Saturday, August 26, 2017

2017 White Pine County Fair - Part 2: Other Exhibits

 Throughout the summer, the kids spent 20-30 minutes a day on their 4-H projects. They had signed up for 4-H the previous fall (it's free to sign up the first week of October). Desert Boy chose to show a lamb, shooting, legos, and computer coding. Desert Girl chose entomology and flowers as a Cloverbud (junior 4-H). In the end, Desert Boy dropped shooting as we couldn't get into Ely often enough for him to practice, and Desert Girl dropped flowers because although she planted quite a few flower seeds, very few came up, and we were supposed to have photos of her through all the stages of her project and we didn't quite manage that. Looking back on it, two projects and an animal is plenty for a beginning 4-H kid, and one project is plenty for a Cloverbud.

Desert Girl spent quite a bit of time chasing insects this summer. She mainly collected from inside our house and yard. She even managed to collect a couple wasps without getting stung, which I thought was pretty good. She did quite a bit of the identification, and was especially good at figuring out the butterflies. After she collected the insects, she put them in a kill jar, then pinned them, identified them, and wrote a label. We got a student insect collection kit from BioQuip that worked well for us.

When 4-H kids enter their projects in the fair, they are also interviewed. Desert Girl was worried about her interview, so I asked her some practice questions. She rocked her interview, telling the judge about each insect and how she had collected it. She also showed off her insect journal, which included a beautiful self-portrait of her collecting insects. :)

Cloverbuds get colorful ribbons, but the judge wrote that she would have awarded a blue to Desert Girl.

Desert Boy was delighted to get a grand champion for his lego model of the U.S.S. Andromeda.

He also got a Grand Champion for computers. He had signed up for computer coding, so we spent part of the summer working on Scratch, a programming website for kids. We made sure to follow the fairbook's requirements for the computer entry, which was quite different, but we managed to put in one page of his coding, so it all worked out.

Then it was time to check out the booths. The kids liked the interactive booths, like this one the USFS had.

The cotton candy eventually captured the kids' money.

The mining booth let the kids dig. They enjoyed that a lot.

The kids also participated in some games, like the water balloon toss.

I wanted the kids to get ideas for future projects, so we wandered around the exhibits building. Desert Girl loved this cake decorating with a beach and ocean theme.

Ava's favorite was this alligator cake.

They also enjoyed looking at the legos.

We also looked at the Open Class part of the exhibit building. For Open Class, you don't have to do an interview or keep a journal. You submit your entry Thursday night or Friday morning, it gets judged Friday afternoon, you find out how it did Saturday, and then Sunday afternoon take it home. So it's easy to do.

There weren't many baking entries in seniors (adults), juniors (pre-teens to teens), and children categories. Maybe next year we'll try something here.

Someone submitted homemade beer. Fun!

Hobbies gets lots of entries. I thought this collection of painted rocks was rather cute.

The girls liked this flip flop wreath.

Desert Girl had entered photos and was the only one in the Children category. She was delighted to get Grand and Reserve Grand Champion ribbons. Not only does she get ribbons, there are also premiums (money) for these ribbons. In a few months she'll get a check, and she'll get to spend the money how she likes. So that's another incentive to enter things in the fair.

Desert Girl also had five flower entries in the Children class, and that was enough to get her the big blue Sweepstakes ribbon. So she got to enter flowers after all (even through we only had yellow ones in the yard), and had fun with it.

One of our neighbors had some entries in the vegetable section that were quite impressive. It's fun to see what people can grow. Over on the right we admired drawings and paintings. So much talent!
The more entries, the more fun it is to see everything! Nearly every county has a fair, so I encourage you to submit something in your county fair next year. It's a lot of fun, can be an impetus to learn something new or improve on a hobby, and gives you appreciation of how much talent is out there.

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