Kris turned over the blog to an amateur. She may never do this again...
Where can you find cherry/lime sno-cones, monster trucks, sheep, pie, cows, pigs, funnel cake, poultry, rabbits, horses, and garden vegetables all in one place? And at the same time? Probably nowhere else but the Fair.
Here are my favorite stories from this year's County Fair:
In the middle of the dog show, while dogs were off-leash obeying commands from their exhibitor/masters, a chipmunk unwittingly scampered from the playground area into a sea of unrestrained canines. Not even the most disciplined dog could resist the temptation - nor should they be expected to. They are, after all, dogs. Took some time to restore order and round up the dogs, but eventually the show did go on.
A guinea hen was brought by one of the kids from our 4-H club. After managing a daring escape, the guinea became the most famous celebrity of the entire fair. Every day there was a new sighting, and talk of the guinea was everywhere.
"I saw it perched up in the tree over there by the goat barn about sundown last night."
"My sister saw the guinea yesterday. It was in the weeds off the bikepath behind the horse arena."
"Is the guinea still on the loose?"
"Three of us had it cornered this afternoon but it got spooked and took off."
"I saw it this morning perched up on the peak of Christy Hall like it owned the place."
Like any pageant, the Fair Queen candidates all wore very beautiful dresses, however, these beauties also sported either cowboy (or cowgirl, in this case) boots, or what are known as Ropers, which are sort of stylish lace-up Western boots. Our daughter Kelli was one of those beauties. She wore Ropers. Kelli was not awarded Fair Queen, but she should have been. Biased? Only slightly.
The Celebrated Jumping Goat of Story County also became somewhat of a legend. This goat decided that it would rather not enter its pen in the same fashion as every other goat. It leaped through the 2'x2' window opening in the front of the trailer and survived the five foot drop to the ground. After being checked out by a veterinarian it was determined that miraculously the goat had only a sprain. The rest of the story? That acrobatic goat won Reserve Grand Champion three days later.
The Steenhoek boys cleaned up as first-time livestock exhibitors at the fair. Cole received a trophy for his dairy calf and for outstanding Showmanship.
All Jake did was win the overall Grand Champion of the entire Poultry show. Jake also had 2 pigs that received purple ribbons. One of them placed second in its class and got to come back for the championship drive.
Chad and Wendy, and grandma's and grandpa's were all very proud. With good reason.
The Johnston's didn't get the results they were hoping for. The oldest Johnston (that would be the father and guest blogger) was once again reminded that 4-H, exhibiting, the fair, and competition is as much about participating and good sportsmanship as it is about the final pronouncement from a judge.
Kelli's pigs didn't quite hit the bullseye, and one of Will's chickens had a "classic inverted comb" (who knew?) which nearly got it disqualified.
But... Will's cage of 3 brown-egg laying hens did rival Jake and was in the running for Reserve Grand Champion.
And... Kelli was by far the most beautiful of all the beautiful queen candidates (no matter what the judge thought).