By Brianna Boyd
Special to Dixon Patch
The Dixon May Fair will crown its royalty on the opening night of its 137th annual event.
Nine Solano County youth – including eight girls and one boy – are vying for positions on the fair’s royalty court. After months of anticipation and hard work, the sashes and crowns will be handed out at 7 p.m. May 10 on the Leber Garden Stage.
Royalty court coordinator Rhonda Rayn described the nine hopefuls as individuals who are “as beautiful on the inside as on the outside”. For these youth, the royalty court contest began back in January, and Rayn said it has been a “treasure” getting to know each and every one of the contestants.
“They’re all very ambitious youth,” she said. “They have all performed community service and are active in their community. They are all focused on what they want to do with the rest of their lives. They have many goals for later on that range from being a rock climber to being a professional horse trainer to going to college to receive their Masters.”
The children and teenagers who make up the May Fair’s royalty court are some of the most recognized individuals at both the Dixon May Fair and the Dixon May Fair Parade. They receive thunderous applause every year when they ride their horses in the parade and are often competitors in some of the most popular May Fair competitions, including the hog calling and cow-milking contests.
Proudly wearing their sashes and crowns, the royalty court members serve as representatives for the historic fair throughout the year, and also ride in numerous area parades.
The Royalty Court competition is open to any Solano County youth between the ages of 9 and 18. The girls in the contest compete within four categories – queen, princess, junior princess, and little miss. Boys compete to serve as ambassadors.
The fair’s little miss award goes to a girl between the ages of 9 and 11. The junior princess contest is open to any girl between the ages of 12 and 14. All girls 15 years and older compete together, Rayn explained, and the teen with the highest score is crowned queen and the second place recipient is named the princess.
There are several components to the competition all the contestants had to follow. As part of their application that was due in March, the youth included an essay, addressed to the public, that described why they wanted to be a part of the royalty court and any personal information about themselves they wanted to include. Candidates had to include at least three photographs in their essay, one of just themselves, another with their horse, and a third of their choice.
“It’s all very individual,” Rayn said of the essay. “They have a minimum of what they have to include in there and then they add to it. It’s more like a scrapbook for most of them and for some, it’s more formal. It has information about their community service, information about what they have achieved in the past, and their future goals.”
All candidates are entered and must participate in the Royalty Court Horsemastership Class that will be during the Dixon May Fair Junior Horse Show this weekend. The Horsemastership Class will begin at 8 a.m. Sunday, and each contestant will ride individually before the judges and crowd. They will be judged on their posture, their ability to lead their horse, and control of the horse. After riding their horse and completing a required pattern, the youth will run with their horse past the crowd and will receive points based on crowd participation and their salute.
“They have to be able to get people involved in what they are doing,” Rayn said.
The Royalty Court hopefuls will also participate in interviews with Dixon May Fair board members and community members in the days before the fair. They will be asked several questions, and judged based on how they greet people and respond.
“We’re looking for a person who is bubbly and able to walk up to different people and talk,” Rayn said. “We want them to be able to introduce people to the fair. They should be able to walk up to people and tell them why they are so involved in the fair, walk them around and show them the activities or answer any questions they may have.”
Altogether, the 2012 Royalty Court candidates will be judged on their essay, photography, the Dixon May Fair Junior Horse Show, the interview, and a poster each created that follows the fair’s theme of “This Is My County”. As part of the points they earn in the competition, the youth will also ride in the Winters Youth Day Parade at the end of this month.
The 2011 Royalty Court included Queen Katie Berg of Vacaville, Princess Alexandria “Alex” Atkinson of Dixon, Junior Princess Madison “Madi” Lowrie of Dixon and Little Miss Ashley Cooper of Dixon.
The 2012 Dixon May Fair Royalty Court contestants include:
• Sandra Sirizzotti, 9, of Dixon, is the daughter of Jenny and Steve. This is her first year exhibiting at the Dixon May Fair, and she is showing her horse, “Buddy”, and her lamb, “Mr. Sammi Sheep”. Her future goal is to become a veterinarian. Her motto is “Ride Hard or Go Home”.
