By DIANNA KNOX
For The Times
July brings to mind hot summer days followed by humid summer nights. For several hundred area families it also brings thoughts of the upcoming 4-H Fair. There are posters to finish, cakes and cookies to bake and animals to walk. But all of that hard work pays off in one short, fun-filled week.
The fair officially kicks off Saturday, July 23, but there is a lot of action taking place prior to that. The fair royalty was chosen this past Saturday and we have Princess Oakley Campbell of Center Point and Queen Elizabeth Beyers of Brazil on deck and ready to serve. On Wednesday, July 20, the dog and cat shows and the bicycle rodeo took place. Projects are making their way into the exhibit hall yesterday and today.
Activity kicks into high gear on Saturday when the animals arrive at the fairgrounds for the festivities. Bright and early that morning, eager 4-Hers and bleary-eyed parents arrive with this year's exhibits. Each day, there are shows and activities held on the grounds. And, as is expected with a fair, good food will be plentiful!
Some of the highlights of the week are Kids Fun Day, Pedal Tractor Pull and a Beef Manhattan dinner on Saturday. On Sunday, there will be the Western Horse Show, Dairy Show and a barbecue chicken meal. The English and Dressage horse show starts the day off on Monday. On the opposite side of the fairgrounds, the beef cattle will be shown and no one can forget the always-popular Pork Producers Pork Chop dinner. Tuesday brings us the Goat and Sheep shows as well as the Rocket Launch. In the evening, there is much to enjoy with the May Fair carnival for children, a Horse Pull and the Jonah Fish Fry.
Pigs dominate the day on Wednesday with the Swine Show; however, we also have an Antique Tractor Pull, the 4-H Honor Group ceremony and a Ribeye Dinner. On July 28, visitors can enjoy the Tractor Driving contest, Ladies Day at the fair and our Round Robin Showmanship contest. Friday starts to bring things to a close as we host the annual Area Showmanship contest featuring the top showmen from 16 area counties. The Clay County showmen always make us proud! Friday evening brings a Chicken and Noodle dinner and the Livestock Auction. There are always plenty of tears, but the 4-H members are thankful for all the buyers who support them. A Demolition Derby will wrap up the 2005 fair on July 30 at 6 p.m.
The pace of the week is frantic, but there are always smiles to be shared and animals to be washed. The 4-H Fair is a great way to acknowledge all the hard work of so many 4-H members and volunteers. There is something for everyone to enjoy and we hope to see you at the 2005 Clay County 4-H Fair.