By Todd Travis
Grace McCarty got involved with the Johnson County Fair at a young age when she joined 4H, an organization designed to provide experiences where young people learn by doing. Her activity of choice: showing pigs. “Showing pigs teaches you responsibility and determination. You have to get up early to feed them, walk them and clean their pens,” McCarty explained. During her time spent at the fair, she had always taken notice of the fair queen and the court. “From a young age I always looked up to the queen and her court. I hoped that one day I could be as cool as they were,” McCarty recalled. This year, that dream became a reality as she was crowned the 2022 Johnson County Fair Queen.
McCarty is currently a senior at Center Grove High School. In addition to showing pigs, she has always loved to sing. She sang in choir from a young age and participated in show choir over the last three years, which includes singing and dancing. “I prefer singing, but dancing is a lot of fun too!” McCarty said. She also leads worship in the high school ministry at Mt. Pleasant Christian Church. McCarty will graduate in December and hopes to attend Liberty University, where both of her brothers graduated. “There are a lot of different places I’m looking at now, but I’m definitely going out of state. Liberty University is definitely my top choice right now; they have a really awesome worship team that I could join too,” she noted.
The Johnson County Fair Queen Contest was an exciting event for McCarty to join. After she applied, she participated in some stage practices and a parade. At the contest, she had to answer an onstage word on the spot. Her word was “courtesy.” “It was a little nerve-racking to do that onstage,” McCarty recalled. She also delivered a speech about pig showing and what that has taught her. Her answers impressed the judges, and they named her queen. In January, she will be competing against 80-90 other Indiana queens for the title of Miss Indiana State Fair.
With all the attention she has received after being crowned queen, McCarty wants to use her platform to send a message to other young women: “No matter who you are or what you look like, you’re just as important as anyone else around you.”
What do you consider your greatest virtue?
I love people. I love being able to share my love with others and leading others to Jesus. My love for people has made me who I am today.
What do you most deplore in others?
I deplore unfairness. I believe everyone should be equally and treated as such. Everyone is special in their own way.
What do you like most about living in Johnson County?
The community is so supportive. We look out for one another, and we leave our community better than we found it. We are inclusive of everyone living here.
If you had to live elsewhere than in Johnson County, where would it be?
Naples, Fla. This place is very special to my heart, and I’ve grown up going to Naples for every vacation. The people there are loving and kind.
If you could begin life over, what would you change?
I wouldn’t change a single thing about the life I was given. I was raised in a God-loving and amazing family that loves me. I have loved every second of being alive, especially growing up in Johnson County!
If money were no issue, how would you spend it? I would open up my own business in the community.
What makes you happiest?
My family and friends make me the happiest. They make me smile and always get me out of the toughest spots in life.
What is your favorite vacation spot?
I love traveling anywhere in Florida because I love the weather down south, however, I hope one day to make it to India and share the word of God.
What do you do with idle time?
Hanging out with my friends and my boyfriend is my favorite thing to do. Shopping, golfing and watching movies are some of my favorite things to do.
What is it that makes you angry?
Our broken world is something that hurts my heart so bad. Making sure you take time to be kind to others is how we can change the world one step at a time.