Youths prepare for JoCo Fair
Garrett Stous of Shawnee will celebrate his 11th birthday Sunday, the day before this year's Johnson County Fair opens.
Garrett, who will be in sixth grade at Mill Creek Middle School, is busy this week completing his 4-H fair projects so he can have some time Sunday to have fun with his friends and attend a T-Bones game.
"I'm in the middle of painting my rocket, and I'm doing entomology," he said. "I also have to finish varnishing my trebuchet."
In all, Garrett is entering four categories in the fair: rocketry, woodworking, entomology and photography. But those aren't his only 4-H interests. He also likes to do machine sports and fishing, though he's not entering in those categories.
Garrett said he first became interested in rocketry, which is his favorite project along with woodworking, when he saw the rockets at the fair.
"I thought it might be cool," he said.
Those entering in rocketry get a kit to build a rocket and then launch it before the fair. Participants then have to paint it and put decals on to present it at the fair.
Though it seems easy, Garrett said building a rocket is more difficult than it looks.
"You have to put the fins on exactly right or else the rocket will fly off to an angle and not go straight up," he said.
His first year competing in rocketry proved successful as Garrett won a trophy for best first year in rocketry.
For his photography entry, Garrett is submitting a photo he took at the Grand Canyon featuring the vast divide during the winter.
"He knew he wanted to enter in photography for the fair, so he took a lot of pictures thinking he would enter one of them," Garrett's mother, Deena Stous, said.
For his entomology entry, Garrett tries to find insects wherever he can. Some come from his grandparents' house and one came from a gasoline station.
"I just saw it laying there on the ground flopping around, so I picked it up," Garret's father, Darrell Stous, said.
Garrett's 8-year-old sister, Kirsten, also is entering the fair this year. Except for baking, her projects are completed.
Garrett and Kirsten are part of the Pioneer 4-H club in De Soto, and several of the members have items to submit in the fair.
Maddy Wolfe will be a freshman at De Soto High School this year, and she is hoping this will be her year to win in the lamb competition, which she has entered for three years.
"I really want to win this year, but it might be more difficult because I'm in the senior division," she said.
Maddy said she became interested in the lamb competition because it was something different and she was interested in the chance to make money by selling the lamb.
The Johnson County Fair will be Monday through Aug. 9 at the Johnson County Fair Grounds in Gardner.