Can you smell it in the air? It is time for the La Porte County Fair. This is by far one of my favorite times of the year. From the smells of the elephant ears to the taste of those amazing Walleye fish sandwiches, I am overjoyed to spend my week there.
If you are not familiar, or you need a reminder, there are plenty of great things to do every day. The fun started on Sunday with the Goat show taking up the majority of the day in the 4-H show arena. If you happened to stop over in the morning when the dairy goats were showing, you may have caught our goats Loralei, Liesel and Gretel trying to win over the judges along with my daughters Lexi and Mia.
If you missed that, be sure to check out Goat Agility at 8 p.m. Tuesday in the 4-H show arena. You’ve never been more entertained than when watching a kid try to convince a pygmy goat to run through an obstacle course. Our goats are usually worn out and ready for bed, but they still do their best to make it through.
Lexi has won her division the past couple of years and Mia has came in pretty close as well. Directly before the agility competition is the Pee Wee goat show where mini-4-Hers are paired with 4-Hers and they team up to show a goat together. It is beyond adorable.
Horse and Pony have different shows all week with different classes each day. My favorite from back even when I was in 4-H was the versatility class where you have to switch from riding English discipline to Western - all within a short time frame, which your change of equipment coming in the arena in a wheelbarrow. They also do a Freestyle class where the riders get to choose a song and synchronize their riding to it. To finish up the week is contesting, my favorite. That is where you will see horses running barrels and what not. You would be amazed at how agile these horses and riders are.
Tuesday there will be rabbit judging all day, which means my Mia will be hanging out over that way the entire day, showing her rabbits Fidget, Elizabeth and Polish. Her favorite is when they do the rabbit races on Thursday night at 6 p.m. Last year her rabbit, Rodeo, even won a trophy for best color.
If you want to take in some cow watching be sure to visit the arena on Tuesday when the Beef and Dairy steers will be showing, and a couple of barns down the chickens and other poultry will be doing their best to win a ribbon as well that day.
If you are coming out Wednesday, the hogs will be showing all day. If you haven’t had the chance, see just how well those kids can keep a full grown hog under control just by making different sounds and with the tap from what looks pretty much like a yard stick. I know that my hogs never would follow along like that.
Thursday will have both draft horse judging as well as the dairy cows taking their turns at winning ribbons, and will even have an antique tractor pull at the motor sport arena happening at 10 a.m.
Be sure to get your tickets for Bossy Bingo in advance so that you can be a part of the action Thursday night at 5 p.m. Tickets are being sold by all Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisors (including myself) as well as are available at the Soil and Water Booth in the Conservation Building up until at least noon on Thursday. Typically, the jackpot if the cow happens to mark your spot in usually close to a $1,000, which is always some nice pocket change.
On Friday the 4-Hers will be having their livestock auction starting at 8:30 a.m., so if you are looking for a new pet, or perhaps a hog for your freezer, be sure to attend and support our 4-Hers for all their hard work.
While there is more going on at the fair other than 4-H events, I always want to give the participants a ton of thanks for their hard work and dedication. I have been working with my animals for years and realize that they are putting in hours and hours on their projects, whether they are livestock or any of the other hundreds of 4-H projects.
Be sure to stop in and look at the different displays in the Community building as well as the Small Projects building. Our town is small enough that you’ll mostly see a project completed by at least one young person you know.
Other sites to see are the Pioneer Garden in Pioneer Land where friendly Master Gardeners are there to answer all of your gardening questions as well as take you on a tour of a garden including only varieties that are from 1950 or before, many of these plants will instantly bring you right back to being a kid helping your grandparents in their garden, which is an amazing feeling on its own.
Be sure to check out the Conservation Walk garden located around the side and back of the Conservation building. Plenty of pollinators are out there to visit with and give you ideas on how to better your own landscape at home.
Finally, I will be out all week at the Conservation building working the booth for Solid Waste District of La Porte County and doing my best to answer all of your recycling questions. Be sure to stop over and say hello and be sure to enjoy all that our great fair has to offer.
Sacha Burns is an organic gardener and owner of Sunkissed Organics in Pinola. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.