By ROBERT PIERCE
• Leader & Times
The Seward County Five State Fair is just a little more than three weeks away from its start, and a traditional part of the fair’s activities will center around 4-H youth from throughout the area.
Local K-State Extension agent Kathy Bloom said this year’s fair will offer something for everybody, starting with the cat and hand pet show on Saturday, July 26.
“All the inside exhibits come in on Wednesday the 30th, and that’s kind of the culmination of projects kids have been working on throughout the year and different skills they’ve been refining,” she said. “They can bring their projects and display and exhibit those projects and also get tips from judges.”
Thursday, July 31, brings livestock shows to Seward County’s fairgrounds for the county’s 4-H youth, with the Five State youngsters coming in on Aug. 1 and 2.
Bloom said having 4-H’ers from outside of Seward County is something that makes the Five State Fair unique in the area. Those youth can bring exhibit items in from noon to 2 p.m. on July 30.
July 31 is a big day for both Bloom and the 4-H program at the fair.
“This year, the 4-H’ers are making not only cookie jars, but also gift baskets, and the top four or five gift baskets and cookie jars will be auctioned,” she said. “That starts at 6 p.m. on Thursday, the 31st. After that, we have demonstrations and illustrated talks by the 4-H’ers.”
At 7 p.m. July 31, the 4-H fashion and talent review will take place, and Bloom said coordinators are promising this year’s show will only last an hour.
“People can be free to go on to the concert that the fair board is bringing in, which I believe is Sammy Kershaw,” she said.
During the day on July 31, 4-H kids will be showing livestock, and Aug. 1 will bring the round robin knowledge contest for those exhibiting farm animals.
“I hope that anybody in the community will come out and see the kids’ work,” Bloom said.
Liberal is the official home of Dorothy, and this year’s Five State Fair will also include the Extension program development committee’s Auntie Em’s Cookie Baking Contest, which takes place on Aug. 1.
“You bring two dozen of your best cookies in,” Bloom said. “One dozen is tested by judges, and the audience gets a little piece to try. The other dozen is auctioned off, and the money will go for prizes for the contestants for the next year. That’s Friday evening at 5:30 at the Activity Center.”
Saturday, Aug. 2, starts with Kids Day at the Fair, and 4-H is bringing back one of last year’s favorites.
“We’re doing the 4–H play stations, and that’s a lot of fun for the kids,” Bloom said. “It’s on Kids Day at the Fair Saturday morning, and it’ll be from 10 to 2. We encourage children of all ages to come out and try our play stations.”
About five or six stations will be set up for kids to try various 4-H projects, and the youngsters will get to go home with some neat things they make.
“This gives them a little taste of what 4-H is all about,” Bloom said.
The K-State agent said having more than just Seward County’s young people involved in the fair adds to the excitement of the event.
“It’s really fun for 4-H’ers to get to see each other from other counties and compete against each other,” she said. “They get ideas from each other, and it’s just a fun social time as well.”
Details about the 4-H events can be found at the fair’s Web site, www.fivestatefair.com, and Bloom said the Extension’s Web site, www.seward.ksu.edu, has some of the basic rules for the activities.
“We would be glad to answer any questions people have about the 4-H items at the fair,” she said.
For more information about 4-H related fair events, call the Extension at 624-5604.