Fair Queen Janessa Lutze looks ahead to great fair week
Serving as a promoter of the county and a believer in the building of community offered at the county fair, Phillips County Fair Queen Janessa Lutze is looking forward to the July 23-28 event at the fairgrounds in Holyoke.
Lutze and Fair Princess Megan Walker of Haxtun will be working hard at the fair as they encourage participants, welcome community members and participate themselves.
They will assist in handing out ribbons at the various livestock shows and will help with mutton bustin’ during Saturday night’s Bulls Gone Wild! event.
“I hope to see everyone out at the fair,” Lutze said, highlighting the good entertainment offered.
One of the biggest events is Saturday’s junior livestock sale, and Lutze also mentioned the Friday night barbecue and Heartland Pulling truck and tractor pull. The Bulls Gone Wild! event, complete with mutton bustin’, will wrap up the week’s activities Saturday evening.
Between the parade and livestock sale Saturday, July 27, Lutze said she hopes to do some activities with youth to show her face and connect with kids of the county.
This is important to Lutze who well remembers when she was the young child, looking up with admiration to fair royalty who took time for her. “I got to watch my sister (Josilyn) and Janna (Smith) and to follow their footsteps,” Janessa recalls with fondness.
In particular, Janessa remembers observing her older sister in her first year as a fair princess. “She was the shyest girl ever.” Through Josilyn’s involvement as fair queen and in 4-H and FFA, Janessa watched her gain confidence in speaking in front of crowds.
“That pushed me to want to represent Phillips County,” Janessa admits. “I watched my sister and wanted to be part of it.”
Janessa served as fair princess when her sister was Phillips County Fair queen in 2014 and then continued as princess in 2015.
A couple of years went by, and Janessa hesitated about wanting to try out for queen. She is appreciative of fair queen coordinator Kay Schmidt who pushed her to follow through. “I’m glad she did,” said Lutze.
As a result, she recognizes her role and wants to inspire other kids to follow their dreams and passions. “I like to see kids go try out for what they’re interested in,” she emphasized.
Lutze, who will be a senior at Holyoke High School this fall, was crowned fair queen at the Haxtun Corn Festival last September.
She takes her job seriously in representing the county with pride. She was involved at the National Western Stock Show in Denver last January and participated in Holyoke’s Country Christmas Parade of Lights in December.
After the Phillips County Fair, Lutze plans to ride her horse and represent the county in fair parades in Washington, Logan and Yuma counties. She’ll finish her year’s reign as queen at the Haxtun Corn Festival Sept. 28.
Lutze has shown market hogs and market lambs for a number of years and this year will have a breeding ewe, as well. She admits that her favorite project is market hogs because the animals have such personalities.
Obtaining her hogs in mid-April gives several months to become attached, and it is hard to part with them. “But that’s part of the process,” she acknowledged. So time with Jester and Buddy, this year’s hog projects, is coming to an end.
Lutze is currently president of Raising Ranchers 4-H Club and vice president of the Phillips County 4-H Council. Last year she also served as secretary of District V 4-H in Colorado.
For the 2019-20 school year, Lutze has been elected secretary of the Holyoke FFA chapter. She has also competed in livestock judging and parliamentary procedure teams through FFA.
She just recently took up breakaway roping at the Platte Valley Rodeo Bible Camp in Julesburg, and she hopes to pursue team roping.
Lutze is extremely appreciative of her multiple sponsors, as well as her parents, Mark and Mendi Lutze, and queen coordinator Schmidt. Having fair princess Walker by her side has been a big plus for Lutze, as well.