This year’s series features the members who help put on the Weld County Fair in its 99th year. This year’s fair will be July 22-31.
Val Day was the girl in school who made fun of the cheerleaders.
So years later, when Weld County Fair Coordinator Janet Konkel asked Day about working with the royalty, Day's first thought was: "Oh my gosh, that's like being a cheerleading coach."
But she agreed because it was a way to become further involved. Day is a former teacher who still gets involved with activities — like the fair or Sunday school — to be involved in the growth of kids. So she joined the committee about a year ago and took over as chairwoman in November.
Day's glad she did. The three girls on the Weld County Royalty Court, Princess Rachel Dumm, Queen Lindsey Leafgren and Attendant Madison LaBorde, aren't just cheerleaders. The responsibilities and schedules for the three girls involve a lot more than an appearance at a school dance or football game.
"Let me tell you, I have a whole new perspective," Day said.
There isn't an average day for the girls, but they will make a number of appearances throughout the year for events such as the Greeley Stampede's Independence Day Parade or will do tours of places like Greeley Hat Works.
There also are conferences they need to attend where the girls do a number of different training sessions, including one on public speaking.
And that doesn't include their school activities, either. The girls are involved in their individual schools, too.
It's Day's job to keep track of it all. She can do it, given that she has 18 years in education, and she's Type A.
Day records her girls' appearance schedule in a pink binder that she keeps in a matching pink Abercrombie bag.
She color-codes her planner, with the royalty schedule in the same color as Day's shirt and skirt.
She LOVES pink.
Growing up, Day was never part of 4-H or her county fair in the San Luis Valley. She fell into her involvement with the Weld County Fair after she married her husband, Keith, in September 2014.
At their reception, Konkel approached Keith about serving on the board since he finally had a "driver." He's legally blind, so he can't drive himself. Day figured she should get involved, too, since she would be there anyway. Plus she wanted to work with kids again; Day stopped teaching in the public school system but teaches Sunday school for her church.
"With teaching, I'm just so pro-kid," Day said.
Which keeps her involved with the fair, too. Day said she's seen so many positive things come for 4-H kids as a result of the fair.
And she sees that with the royalty, too. She sees the training and commitment the girls get into when elected. She sees the good that can come from what the royalty does, and at the end of the day, that's why she does it.
"Anything that is going to be something positive in a kid's life, I'm all for," she said.
— Samantha Fox is an agriculture reporter for The Fence Post and The Greeley Tribune. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, (970) 329-4410 or on Twitter @FoxonaFarm.