Candidates vie for top fair ticket sales and the queen's crown
Updated: Jul 27
Taryn Poole, center, set a ticket sales record in 2022 when she won the queen crown for the Linn County Fair and Rodeo against candidates Mia Meik, left, and Remi Rothlisberger. This year five young women hope to wear that crown. (Janell Aust/Linn County Fair Board)
Five young women are vying to earn the title of 2023 Queen of the Linn County Fair and Rodeo. Selection of the queen is based on ticket sales, and the candidates have already been selling tickets at events across the county.
Fair organizers are hoping that this group of candidates can outsell last year's group of candidates even though 2022 fair queen Taryn Poole of Mound City set a new fair record of nearly $20,600 in ticket sales. Candidates Remi Rothlisberger of Mound City and Mia Miek of Pleasanton combined with Poole to sell nearly $40,600 worth of tickets
While candidates will be selling at events and even driving door-to-door to sell tickets, they will also be available at several outlets around the county and in Paola. Those outlets include
Blue Mound - Farmers State Bank
La Cygne – Labette Bank, Peoples Telecommuncations
Mound City – Headline by Kyla, Linn County Extension Office
Paola – Family Center
Parker – 1-Stop
Pleasanton – Labette Bank, Linn County News
Prescott – Prescott State Bank
Event tickets include the Demolition Derby at 7:30 p.m.on Saturday, Aug. 5; the Outlaw Truck and Tractor Pull at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 6; and two nights of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association rodeo beginning at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 11-12.
Both Labette Bank locations and the extension office will also sell raffle tickets. At each event a firearm will be raffled off: a Big Boy .45 Colt on Aug. 5, a Big Boy .357 Mares Leg on Aug. 6, a lever action .410 shotgun on Aug. 11, and a Big Boy .30-30 on Aug. 12.
The 2023 fair queen will be crowned at 7 p.m. just before the Demolition Derby on Saturday, Aug. 5. Here are the queen candidates for the 2023 Linn County Fair and Rodeo queen:
Claire Caldwell, daughter of Matt and Marcie Caldwell, will be a senior at Prairie View High School this fall. The 17-year-old rural Parker resident is a member of the Cadmus 4-H Club and during her 12 years in 4-H has been a club reporter, secretary and 4-H council representative and vice president.
This will be her fourth year in the Prairie View FFA chapter as well. In addition to serving as the reporter, she has participated in numerous career development events, has placed in speech contests and has been committee chair five times.
Recently she had the honor of showing her reserve champion carcass steer at the 2022 National Junior Angus Show.
In addition to being elected the president of the PVHS Class of 2024, she has played volleyball, softball and is a member of the trap shooting team. She attends the United Methodist Church. Although Caldwell plans to attend college, she has not decided yet where she will attend.
Cierra Lindsey, the daughter of Tracy Lindsey, is a junior at Jayhawk-Linn High School. The 15-year-old Mound City resident is a member of the Barn Harvesters 4-H club and has been active in the club for eight years, including a year as club president and three as secretary.
As a member of the 4-H horse judging team that was top in state, she and the rest of the team earned the right to travel to the Western National Roundup in Denver where they placed fourth in the nation.
She is also a member of the Jayhawk-Linn FFA Chapter and has served as Greenhand secretary, chapter treasurer and vice president. A member of the chapter’s state horse and livestock judging teams for the past two years, she has also served as barn manager for the chapter during the summer to insure that the organization has quality show stock for the fair.
In addition, she was inducted into the National Honor Society school last year, has been in the school’s marching and concert bands for the past three years. She is the first musician from JLHS to be named to the State FFA Band.
A member of of the youth group at The Barn church, she helps teach children and helps out in the nursery during the church service. She also help manage the Mound City community garden.
Lindsey has her sights set on earning an agricultural education degree at Kansas State University with minors in horticulture and agronomy and then teaching in Kansas or a neighboring state.
Ella Merritt, daughter of Shari and Grady Merritt, graduated from Prairie View High School in May and is enrolled to attend Johnson County Community College to take general education courses before heading off to Kansas State University or another four-year college to study physical therapy.
The 18-year-old rural Parker resident was a member of the Prairie View FFA Chapter and served as a Greenhand sentinel. She also participated in livestock judging and meats evaluation.
A letter-earning member of the cheerleading team for six years, Merritt also has been in concert choir and on the trap shooting team. She attends Westside Family Church and is a member of the youth group and worship team. She also enjoys singing, songwriting, horseback riding and painting.
Mound City resident Kelsee Poole will be a junior at Jayhawk-Linn High School this fall. The 16-year-old has been involved in the Jayhawk-Linn FFA Chapter for three years and has earned a Greenhand degree and Blue Jacket medal. She has also competed in horse and poultry judging.
She has been on the Jayhawk volleyball team for three years, the track team for two years and played basketball for a year. She plans on signing up to be on the wrestling team this year as well.
One of her favorite activities is welding, and she plans on participating in the welding program at the STARS (Southeast Technical Academy for Rural Students) in Pleasanton this coming year. One of her goals is to take that experience and expand on that further, but she is also interested in pursuing a career in equine physical therapy.
Obviously Poole likes horses, and riding them is one of her favorite activities. She also enjoys riding four-wheelers, fishing, dancing and writing in her journal.
Danielle Slinkard, daughter of Karen Slinkard and Kevin Slinkard, will be a junior at Jayhawk-Linn High School this fall. The 16-year-old is a member of the Jayhawk-Linn FFA Chapter and has served as a Greenhand officer.
With interests including showing horses, horseback riding, track and field, volleyball, FFA and singing, Slinkard has been named All-American Cheerleader for another one of her favorite activities, being a JLHS cheerleader.
She goes to the First Baptist Church of Mound City and attends the church's 212 Youth Ministry. Slinkard has also been involved in community service projects.
She plans to attend Pittsburg State University and earn a bachelor’s degree in business management.
Editor's note: in an earlier version of this story, the photos of Kelsee Poole and Danielle Slinkard were inadvertently switched. We regret the error.