The Tale of Two Princesses Who Grew up to Be Queens
Amid the dust and chaos, there’s royalty in our county fairs
by Michelle Steel
In the 21st century every little girl is a princess. Each year in Anne Arundel and Calvert counties, one of those girls grows up to be crowned queen. Miss Tranquility in Calvert County and Fair Queen in Anne Arundel County rule for one week over a fairy tale land of Ferris wheels, game booth bellowers, blinking lights, pony rides, pig races, cotton candy and tractor pulls. Their reign continues through the next year.
Fairest of Them All
Naturally the queens are beautiful. Emily Jellick, Anne Arundel County Fair Queen, is a tall, tan, glowing blonde with sparkling, brown eyes and a never-ending smile.
“How does she smile all the time?” one young admirer whispered at her coronation.
Adrienne Ackermann, Calvert County’s Miss Tranquility, is a tall, sandy-haired blonde with blue eyes and a Colgate smile. Her rosy complexion, pearl earrings and glossy lips complement her gown, which is pink, the favorite color of princesses.
Calvert County’s Fair Queen, Miss Tranquility, Adrienne Ackermann.
Fair as they are, there’s more to these queens than tinsel, tulle and trinkets.
These queens are real 21st century girls, who win their titles not by beauty but by scholastic achievement, activity in school and community, public speaking skills and poise.
Instead of Cinderella, Miss Tranquility took the part of wicked stepsister, Portia, in Twin Beach Players’ production. Queen Emily is eager to ditch her peach gown and high heels for a pair of dungarees and to head back to the farm, where chipped nail polish, calluses and milk-splatter come with the territory, and her kisses go not to frogs but pigs and cows.
Queens Are as Queens Do
“I would do anything, even sweeping cages and changing bedding,” said 17-year-old Queen Emily of the orphaned wildlife she succored as little girl.
Her best friend is a big, prickly Nubian goat, Chamomile. “My goats are absolutely amazing,” said the queen, crowned at Anne Arundel County Fair’s opening day September 12. “People are amazed at how dog-like [Chamomile] is.”
Jellick lavishes queenly attentions on Chamomile. She grooms the 115-pound, 19-month-old doe daily, brushing her horse-hair coat, trimming her hoofs, cleaning her ears and shearing her for shows. If Chamomile has a spring kid, her first, Jellick will take on a new role, milking the nanny twice a day. Mother Camomile will show better in future fairs if her udder is bouncy, so she’ll be hand milked. Jellick plans to hand-raise the kid so it will grow up friendlier and easier to handle.
In Calvert County, Miss Tranquility prefers community to farm, throwing herself into local activities. “I don’t do anything halfway,” she said.
She leads the Praise and Worship Team at her church and has traveled on mission trips from Ohio to California, constructing homes and churches. Theater is her other love and planned career. Lead roles in school productions include Tzietel, Veta, Muzzy Van Hossmere and, this fall, Penny in Northern High School’s You Can’t Take it With You.
Rising to the Role
Queen Emily doesn’t think of herself as a pageant kind of girl. This year’s fair was, she said “my first and only contest. I don’t want to admit to being in a pageant.”
She entered only because a 4-H friend and role model was runner-up last year. Once in, she found, she said, “I have been preparing for this title for the past three years without my knowledge.” Love of farm life and agriculture came naturally to her; those qualities just happened to be the ones that make a queen at the Anne Arundel County Fair, where 4-H experience tops the list of queenly qualities.
Queen Emily has been a member of the Kinder Farm Park 4-H livestock club for three years. The first year, she raised a dairy cow. After the cow returned to the farm, she turned to dairy and market goats.
Off the farm, Queen Emily is equally dedicated. From September through November, the Severna Park High School senior drum major has marching band practice every day after school. Beyond practice, each band student is responsible for raising $1,100 to support the band’s activities. Once a month, Queen Emily spends Saturday selling 50 submarine sandwiches, her part in the band’s biggest fundraiser. She’s earned both Silver and Gold Awards in Girl Scouts and volunteers at the Maryland Therapeutic Riding Center on Sunday mornings.
Miss Tranquility continues her community involvement volunteering at local homeless shelters and babysitting for her church.
Beyond the demands of senior year and busy weekends, each queen has a year of royal duties ahead.
Anne Arundel County’s Fair Queen, Emily Jellick.
The Queens’ Reign
Jellick’s first duty as queen was to kiss a pig before the start of a hogs’ race.
“I don’t think I’ll ever forget that. I’ve kissed quite a few animals in my life, but never before a squealing pig,” she said.
“It would have been nice if the pig had at least pretended to enjoy it,” said the queen.
Quieter duties for her majesty include guest appearances during fair week, judging scarecrow contests and passing out ribbons, awards and prizes.
Miss Tranquility will spend 20 hours volunteering at the Calvert County Fair September 27 through 30. On Youth Day, September 28, she’ll be geared in plastic to protect her satin sash and sparkling crown while joining the other royal court in the pie-eating contest.
Fair queen duties continue after the last pig race and the final pie. Queen Emily returns to the fairgrounds in October for the Halloween Happenings haunted barn and hayride Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. Plus, the queen continues promoting fair-related events like county rodeos and craft shows throughout the year.
Happily Ever After
Queen Emily aspires to become a large animal veterinarian. Her new title adds $500 to her college tuition fund.
Calvert County awards Miss Tranquility $1,000 to go toward her college fund. She hopes to spend it at Carnegie Mellon University, majoring in musical drama.