4-H group heads to Douglas County fair
The aroma of smoked sausage, funnel cakes and french fries blend together with the smell of livestock, straw and manure. The bleats and squeals of farm animals are intertwined with carnival beeps and clangs. Ribbons brightly colored purple, blue, red and white decorate tables, walls and barn stalls.
In Douglas County, it can only mean one thing this time of year.
It's the week of the Douglas County Free Fair.
Eudora 4-H community leader Carma Lister said 43 Eudora youths are exhibiting at this year's fair, which started last Saturday with a horse show and finishes up this Saturday evening with the livestock auction.
"We have a lot of kids in food and livestock and lots in rocketry," Lister said. "There's also some in clothing, some in photography, some in horticulture."
She said this was one of the most important weeks in 4-H.
"It shows what the kids have done all year," she said "It shows their accomplishments, what they've worked for all year."
4-H extension agent Cathy Brockhoff said the fair is a learning experience for 4-H'ers
"It's a chance for them to record progress," Brockhoff said. "They've been working since October on certain projects, so they're able to see where they've improved.
"At the fair the kids can consult with judges. They're able to see what they've done well and what they can improve on," she said.
Even though half of the week's activities are already over, Brockhoff said there will still be plenty for fairgoers to see and do.
Today, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at building 21, visitors will have an opportunity to go on a free tour of the fair and also visit the petting zoo.
"It gives a little structure to the fair," she said. "It's a chance to go from place to place and get an idea of what there is so then you can go back and spend more time looking at it later."
Brockhoff said exhibitor buildings and barns are open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. today and Friday and 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday. The majority of exhibits, with the exception of some livestock, are already judged.
She said 4-H members will be competing in livestock shows through the end of the week. The sheep show begins this afternoon at 4:30, the rabbit show is Friday at 8 a.m., the bucket calf show is Friday at 2 p.m. and the livestock auction is Saturday at 7 p.m.
For those not interested in animals, Brockhoff said the demolition derby is Friday at 7 p.m. and the carnival rides are open every evening of the fair. Numerous food, drink, and exhibition booths are available as well.
Eudora 4-H member Whitney Box said she exhibited in nine different projects this year.
"I have a real good bucket calf this year," the 10-year-old Box said. "I've worked with my bucket calf a lot. His name is Nestle because he looks like the Nestle powder stuff."
Eudora 4-H member Jessica Brecheisen said she exhibited sheep, yeast bread, sugar cookies, a pillow and two photographs.
"Sheep are my favorite," Brecheisen said. "They're just fun to work with."
Lister said the 4-H'ers worked hard throughout the year to be able to exhibit in the fair.
"The fair is a good chance for people to come and see what the kids in the community do," she said.