By Greg Ritchie
HOUSTON COUNTY – For 2023 Houston County Fair and Youth Livestock Show Queen Macie Watson and Princess Jillian Salmon, becoming part of fair royalty means more than just working hard to make the event a success – it is a dream come true after seeing their predecessors win the honor over the years.
Fair Queen Macie Watson is the 16-year-old daughter of Mary and James Watson and is a sophomore at Grapeland High School. She is an active member of Grapeland FFA and is currently serving as reporter for the chapter. Watson is vice president of the Homestead 4-H club and has been a Houston County Fair Ambassador for two years. She has shown fryer rabbits the past two years and had entered a market lamb for the 2023 County Fair. Watson has one brother, Landon, and enjoys spending time with her family and friends, cooking and working with her lamb. Upon graduation, Watson plans on attending Angelina College to pursue a degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography.
Watson dreamed of becoming queen long ago and was not shy to let that be known from the start.
“It really is a dream come true,” Watson said. “In my application, I put that I’d always dreamed of being fair queen after coming to the fair for so many years and seeing the queens and their crowns and sashes.”
Princess Jillian Salmon is the daughter of Cam and McCall Reeves and is in the eighth grade at Slocum ISD. Salmon has three younger brothers, and loves Jesus and her family more than anything. She plays basketball, runs track, cross country, participates in FFA and is an active member of Homestead 4-H. Salmon loves serving her community and teaching younger children. She has shown goats for the past six years and will show her first lamb this year.
Salmon’s hobbies include spending time with family and friends, playing the ukulele, working with animals, baking, crafting and singing.
Salmon began showing at the fair from the age of eight, even though she admits it wasn’t originally her idea.
“I never really wanted to show and then I got talked into it by some friends and I haven’t stopped – I have really enjoyed it!” Salmon said.
Asked if the role of queen and princess turned out to be more work than they expected, the two agreed but said it was all worth it.
“It is, but it’s super fun to come up here and get to see the youth and be able to lead them,” Queen Watson said. Princess Salmon said, “I am enjoying myself! It has been work, but it’s a lot of fun.”
Even though she is still in the eighth grade, Salmon thinks a career as a veterinarian technician might be for her, with studies at Texas A&M. Watson said she will take the experience of working with and for the Houston County Fair with her the rest of her life.
“I definitely have learned a lot of leadership, a good bit of time management and definitely some communication skills in order to get a lot of work done through this week,” Watson concluded.
Greg Ritchie can be reached at [email protected]