Since its inception, more than 3,500 young people from across the province have gone to the CNE in Toronto for the chance to be crowned Ambassador of the Fairs.
Six from Wellington County will be among the 70 or so competitors at the 38th annual competition next weekend, including 2008 Drayton Fair Ambassador Lindsay Oxby and 2008 Erin Fall Fair Ambassador Cassandra Chornoboy.
“I am definitely looking forward to it,” said Oxby, an 18-year-old Rothsay native. “I have never been to the CNE, so even that part will be exciting.”
Chornoboy, 18, told the Advertiser she is also looking forward to the competition, during which contestants are judged on their poise, personality, interview and overall impression – including their knowledge of current affairs, agricultural societies, the CNE, rural fairs, and agriculture.
Seven semi-finalists are chosen for the finals competition and those seven then give a short speech on agriculture, agricultural societies or another aspect of their own fair.
Of the seven, three finalists are chosen and challenged to answer an impromptu question. The candidate who demonstrates the greatest poise, self-confidence and agricultural knowledge is chosen as the CNE Ambassador for the next year.
Oxby said she does not have any expectations – she just hopes to improve her public speaking and interview skills for the future and, of course, to enjoy herself. Chornoboy, who lives between Everton and Oustic, shared the same sentiment.
“I’m hoping for the best,” she said. “But I’m not expecting to win or anything, because there’s so many contestants. It’s mostly to have fun.”
And while Oxby and Chornoboy are excited to attend the CNE, both say their favourite part of the last year remains their local fairs, where they had a ton of fun, met lots of interesting people and gained a lot of knowledge and experience.
Other locals competing at the CNE are Kristen Allsop of the Arthur Agricultural Society, Rebecca Hannam (Fergus Fall Fair), Madison Riddolls (Harriston-Minto) and Yvonne Ruest (Palmerston).