PROVIDENCE BAY—April Torkopoulos had a night to remember on Friday as judges chose her out of five competitors to become both Fair Ambassador and Miss Congeniality at the 135th annual Providence Bay Fair’s opening night festivities.
Karlene Scott, organizer of the Fair Ambassador competition, introduced the five young women vying for Providence Bay Fair Ambassador and gave a brief background on the origins of the fair which, in its beginnings, included giving a speech and milking a cow. Shirley Lentir, now Legge, was the first person to be crowned as Queen of the Fair.
Carissa Holliday was the first to speak, sharing her speech on ‘it takes a community to raise a child.’ Carissa spoke about how Manitoulin has made her the person she is today and has taught her the importance of community support and giving back.
“It’s an absolute blessing to be surrounded and taught by so many,” she said. “Manitoulin has raised thoughtful, independent individuals.”
Janessa Lee was the next to speak, and she focussed her speech on equality and the need to create a welcoming and safe place.
“We’re already good at it, but there’s always room for improvement,” Janessa said.
Trinity Leeson shared with the audience why she’s proud to call South Baymouth home and why it’s okay to love the great outdoors. Trinity also included a nice shout-out to this newspaper’s Salmon Classic, encouraging anglers to buy their tickets if they hadn’t already done so. “There’s still one week left!” she said.
Megan Moore told the crowd why Manitoulin Island is the best place to live and April Torkopoulos gave the audience a lesson in history with a brief narrative of 135 years of Providence Bay Fair. The fair, she noted, was a one-day affair held in October in its beginnings. By the early 1900s it was two days and by 1983 it was three days. The midway, April shared, made its first appearance in 1966.
Following an intermission and an acknowledgment from ambassador judge John Carlisle on the quality of the speeches and the amazing group of young women who had put their names forward, April Torkopoulos was named Ambassador of the Fair and Miss Congeniality while Janessa Lee was named first runner up. Next August, April will go on to compete at the Canadian National Exhibition, representing Providence Bay Fair.