Fair time is almost here

On a positive note...

I can always tell when county fair time is getting close. There are 4-H projects and forms neatly stacked in piles on my coffee table. Barney the dog has been taking longer naps as he works extra hard at his obedience training exercises. In short, we’re jumping into high gear as we get projects ready to enter in the Hamilton County Fair.

My son has been a member of 4-H for about six years. He’s tried out lots of different project areas during that time – food and nutrition, visual arts, photography and communications. He’s not a farm kid, but he’s still shown his “animals” at the county fair – Barney and Buster the dogs.

I’ve always enjoyed the county fair and watching all of the hard work that the kids put into their various projects. The exhibit hall showcases that work — club by club — and there’s some pretty impressive projects. Some of the woodworking pieces are truly beautiful as are the many home-sewn garments. There are also some pretty talented artists in this county who share their creativity and inspirations through their pieces.

Wednesday night, judging took place for the Share the Fun and the Awardrobe events. The new county youth coordinator, Leah Feltz, had planned a fun night on the plaza as a way to highlight the club members and their projects. But threatening skies moved the event indoors. I wasn’t disappointed, because the Church of Christ offered a cool and comfortable venue for the evening.

Featured were the results of a fun challenge for 4-H’ers. The $15 Challenge required participants to put together an outfit using thrift store, consignment shop or garage sale finds. It was pretty amazing to see some of the clothes the kids put together – often for less than $10. I think it offered a great lesson about the value of budgeting that will serve the youths well as they head off into the real world.

The students accessorized their ensembles and then walked the catwalk, modeling their outfits for parents and club members in attendance. You could see that most were obviously very pleased with what they were able to find.

Also Wednesday night, the 4-H members taking part in Fashion Revue and Clothing Selection showed off their projects.

In between each of the mini style shows, youths participating in the Share the Fun contest performed. Some sang solos, others played the piano or another instrument. One duo gave a reading of the “The Night Before Christmas” and capped off their recitation with a medley of Christmas songs performed on the flute and tuba.

Clearly, there is a lot of talent in Hamilton County. The parents of the 4-H’ers have reason to be proud because the poise, confidence and spirit of the young people shone brightly from the stage.

Congratulations to all of the participants.