Tim Fine

This week marks the end of July and beginning of August which means a couple of different things. First off, it means that summer is drawing to a close but more importantly it means that it is time for my annual article about the Richland County Fair and Rodeo (and please don’t read too closely because it might look a lot like last year’s article).

I feel obligated to take this space today to invite you to not only come and visit the fair, but allot yourself enough time to take in all that the fair has to offer. For me, this typically is centered around food as there is definitely a variety of foods to “take in” during the four days. But food is just a small, delicious and difficult-to-choose part of what is available.

The fair is a unique experience in that it gives everyone in the community a chance to exhibit their goods and/or talents. While the 4-H youth are typically associated with the fair, and they are a huge part of it, you will see items exhibited from people of all ages. Youngsters who are not quite old enough for 4-H but still want to experience a part of it, enroll in the cloverbud program and are welcome to bring arts and crafts and baked goods that they made to put on display along with the many 4-H exhibits in the exhibit building. The new school and 4-H exhibit building has been up for the past four years and it did not take long to fill it. Last year walking through the exhibit building and not running into a project was no small feat as every nook and cranny of the building was full. While this is a good problem to have, it certainly isn’t the only building on the fairgrounds that will be bursting at the seams. The livestock barns will once again be packed with a variety of animals. Our 4-H youth will be exhibiting everything from the “usual” cattle, pigs, chickens, rabbits, goats, horses, and lambs to alpacas. So please come out and visit and ask the kids about their projects but if I could make one plea, please do so responsibly. These animals are in a new environment with many more people around than they’re used to seeing, so be careful and respectful of their space.

Also, “youngsters at heart” who have spent their spring and summer tending to their gardens fill the community booths with the best produce they raised. They also fill the agriculture building with handmade clothing and quilts, baked goods, photographs, drawings, and much more. These folks also contribute a great deal of time to one of my favorite items at the fair, the seed pictures.

I guess while I am spending so much time talking about the fair that I should let you know that, should you call the Extension Office this week, you are more apt to get an answering machine than a live person as we will essentially be moving the office from our building to the fairgrounds starting on Monday. So, should you need something or have a question, your best bet is to visit me at the fair. I hope to see you there.

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