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The new livestock building, above, is just one of several facility improvements at the Crawford County 4-H Community Park. Photo by Lee Cable

New building ready for show

July 08, 2009
With the Crawford County 4-H Fair beginning Saturday, volunteers are busy getting the facilities in order and putting the finishing touches on the new livestock building, the new public address system and the much-improved pavilion.

The pavilion, which was partially open, was used up to last year as the livestock show area. This year, the building has been enclosed and is now climate-controlled, which will be inviting to fair-goers on hot days and evenings.

The building will now house vendors, booths and nonprofit informational areas.

"We hope to attract businesses like Ponder Boat Co., car dealers and others who will bring and display their wares," Terry Allen, who serves on the 4-H Council, said. "With the building being climate-controlled, there should be a lot of people coming inside to cool down. We have insulated the building and installed energy-efficient lighting, and I think it'll be ready when the fair starts.

"We'll also be using the stage for live entertainment and the queen and baby contests, but will probably still have some things going on outside in the dining tent," he added.

"We also hope to rent the pavilion out on weekends and for special events like receptions and vendor shows after the fair. We also rent the Clover Room for events, but there is more room in the pavilion area. The whole pavilion can be rented, or just a part of it, and it can be rented with or without the kitchen. And there's rest rooms in both areas, and we even have showers in the pavilion."

Another new addition to the fairgrounds is the livestock building, where 4-H members will house and show their animals. The building, which was recently completed, has a large, open floor plan and is enclosed by a chain-link fence.

"The new building is really nice," Andy Howell, who oversees the 4-H kids and the animals at the fair, said. "The 4-H program has been steadily growing, and the new building will give us plenty of room to grow. They actually delivered the building around Christmas and had it under roof in just a couple of weeks. We have it almost ready for the fair. Rhonda (Crecelius) made most of the calls and coordinated everything. She put a lot of hours into this, and it's really paid off."

The animals will be brought in on Sunday evening and Monday. Judging will begin on Wednesday evening for sheep, swine and beef cattle.

"Tuesday evening, we'll have the celebrity show," Howell said. "And on Thursday evening, the poultry, goats and rabbits will be judged."

(For a complete fair schedule, see story, front page.)

On Monday, the fairgrounds was a buzz of activity as workers wrapped up all the loose ends and prepared for the crowds.

"We're getting there," Crecelius said. "Everything should be finished later this week. We're installing the new lights in the livestock building, so it will be ready soon. We're real happy with the way it's turned out.

"And we're using the small barn where vendors were last year for a petting zoo. After opening day, we'll have the bloodmobile here on Monday from 4 till 8 p.m. Kent Barrow, the Emer-gency Management Agency director, will be bringing the District 10 EMA trailer here, and it will be available for tours all week," she continued.

"We'll have the demo derby on the 11th. We also have a new sound system that can broadcast all over the fairgrounds. This is really important if a child is lost or if we have to make an announcement. On the 18th and 19th, we'll have the (off-road) races at the new track at the back of the fairgrounds, and we'll have a portable concession stand at the shelter house during the races."

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