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Little Mr. & Miss Farmers Day contest kicked off the day with smiles

By Sherry L Boyd

For the Salisbury Post

CHINA GROVE — This year’s 38th annual Little Mr. & Miss Farmers Day contestants once again drew the largest crowd to the big tent at Hanna Park during the Farmers Day festival in China Grove last Saturday.

A couple of contestants arrived by “tractor,” a couple of others by wagon, some holding on to mama’s hand and another riding a stick horse. It doesn’t matter how they got there, the fact is they came and showed off their finest and cutest farmers outfits of jeans and gingham, straw and western hats.

Contestants also brought props such as farm tools: rakes, hoes, shovels, picks.

It was the living props that brought out the “aawws” and laughter from the crowd, including a tame chicken in a basket and a tiny pot belly pig. The little pig, belonging to Makayla Freeman, made instant friends with the judges, in particular judge Elaine Spalding, who gave him a gentle squeeze. Even better, Steve Fisher was offered “a kiss from the pig.”

These are unforgettable moments and memories.

While it is almost always an impossible task to choose winners, the judges did choose the 2019 Little Mr. & Miss Farmers Day.

In the age 0-2 category, Little Mr. is Abel Troutman, son of Ashley and Cody Troutman. Little Miss is Makayla Freeman, the daughter of Elizabeth Freeman.

In the age 3-5 category, Little Mr. is James Pinyan, the son of Joshua and Maleah Pinyan. Little Miss is Hannah Franco, daughter of Anthony and Holly-Anne Franco.

This year’s judges included China Grove Mayor Lee Withers; Kannapolis Mayor Darrell Hinnant; Phyllis Wingate, president of Atrium Health Northern Region; Elaine Spalding, president of the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce; and Steve Fisher, president of F&M Bank and co-host of the 2019 contest.

The Little Mr. & Miss is a example of a hometown festival tradition. Many former Little Mr. & Miss winners are bringing their own little ones to show off to the judges.

Atrium Health has been the host and coordinator of the contest for the past several years. When the former host and coordinators were no longer able to carry on the tradition, Sherry Wilson, a representative of Atrium Health community engagement and former president of the China Grove Board of Trade, was there to say “the show must go on.” With help from partner Angel Overcash of the Northeast Foundation (who just happens to have pageant experience), and emcee Steve Monday, this legacy contest will continue.

Pre-registration begins May 1 for next year’s contest.

See more photos at http://www.chinagrovenc.gov/

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