Schwartzkopf named Bartholomew County 4-H Fair queen

A contestant who said her life began with the Bartholomew County 4-H Fair, as her parents met there, was named the 2022 fair queen on Saturday night.

Marnie Schwartzkopf, daughter of Jeff and Marry Schwartzkopf, was awarded the title at the competition at Columbus North High School, selected from 12 contestants.

Her court includes first runnerup and Miss Congeniality Emily Harker, second runnerup Saylor Lancaster and third runnerup Emma Nolting.

Schwartzkopf, the daughter of Jeff and Mary Schwartzkopf, will be a sophomore at Purdue University in West Lafayette majoring in agriculture education. Her sponsor for the competition was Bartholomew County REMC.

Master of ceremonies Mike Mensendiek announced during the competition that one of the original 13 candidates had dropped out on Saturday, so it was a field of 12 in the competition.

An enthusiastic roar went up from the crowd when Schwartzkopf’s win was announced and friends and family were invited on stage to congratulate her after the competition.

As 2021 Bartholomew County 4-H Fair Queen Kate Spurgeon placed the crown on Schwartzkopf’s head and hugged her, the crown inadvertantly slipped over her forehead, and later Schwartzkopf juggled the crown to keep it atop her head during photos, saying “I’m going to need to adjust this,” while laughing with her court.

There will be a lot of “juggling” during fair week as the queen and her court appear at nearly every competition and grandstand event, making them so busy that they have a trailer parked at the fairgrounds to allow them to change clothes between appearances.

Schwartzkopf said it was such an honor to have the title of fair queen as her life began after her parents met at the fair, and as life continued, she has spent fair week at the fairgrounds every year while she has been in 4-H.

Saying she is used to “living at the fair” every year, she said she is looking forward to being the face of all the events happening all week and all the events the queen and her court attend and promote during fair week.

She was involved in showing sheep at the Bartholomew County Fair.

She will need to decide whether to kiss a frog during the annual frog jumping contest at 7 p.m. June 28 at the Farm Bureau Building. In her farewell speech as queen, Spurgeon said she did kiss a frog at last year’s fair.

Schwartzkopf is working toward a bachelor’s degree in agriculture education at Purdue, and someday hopes to build up a successful high school agriculture program in a school that lacks one.

Each contestant was asked to provide one unique detail about themselves and the newly-crowned queen said in the year that she was born, she was one of only 18 babies in the United States who were given the name “Marnie.”

She enjoys sand volleyball, thrifting vintage and western clothing, judging FFA contests and Bible journaling.

During the competition, contestants competed in professional wear and evening gown, and each introduced a special event at this year’s fair, from the return of rodeo to the always popular demolition derby.

The Bartholomew County Fair Board, the 4-H Council, 4-H leaders and Purdue Extension were all introduced during the event along with Mensendiek asking all those in the audience who were 10-year-4-Hers to stand and be recognized.

The Fair Board President Rick Trimpe previewed more highlights of the fair during a break in the competition, saying that Columbus native and NASCAR champion Tony Stewart will attend the All Star Circuit of Champions TQ Midgets in the grandstand that has been named after him at 7 p.m. June 28 at the fairgrounds.

“We’re ready for the fair and we hope you are too,” Trimpe said.

The county fair begins June 24 and continues through July 2 at the Bartholomew County Fairgrounds.