Hot weather doesn’t burn 4-H Fair

The Star Democrat - - LOCAL - By BROOKE SCHULTZ Stu­dent In­tern

TOLCHESTER — De­spite the swel­ter­ing heat and some Satur­day storms, lo­cal fam­i­lies still turned out for ev­ery day of the an­nual Kent County Fair, en­joy­ing the rides, com­pe­ti­tions and en­ter­tain­ment.

“I think we had a very, very good fair,” said Beth Hill, 4-H youth devel­op­ment co­or­di­na­tor, Mon­day, July 24. “Ev­ery­thing ran smoothly. Usu­ally when you have ex­tra heat, that al­ways adds that ex­tra level of dif­fi­culty, stress, what­ever you want to call it. Ev­ery­one just did what they needed to do.”

The fair week­end, which ran from July 20 to 22, took place at the Kent County Agri­cul­ture Cen­ter in Tolchester. As well as giv­ing lo­cal 4-H’ers a chance to show off the projects they worked on all year, the fair of­fered car­ni­val rides; dog and horse shows; mu­si­cal per­for­mances from Spark in Da Pan, East Roc and Vice Squad; ex­hibits of crafts and agri­cul­ture; auc­tions; and the greased pig con­test, a fan fa­vorite.

“Ex­hibits were great, bands were great. Ev­ery­one I talked to was hav­ing a good time,” said Ann Bald­win, pres­i­dent of the Kent County Agri­cul­ture Cen­ter Board Mon­day.

“(The) en­ter­tain­ment was all new,” Hill said. “I thought those went over very, very well. Those are just ex­cel­lent bands, all three of them.”

Based on the money col­lected at the gate and es­ti­ma­tion, Bald­win said at­ten­dance was “prob­a­bly down slightly from last year,” due to the heat, but there was a good av­er­age at­ten­dance.

The food ven­dors even sold out Fri­day night.

No an­i­mals were lost to the heat, though sev­eral rab­bits were sent home to cool off, Hill said.

As a mea­sure of pro­tec­tion for an­i­mal health, Hill said sev­eral shade cur­tains funded by a grant from the Mid-Shore Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion were placed over the barns and main show pav­il­ion.

“Thank good­ness we did, be­cause, boy, it did re­ally re­ally help with the high tem­per­a­tures, to keep some of those barns cooler and to de­flect some of that late af­ter­noon sun,” she said.

Weather didn’t de­tract from the auc­tions and shows, Hill said.

“(The heat) couldn’t have stopped ev­ery­one,” she said. “We cer­tainly had a great crowd, Fri­day es­pe­cially.”

Allison Davis, 9, from Ch­ester­town has par­tic­i­pated in 4-H for three years. She is a fifth-grader at Kent School.

“Get­ting rib­bons is nice, but I don’t do it just for the rib­bons,” Davis said. “I like be­ing at the fair. It’s fun and not like a big con­test to me. ... It’s fun to be with my friends and see their an­i­mals.”

Davis said she en­joys learn­ing about the an­i­mals. A mem­ber of Kent Clover Calf, Davis had cows, rab­bits, chick­ens and a leop­ard gecko at the fair.

She also com­peted in the horse show on Satur­day.

“The best part is hang­ing out with all my friends,” Olivia Yian­nakis, 9, said. She is a mem­ber of Fuzzy Tails and Shiny Scales club. A Galena na­tive, she was show­ing rab­bits in the fair.

One fam­ily ac­tu­ally stopped by the fair rather than go­ing out on the wa­ter be­cause of the high tem­per­a­tures on Satur­day.

“(We) de­cided to do some­thing dif­fer­ent to­day,” said Beth Kern.

The Penn­syl­va­nia fam­ily al­ready had spent a few hours at the fair. Kern said her daugh­ters, Vicky and Lucy, were en­joy­ing the ex­otic an­i­mals, horses and the joust­ing tour­na­ment that took place ear­lier that day.

Vis­it­ing fam­ily in Ch­ester­town, Resa Guas­tavino said that she and her brother take a trip to Mary­land ev­ery year and she has fond mem­o­ries of the fair from her child­hood.

At the Work Horse Farm Res­cue and Ex­otics pen, she snapped a few photos of a camel that was tak­ing a break from pick­ing at the tree over­head.

“We don’t have live­stock like this in the (Florida) Keys,” she said.

Al­though it seemed to draw a crowd from all over, the fo­cus came back to the 4-H’ers.

“It’s al­ways a great show­case for our 4-H’ers and their projects, whether it’s an an­i­mal project or an in­door-type project, and that’s re­ally what the fair is all about: giv­ing young peo­ple an op­por­tu­nity to show­case their skills,” Hill said. “That’s al­ways a re­ally great ben­e­fit. For me, as an ed­u­ca­tor, it is won­der­ful to see those skills de­vel­op­ing in these young peo­ple.”

Ad­di­tional re­port­ing by So­cial Scene Editor Leann Schenke.

PHOTO BY TRISH MCGEE

Ten-year-old girls chase af­ter two greased pigs. Lexi Mor­ris of Milling­ton tries to grab the tummy of the larger pig.

PHOTO BY DO­RIAN MITCHELL

A pig poses for the cam­era in­side the live­stock barn Fri­day night at the fair.

PHOTO BY DO­RIAN MITCHELL

Two cows try to keep cool from the sum­mer heat Fri­day night, at the Kent County Fair.

PHOTO BY DO­RIAN MITCHELL

A hen poses for a pic­ture in­side the poul­try barn Fri­day night, at the fair.

PHOTO BY LEANN SCHENKE

Cora Dun­can rides Sweetie over a fence dur­ing the jump­ing por­tion of the Bit & Bri­dles’s horse show July 22.

PHOTO BY TRISH MCGEE

The smile is sub­tle, al­most hid­den be­tween the crust and ap­ple fill­ing smeared on her face, for pie eat­ing con­test win­ner Phoebe Kelly, 10, of Ch­ester­town.

PHOTO BY TRISH MCGEE

Pie-eat­ing con­tes­tant Alexis Baker, 6, of Wor­ton can con­ve­niently — or not — get her en­tire face in­side the pie plate.

PHOTO BY TRISH MCGEE

Zuzu Kus­mider, 10, of Ch­ester­town and her brother Chapin Kus­mider, 4, give the thumbs-up sign af­ter win­ning their re­spec­tive age groups in the greased pig con­test Fri­day.

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