A young lady combs her horse prior to last year’s 4-H horse show at the Seward County Five State Fair. This year’s fair is scheduled to kick off July 26. L&T file photo/Robert Pierce
By ROBERT PIERCE
• Leader & Times
The Seward County Five State Fair is less than a month away, and for local youth in 4-H, the fun of the fair is even closer.
Entries for the fashion revue and livestock and horse shows are due as early as July 15, and Seward County K-State Extension agents Kylee Harrison and Kathy Bloom said there are plenty of events for 4-H’ers to take part in.
Bloom said inside exhibits, a traditional favorite at the fair, will again be part of the event this year, but they have been moved to a different location for 2013.
“We’re going to have all the 4-H exhibits in the Ag Building,” she said. “It’s been in the Activity Center the past several years, but with all the improvements made to the Ag Building, we will be moving back in there. We’ll just have the traditional inside exhibits.”
Exhibits are scheduled to come in July 31.
“Five State 4-H items come in the early afternoon. In the evening is the open class,” Bloom said. “Everything will be judged, and then, they’ll be opened for everyone to come by and look, view Thursday, Aug. 1, at 1.”
Harrison said livestock shows will also start on that Thursday.
“It’s going to start at 8 o’clock that morning,” she said. “The order will go hog, sheep, goats and beef. We’ll have horse showmanship. It’s not the full horse show.”
The horse show will take place Sunday, Aug. 4, and the Aug. 1 activities also include the round robin livestock show.
“We encourage everyone to come out and take a look at the livestock there,” Harrison said.
Aug. 1 will likewise feature a robotics team competition at 5 p.m., followed by the fashion and talent revue and the cookie jar auction.
Saturday, Aug. 3, will feature K-State’s 4-H play station. That will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Bloom said this is a chance to help promote 4-H to the community.
“There will be five different stations, and kids of all ages can come out and try, just get a little taste of 4-H,” she said. “There’ll be something from archery to making a craft to making a little snack to learning how to bait a hook. They’ll get a little tattoo and also get to see what goes on with the robotics group. They’ll get a great little sack of all kinds of 4-H goodies. It’s a lot of fun. Kids really enjoy it.”
Bloom said all inside exhibits will be released at 5 p.m. on Aug. 3, so everyone is encouraged to see them prior to that time.
Five State livestock shows kick off on Friday, Aug. 2.
“Starting at 1, we’ll have the sheep and goat show. Saturday, Aug. 3, starting at 8, we’re going to have the hog show from Five State, and at 1 p.m. is the beef show,” Harrison said. “On Sunday, Aug. 4, we have the Seward County and Five State Horse Show.”
On the opening weekend of the fair, the cat and hand pet show will take place at 12:30 p.m. on July 27. A dog show is scheduled to follow, but Bloom said that is pending on whether a judge for the show can be found.
“All over the state, there’s a huge shortage of dog show judges, and we’re having to combine with other counties to get dates,” she said. “It’s not firm yet, but that’s our plan.”
In recent years, the Extension has made an effort to get more youth involved in 4-H, and so far, Harrison said that drive has paid good results.
“We’ve actually already increased our numbers, close to double,” she said. “It’s going really well. We’re meeting some of our goals and moving forward on to new goals.”
The 4-H robotics and shooting clubs are very active, and Bloom said these are two of the areas that are seeing the most growth.
“Shooting sports includes air rifle and archery,” she said. “We’re going to have trap shooting as well. We’re accepting new people interested in the archery club. The class is getting close to being full. If people are interested in signing up their youth ages 8 to 18, have them call the office right away to sign up because we’re very close to being full on that.”
For most livestock shows, Harrison said there are no pre-entries required, but they are required for the horse show. Those are due by 5 p.m. July 22.
“That’s just for the horse exhibitors, both Seward County and Five State,” she said.
Bloom said she and other 4-H officials are looking forward to a great fair, and they are particularly excited to be back in the Ag Building.
“We’re looking forward to great things to come,” she said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun. We encourage the public to come out and support the 4-H’ers and look it all their hard work.”