• Grace Bors, 11, of Dixon, is the daughter of Jill Turner. She is exhibiting her 4-H project lamb, rabbits, baked goods, floriculture, and photography at the fair and has shown her horse, “Mac” in the past. Her goal is to win grand champion with her lamb. Her motto is “Have a Little Fun Each and Every Day”.
• Robert Sirizzotti, 11, of Dixon, is the son of Jenny and Steve. His many activities include playing football, basketball and baseball. He has participated in the May Fair by riding in the Junior Horse Show and showing his lambs. His goal is to one day join the United States military. His motto is “Cowboys Never Give Up”.
• Kylie Goetz, 12, of Dixon, is the daughter of Marianne and Brian. She loves to ride horses and motorcycles, and is an accomplished marksman with her rifle. She is exhibiting her lamb “Bells”, her horse “Jazzy”, and her flowers and photography at the fair. Her future goals include joining FFA and becoming a professional motorcross racer. Her motto is “Never Forget 9-11”.
• Keirsten Lockhart, 16, of Vacaville, is the daughter of Dawn and Edward. She is active on her high school’s Academic Decathlon team and is taking advanced placement courses in English and US History. Her motto is “Do Not be Discouraged and Do Not Ever Doubt Because God Has a Way of Working it Out”. This is a very fitting motto for Keirsten, who is showing her horse, “Tobey” at the fair. “Tobey” was a gift to her from her best friend, Katie Powell, who passed away from cancer when she was 10 years old. Keirsten’s goals include attending Stanford University.
• Alexandria Atkinson, 16, of Dixon, is the daughter of Jodeane and Mark. Alexandria, the 2011 May Fair Princess, is active in FFA, where she has learned taxidermy and is displaying some of her animals this year. She is also exhibiting her lamb and is active in the Bids for Kids program.
• Sara McNeill, 17, of Vacaville, is the daughter of Kim. While this is her first year exhibiting her horse at the fair, Sara has traditionally shown hogs and won reserve supreme grand last year. She is active with the Special Olympics home and volunteers at a senior citizens home. Her future goals include attending college and becoming an actress. Her motto is “Live Wild and Free”.
• Emma Roberts, 17, of Napa, is the daughter of Doug and Linda. She maintains a 4.0 grade point average in school and has been actively pursuing the Queen crown since she was 9. Over the years, she has exhibited crafts, photography and horses at the fair.
• Annaley Herzog, 18, of Vacaville, is the daughter of Kenny and April. She has been an active 4-H member for many years and is exhibiting baked goods, horses, poultry and an educational display at the 2012 fair. She currently works two jobs and has future goals of attending veterinary school in Sacramento and owning her own farm. Her motto is “To Love and be Loved is Life’s Greatest Gift”.
Other attractions and entertainment scheduled for the 137th annual Dixon May Fair include local performers on the Leber Garden Stage, carnival rides and games, a hog calling contest, the diaper derby, the first annual juried art auction, and well over 400 sheep, goats, steers, swine, and other animals.
An array of musical entertainment is planned on several stages, and the arena will play host to big name stars. Hip Hop star Snoop Dogg and special guest One Block Radius will kick off the fair’s entertainment with a May 9 concert. The English Beat and the Romantics will keep the crowd dancing on May 10, and country stars Kellie Pickler and Phil Vassar will co-headline a concert May 11. Larry the Cable Guy, a nationally known comedian and actor, will entertain on May 12 along with special guest Reno Collier.
Tickets for the concerts are now available at the Dixon May Fair Box Office, 655 South First St. in Dixon, at all TicketMaster Outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com, or charge by phone at (800) 745-3000. Every concert ticket includes admission to the fair.
The Dixon May Fair will open on Thursday, May 10 and entertain thousands of visitors through Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 13. The fair will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. all four days, with a “soft” opening planned the evening of Wednesday, May 9. For more information, visit www.dixonmayfair.com.