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Let's go to the fair!

Crawford 4-H Fair kicks off Saturday with car show, demo derby

July 06, 2011
Summer officially began on June 21, but it kicks into high gear this week as the Crawford County 4-H Fair gets underway Saturday.

The fair, which runs through Sunday, July 17, at the Crawford County 4-H Community Park south of Marengo, will feature traditional favorites as well as a few new events that organizers hope will become instant classics.

One of those is the James Ade Memorial Barbecue Chicken Cook-Off at 1 p.m. on Sunday. The event will be in honor of the former Crawford County Extension Service director who passed away in May following a year-long battle with cancer. For years, Ade, who served as director from 2006 until his illness but was a volunteer for several years before that, grilled during the fair.

The public also will be able to see the new James Ade Memorial Garden located near the livestock barn. The garden isn't finished, but fairgoers will be able to get a glimpse of what it will become.

Another new event this year will be the Back Seat Driver Contest on Wednesday, July 13, in the arena. Up to 12 two-person teams (each member must be at least age 18) will navigate a course in golf carts supplied by Scott's Auto Sales. The challenge, however, is the driver will be blindfolded and will have to rely on instructions from their teammate in the back seat. Mishaps will result in time penalties, and the team with the best time will be the winner.

Registration will open at 6 p.m. in the arena with the contest to begin at 7. The entry fee will be $5 per team, and admission for spectators will be $2 for adults and $1 for children. For more information, call Rhonda Crecelius, secretary of the Crawford County 4-H Council, at 338-3224.

Also new will be a cherry pie contest that will be on Sunday at 2 p.m. in the pavilion. The pies then will be auctioned at 5, also in the pavilion, with the money raised to benefit 4-H programming and trips for 4-H members.

In between, at 3 p.m., five of the county's prettiest young women will take to the pavilion stage for the Miss Crawford County contest. Coy Caffrey, Cassidey Davis, Sara Annasteisa McCoy, Nicole Novak and Cecelia Jane Rickenbaugh will do their best to impress the judges in their pursuit to succeed 2010 Miss Crawford County Shawnie Sorensen. (For a profile of each contestant, see Style front page.)

Other events on Sunday will include the 4-H Horse Fun Show at 8 a.m. in the horse arena, public speaking in the pavilion at 4:30 p.m. and a gospel sing featuring Rebekah Jordan at 6, also in the pavilion.

However, the fair actually will kick off on Saturday with the 4-H Car Show and Antique Tractor Show, both at 10 a.m. They will be followed by a bean-bag toss tournament at 11 a.m. and cat and dog shows in the pavilion, at 3 and 4 p.m., respectively. The day will end with a bang — well, several, actually — as the green flag will drop to start the demolition derby at 7 in the arena. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for children ages 6 through 12 and free for children 5 and younger.

It will be the little ones' turn to take to the stage on Monday evening. Contestants between the ages of 4 and 8 will sing, lip-sync, dance and more as they vie for the titles of Little Miss and Little Master at 7.

Fairgoers who like a little more "oomph" in their entertainment will be able to take in the midget race in the arena, also at 7 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for children ages 6 through 12 and free for children 5 and younger.

The Poultry, Rabbit and Goat Show will be at 5 p.m. on Tuesday in the livestock barn. Then, at 7, fair visitors will have the choice between the eating contest in the pavilion and quad drags in the arena. Admission for the latter is $8 for adults, $6 for children ages 6 through 12 and free for children 5 and younger.

Wednesday, July 13, will offer line dancing in the pavilion at 6:30 p.m. and the Back Seat Driver Contest in the arena, Elvis impersonator Otis Berry in the pavilion and a horse demonstration in the livestock barn, all at 7. The Livestock Celebrity Fun Show will cap off the night at 8 in the livestock barn.

The Beef, Sheep and Swine Show will highlight the schedule for Thursday evening, July 14. It will be at 6 in the livestock barn. Other events will include a machine-quilting demonstration from 6 to 8 p.m. in the pavilion, an undetermined event in the arena at 7 and entertainment by The Hiding at 8 in the pavilion.

A machine-quilting demonstration also will be on Friday evening, July 15, from 6 to 8. The livestock auction will be at 6:30 in the livestock barn. The truck pull will be at 7 in the arena, with admission costing $8 for adults, $6 for children ages 6 through 12 and free for children 5 and younger. Another eating contest will be at 7 in the pavilion followed by entertainment, "Jukebox Memories — Randy Morgan," at 8.

MAORA off-road racing, behind the horse arena, will kick off events on Saturday, July 16, at 10 a.m. and will continue on Sunday, July 17, at noon. Admission both days will be $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 6 through 12 and free for children 5 and younger.

Other events on Saturday will include the Pretty Baby and Tiny Tot and Junior Miss contests, at 3 and 5 p.m., respectively, in the pavilion. They will be followed by line dancing there at 7. Also at 7, in the horse arena, will be the horse pull, with admission costing $2. Live entertainment will conclude the night at 8 in the pavilion.

The Million Pillowcase Challenge will be from 6 to 8 p.m. in the pavilion on Monday through Friday, and the exhibit hall will open at 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 16.

Claudia Stetter, the county's 4-H Youth Development/Agriculture and Natural Resources educator, said 4-H participation has increased from a year ago.

"Early numbers look like enrollment is 54 members," she said, noting there are 191 4-Hers, Mini 4-Hers and Cloverbuds.

Stetter added there are 81 animal projects, including livestock, horse and pony, cats and dogs from 4-Hers, Mini 4-Hers and Cloverbuds.

Perishable projects are to be checked in Sunday from 4 to 6 p.m. or Monday between 8 and 9 a.m.

Due to a scheduling conflict, there will not be any carnival rides this year.

"The carnival we use is also used by the Floyd County Fair," Stetter said. "Both fairs are running at the same time this year, leaving us without a carnival. We hope next year they will be back and our fairs will not have the same dates."

To compensate, the 4-H Council has rented two large inflatables for all days except Sunday, July 17. For all ages, the inflatables will cost $1 per person each night.

Parking will be free on Saturday, Sunday and Monday for everyone and on Tuesday for Local 181 members. It will be $2 per car the other days. The parking fees will be split between the 4-H and Crawford County Relay For Life teams.

Stetter, who started at the Extension office at the beginning of June, said she is looking forward to her first Crawford County 4-H Fair.

"I am very excited about my first fair as the new educator," she said. "I'm looking forward to meeting the 4-Hers and seeing their projects, looking forward to a great week at the Crawford County 2011 4-H Fair."

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