Claire Fox, the future Kenosha County Fairest of the Fair, displays a sign showing her Reserve Grand Champion Swine Carcass is up for sale during the Aug. 17 Livestock Auction. She later received the crown in the same sales/show arena that day (Jason Arndt/The Report).

By Jason Arndt
Staff Writer

Claire Fox did what she could to hold back the tears as she displayed her Reserve Grand Champion Carcass sign up for sale at the Kenosha County Fair Livestock Auction Saturday in the show and sales arena.

For Fox, 19, of the Town of Brighton, who could blame her after she spent a little more than a decade exhibiting animals through 4-H at the Kenosha County Fair, which came to an end on Aug. 17.

“That will be something I will miss, it will be really hard, because it (was) my last year showing pigs,” said Fox, the youngest daughter to parents Robert and Jean.

Kenosha County Fairest of the Fair Amanda Boss crowns her successor, Claire Fox, during an Aug. 17 coronation ceremony.

Fox, whose sisters are Claudia, 20, and Ali 25, remembers working with them on projects in the barn and showing support for one another.

“We loved working together, washing each others pigs,” she said. “When we go to sell our pigs, we really cheered each other on.”

Although her show career came to an end, a new journey with the Kenosha County Fair has not even begun, which is serving as 2020 Kenosha County Fairest of the Fair.

Hours after she put up her last pig up for auction, Fox returned to the same show and sales arena, where she received the crown from predecessor Amanda Boss.

Sister Claudia, who was at the crowning, believes she exhibits the spirit to represent the Kenosha County Fair.

“She definitely has a passion for the fair. She is thinking about it the whole year,” said Claudia.

Fox’s tenure, meanwhile, officially starts Jan. 1, 2020 and will spend the ensuing year promoting the Kenosha County Fair.

Jenny Happ, of the Fairest of the Fair committee, said the term is a new facet in 2019 and allows Fox and her successors to represent the County Fair they have spent the year promoting.

Before the change, the Fairest of the Fair’s tenure ended on opening night, which also gave the successor less time to prepare for the Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs Convention held every January.

“They will start their reign in January, represent the fair that year, and be at that fair for the duration of the year,” Happ said.

Fox, meanwhile, looks forward to representing and promoting a fair she has been involved with nearly her entire life.

Fox, formerly of Brighton Bombers/Explorers 4-H Club, graduated from Westosha Central in 2018 and will enter her sophomore year at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as a marketing and supply chain management major.

At the Kenosha County Fair, where she has worked on multiple projects, Fox said her 4-H Club has played an integral role in her life.

“I love 4-H because I have been part of it my whole life,” she said. “It is just part of me now because I have been doing it for 11 years.”

In addition to winning Reserve Champion Carcass in 2019, her other memorable achievement came a couple years ago, when she won Grand Champion Spot.

Her involvement was not confined to the immediate fairgrounds, however, as she helped direct motorists with her Westosha Central cheerleading teammates to parking stalls while she attended the school.

While a student at Westosha Central, she was named most spirited and most determined cheerleader, became involved in the freshman mentor program, student council, FBLA and DECA.

Fox, who graduated magna cum laude, was a two-year National Honor Society member, volunteered at Curtis Strange Elementary in Kenosha, did an internship with the school store and was a teaching assistant.

According to her mother, Jean, Claire produced and presented an educational session on turkeys as a volunteer at Curtis Strange Elementary.

“She came in and presented it all on her own and was well done,” Jean said.

She earned scholarships from Student Council and Kenosha County Dairy Promotions.

As a student at UW-Milwaukee, Fox belongs to the Supply Chain Management Association and still volunteers at Curtis Strange Elementary.

Passionate future
Fox, meanwhile, has time to prepare for her reign, but has established preliminary goals, which include educating area youth about 4-H projects.

“The goals I have are educating students in the classroom about these different 4-H projects they can participate in along with people who can enter open class projects,” she said. “I don’t think people are aware of all the different activities and projects going on here at the fair.”

Examples include, but not limited to, vegetables, baking, a flower exhibits.

Photography, fitness, gardening and cooking are here hobbies.

Her long-term goals include starting a non-profit organization, creating an annual scholarship for 4-H members, start her own business, maintain community volunteerism and owning her own farm.


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