Whew! What a whirlwind of activity the past week has been! I came to several conclusions this Fair Season. I usually moan and complain about all the work and the time and the exhaustion. On Monday evening the girls and I loaded up all the Cooking, Photography and Mini Member Projects into the car and headed to the Fairgrounds. We got everything checked in and as we were walking through the grounds, my first revelation hit me. The grounds were bustling with activities...kids from age 9 through age 18 were preparing the animals pens, moving benches into place or just catching up with each other. It dawned on me that this fair personifies WHY we chose to remain in this town and raise our family. Friends, values and the sense of community. This fair is only one of two in the state and one of a handful in the country that does not receive State or Federal monies. It is a small town fair that the community continues to support. The kids are all involved in 4-H, FFA or both and are great people. They work hard with their projects, be it cooking or raising an animal. This fair is the culmination of months of work and whether they receive an award or not, their dedication is rewarded tenfold. They are offered a "Congratulations" or a "Great Job" or some other form of encouragement by fellow kids, leaders, parents and strangers. Sweet Pea showed her 2 Dairy Goats
Shaggy has come so far with his attitude and work ethic at the fair.
and her Rabbit (no rabbit stew after all). She, and her animals, did quite well. Other that getting up in the morning, she has been a dream. She even won her Showmanship Class with her bunny and advanced to the Round Robin!Small Animal Round Robin is in which the Showmanship Winners from each small animal breed (rabbits, poultry, pygmy goats and dogs) compete against one another in all four areas. Hmmmm... Sweet Pea knew how to show rabbits, but the others were a mystery. She was excited though and jumped right in asking for help from kids and adults from the the other projects...except dog. Her chicken was a wild thing and flapped his wings, but she held on and got through it with a smile. Her pygmy goat had had enough and decided to LIE DOWN midway. She laughed, leaned down and placed it back on its feet. Her only near melt down was with the Yellow Lab. Apparently, you are to treat it like other livestock and set it up...she watched the other kids and did her best.
She wasn't really worried about placing...she was just glad to have the unknown be over. Lo and behold, She placed 2nd out of 4 kids. Woo Hoo!!!!
My second revelation actually came to me at the 4-H Fair a couple weeks ago. He does MUCH better when I am not hovering. I also do much better. SO....I parked myself and Peach Blossom in our chairs by the show rings and said nothing to him. When his lamb was ready, he helped other kids sheering and getting theirs ready...he got changed without his Mommy telling him to. He arrived at the ring when he needed to be there. His showmanship skills placed him in the center of the ring (the judge's top picks) and his lamb placed 3rd in his class. He was with some stiff competition and truly did a great job! His 4-H Club also won 1st place in a "Pen of 5". This is where 5 lambs from the same club are shown together. The judge is looking for the group that looks most similar.
So, you will hear no more complaining from me...at least regarding the fair...I am sold!