County fair in full swing
Don't let the Rams T-shirt fool you.
Joshua Allen, 13, may look like the football player he is. But when he left Monday's 4-H foods competition at the Leavenworth County Fair, the blond-haired youth had two purple ribbons in hand -- one for his applesauce oatmeal muffins and the other for his buttermilk cinnamon bread.
His rewards were not without effort.
"I made this thing six times," said the 13-year-old Joshua, of his cinnamon bread entry.
Joshua, a member of Happy Hollow 4-H Club, a three-year participant in the nutrition competition, and a football player for Easton's Pleasant Ridge Middle School, said friends benefited from his baking trials. And the rest of the loaves -- also deemed not good enough for competition, but good enough to eat -- went into the family freezer.
Meanwhile, Joshua's brother, Jacob, also had a good morning, earning purple ribbons for his pineapple almond bars, apple zucchini loaf and peanut butter cookies. The boys are the sons of Ernie and Cheri Allen.
The Leavenworth County Fair, held annually in Tonganoxie, continues through Saturday at the fairgrounds. In addition to 4-H and FFA competitions, the fair features a carnival, along with special events including tonight's parade, rodeos on Thursday and Friday nights and a demolition derby on Saturday night.
At the horse arena on Monday, Jason Miles was a hit with two of his horses.
His buckskin filly, Sparkle Sunnybrook, took overall champion in the age 2 and under category in the halter division.
And, adding to his morning's successes, Miles also took the reserve award in the halter class with Rhythm of Heir in the age 3 years and over category. For his prizes, Miles won two deck chairs, which a bystander quipped would be the perfect accessory to his future college dorm room.
Miles, who will be a senior at Free State High School, Lawrence, is the son of Steve and Crystal Miles.
Arts and crafts
In the crafts barn, Katie Eberth, a member of the Basehor Rustlers 4-H, unpacked her entries with her mother, Sue Eberth.
For the fair, Katie brought a multicolored ceramic butterfly, a framed watercolor painting and an oil pastel. She also brought an unusual item -- a squirrel carved from a bar of Ivory soap.
Nearby, 9-year-old Vanessa Redford waited her turn before the judges. Vanessa, who is a member of the Bell 4-H Club, held a small quilt. The quilt was special to Vanessa because one of her grandmothers was helping her make it. When that grandmother died, her other grandmother helped her finish the project.
Rachel Wassenberg, an intern at the Leavenworth County Extension Office, said 4-H youths entered 449 projects in the skilled arts category.
One of the most unusual projects, Wassenberg said, was a glass wall yard art on a copper frame. The creation, made by Reno Bobwhite member Erin Drozinski, earned a purple and reserve grand champion ribbon.
Another unusual entry, Wassenberg said, was a floral type of ceramic piece by Lindsey Ewert of Bell 4-H Club, which was awarded overall grand champion in her division.
The foods competition attracted about 311 entries, Wassenberg said.
She said officials were pleased with the number of entries.
"Overall, our entries for foods and arts and crafts are actually up," Wassenberg said, "which is always good to hear."