By Melanie Yingst
MIAMI COUNTY — For the 2014 Miami County Fair King and Queen Justin and Krissy Parke, life revolves around the barns for their family.
The brother and sister are representing the county fair together this week. Fair royalty must run in the family, as their father Brian Parke was also fair king during his junior fair years.
“It’s been a little bit busier this year,” Krissy said of her and her brother’s royal duties. “It’s a good kind of busy though.”
Krissy, 19, shows market barrows and tried her hand at raising White Call ducks for her final year of 4-H.
Younger brother Justin, 17, a senior at Bradford High School, shows market lambs.
“I like showing lambs because it’s a hands-on project,” Justin said.
Justin spent the summer showing lambs around Ohio and at the Ohio State Fair.
Sister Krissy chips in to help show when Justin’s lambs were in the same class. This year, they’ll be in and out of almost every animal barn helping their younger siblings Cheyenne, Pami and Simon with their projects a well.
“We like coming to the county fair because we know everyone — it’s like a family reunion here each year,” said Justin. “Even Grandma comes and helps.”
Krissy shared how their grandmother Cindy Parke, “takes care of everybody and always is there for moral support or brings us cookies or takes pictures at all the shows.”
Krissy said being involved in 4-H and participating at the Miami County Fair is a way of life for their family.
“I was pretty much born in a barn,” Krissy said with a laugh. “Our parents’ first date was in a barn. They were supposed to go out to dinner, but they spent it in the barn helping deliver baby pigs all night.”
The two will also be busy attending various shows and events all week in between showing their own animals at the fair.
“I wanted to take ducks this year because I wanted to do something out of the box,” she said. “I’ve done the pigs, done the lambs, so I wanted to do something different — I learned a lot.”
Justin and Krissy Parke will be busy showing their animals, passing out ribbons to fellow 4-H members during the shows and lending a helping hand with their fair projects.
“It’s just a fun week that we get to spend with our family and friends,” Justin said. “It’s something we look forward to each year.”
Krissy said she is enjoying her last year of 4-H before heading off to Kent State University to study pediatric nursing.
“It’s already been a lot of fun this year,” she said. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s a lot of fun.”
Krissy and Justin are the son and daughter of Brian and Shon Parke of Bradford.
Melanie Yingst can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @Troydailynews