Fair provides fun for all ages
There will be funnel cakes and corn dogs abound as hundreds of people gather at the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds to celebrate the 81st annual Leavenworth County Fair.
One of the big events that kicks off the fair is the yearly parade through downtown Tonganoxie. This year's parade will begin at 6:30 p.m. today. This year's theme is "Celebrating Leavenworth County Communities." Parade entrants will line up on Main Street near the Tonganoxie Swimming Pool and proceed through Fourth Street and work their way toward the fairgrounds.
Other big events are scheduled during the remainder of the week including the rodeo, which will run at 8 p.m. both Thursday and Friday; the 42nd annual 4-H Club/National FFA Organization's livestock auction 7 p.m. Friday and the demolition derby at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
Although some of the bigger 4-H Club events will take place in the last part of the week, 4-H'ers have been competing in several competitions since Thursday when the judging for construction and clothing modeling began.
Other pre-fair events included the 4-H/FFA horse show, 4-H robotic demonstrations, entomology consultations and forestry consultations.
On the runway
The Tonganoxie Performing Arts Center was transformed into a fashion runway Friday as nearly 60 4-H Club members strutted their stuff for this year's Public Fashion Style Review for the Leavenworth County Fair.
The 4-H'ers displayed their clothing construction talents and their buymanship abilities in front of friends, family and other 4-H'ers.
The runway show was the culmination of two days of judging that began Thursday with the construction entries.
Friday morning, the boys and girls buymanship entrants crowded the halls of Tonganoxie High School as they waited for their turn to show the judges they knew things about their outfits, including how to take care of it and what the cost per wear was.
It was Garrett Silvers' first time in the buymanship competition. For his outfit, his mom helped him pick out a nice pair of jeans, a green and white plaid shirt and a belt. Garret got to pick out his favorite part of his outfit, his hat and boots.
"I wasn't nervous," Silvers said, "[The judge] was very nice."
The 8-year-old was the only boy who competed in level one of the competition.
15-year-old Molly Adams said she was also not scared when it came to getting up in front of a judge.
"You are kind of nervous, but you're also kind of excited," she said. "I've done this for three years so I know what I'm doing."
The most nerve-racking part of the whole morning might have been the wait for the judges to post the call back sheet, which lets the 4-H'ers know who is in the running for champion.
As the list was posted, the entrants huddled around the callback list to see if they were in the running.
The winners of the girls level 4 and the boys level 4 buymanship will represent Leavenworth County in the Kansas State Fair, Sept. 7 through Sept. 16, in Hutchinson.
Friday night, Max Packard and Audrey Knapp won the honor of representing the county at the state fair.
A horse is a horse
Elizabeth Patrick's horse Amadas Dusty Delight snacked on some hay before the Leavenworth County Fair Horse Show Judging Monday morning. Patrick, 11, who has participated in the horse show for several years, said she liked working with this horse out of all of the other horses her family owns.
"She's probably the calmest and the one I get along with the best," she said.
Patrick said she usually does pretty well in the competition and came out with three red ribbons in the halter, showmanship and bareback equitation classes during the first part of the show.
A consistent top purple ribbon winner and grand champion recipient throughout the competition was 12-year-old Jody Baragary. She received top purple in the halter class for her age group and overall grand champion as well as top purple in showmanship with her horse Simply Moonstruck.
"She does pretty well," Kathy Baragary, Jody's mother, said.
In the next age division, Shannon Smith, 18, was also having a winning day. With 12 years experience in the horse show, Smith knows how to prepare her horses from brushing and banding to consistent riding.
"As far as animals, the horse is my favorite," she said. "I like training and showing."
The Tonganoxie native earned a top blue ribbon in the halter class, grand champion in showmanship and a purple ribbon in bareback with three different horses. One of the horses was part of a two-year-old futurity project, in which Smith leases the horse and works with it to break it for riding. She said when she first started working with the horse at the beginning of the summer, it was frustrating and a lot of hard work, but now it's nice to see the progress that has been made.
"It's a long ordeal, but I think it's worth it," she said. "It's very rewarding and it has taught me a lot of patience."