JoCo Fair kicked off Monday
The 2009 Johnson County Fair kicked off Monday at the Johnson County Fairgrounds in Gardner with a theme that’s a play on a popular television competition.
The opening day of the “Dancing with the Steers” fair was rife with 4-H members showing off crafts, food, animals and big grins.
Lyndsey and Ellie Fowks, members of Legacy 4-H Club, were all grins after receiving ribbons in food judging.
Lyndsey received a purple ribbon, the highest possible, for her snicker doodle cookies, while Ellie received two purple ribbons for her goat cheese and chocolate coconut macaroon no-bake cookies.
The 4-H food judging was the fair’s opening competition. Participants brought in anything from bundt cakes to jams for a chance to receive the purple ribbon.
Katie Andrews, Legacy 4-H Club, submitted goat cheese and bar cookies for judging. She walked away with two blue ribbons.
But the fun won’t end there for these young 4-H’ers.
On Tuesday, Lyndsey, Ellie and Katie were to find out if they were champions for their knitting projects that were judged on Sunday. All three girls received purple ribbons for their projects, putting them in contention for champions of the fair.
Monday evening marked the beginning of the fair’s dog show, with demonstrations in showmanship, obedience and fitting.
Mackenzie Riscoe of Blue Valley was busy preparing her puppy for the competition.
Meanwhile, cowboys from the West Wind Rodeo Company in LaCygne were preparing for the evening youth rodeo.
The six members of the team staged an exhibition before the youth rodeo was to begin.
Owner Ronnie McKellips said the boys would show off skills in bull and bronco riding, mutton busting, poles and barrels.
“We’ve been coming the last six years or so and doing the rodeo here,” he said.
The team has also traveled to fairs in southern Iowa and Missouri to hone their skills.
Activities pick up the rest of the week with livestock judging.
The Legacy 4-H Club typically shows sheep but opted to have its own “Spring Fling” show in May, said Sheila Fowks.
Still, Ellie showed her pet rabbit Wednesday, while Lyndsey was looking forward to the judging for woodworking projects.
“We try to have the girls do something different each year,” Sheila said. “This year the girls created wood projects with the help of their dad.”
The one event the girls were most looking forward to was spending time at the fair’s carnival.
“We usually go one night and ride all the rides,” Lyndsey said.
The Fowks family planned to attend Family Fun night Tuesday, with an array of events and competitions for the girls to enjoy.
“There is one event (the calf scramble) where you try and get the ribbon off a cows tail,” Ellie said.
Lyndsey said the greased pig event was one of her favorites.
“They let loose a bunch of pigs that are greased up and you have to catch them,” she said.
The Johnson County Fair is open to the public free of charge, ending with the demolition derby Saturday evening. Tickets for the derby can be purchased at the gate or in advance at the fair offices.