Fairest of the Fair 2022 – Addison Bray

Had the 2022 Fairest of the Fair taken place one week later, then 15-year-old Addison Bray wouldn’t have met the age limit qualifications to compete.

Thankfully, by July 30th, 2022, when that year’s installment of the event took place, Addison had reached her 16th birthday (seven days earlier), making her eligible to wear the crown as the youngest winner in the competition’s more than 60-year history.

Fittingly, Addison’s imagination had been captured by the pageant earlier than most when walking the fairgrounds with her family as a child.

She recalled, “One of my earliest memories was walking the grandstands with my family when a princess caught my eye with her sparkly crown. This princess was Madison Moody when she was Fairest of the Fair.” Addison continued, “She was so kind and her smile was so vibrant. She even took her crown off and placed it on my head while my mom took a picture. It was at that moment that I knew I wanted to compete in pageants and become Fairest of the Fair someday.”

With a spark for the competition firmly alight, the path was set for a future run at the crown, one that would require dedication and singular focus. 

Addison stated, “I had put in a lot of work behind

the scenes to try to make this goal a reality. After the final leg of the competition, I knew I had done my very best and was proud of my performance however the outcome turned out to be.” She continued, “My parents have always told me we either win or we learn. And I am fortunate that all of my hard work paid off that night. I was very honored and humbled to be crowned because all of the girls on stage were beautiful, intelligent young women, and any one of us could have walked away with the crown.”

Once named the winner of last year’s competition, Addison was reminded of the magic she  experienced as a child attending Fairest of the Fair. This prompted her to use the newly acquired platform provided by the pageant to inspire the next generation of contestants.

Addison reminisced upon the moments following her victory, “That same night a little girl saw me in the grandstands, and just as Madison had done for me, I did the same for her by placing my crown on her head and letting her experience a moment of being a princess at the Putnam County Fair.

Ultimately, I sought to serve my community every day and every night since the 96th annual Putnam County Fair and I will continue to serve until the end of my reign.”

As her time wearing the crown was drawing to a close, Addison shared her continued zeal for Fairest of the Fair, the yearly event that hosts the competition, and the people who make it all possible.

She stated, “I love the Putnam County Fair. I love the grandstands and the exhibits our community

has contributed to. I love our Fair Board and the passion that they have for our community and the hard work that they put into making our fair the best fair it can be every single day.” Addison finished by saying, “I am so proud and honored to be a representative of the Putnam County Fair. As my time has come to an end, I reflect on the past year and all of the memories I have made with the Putnam County Fair. I will hold these memories fondly for the rest of my life.”

– by Andrew Buckner, photo by Cris Stroud


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