Lawrence County Fair kicks off today

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 8, 2023

New events among plans for fair week

The rides came in on Wednesday, the sawdust in the barn has been put down and this year’s Lawrence County Fair is ready to kick off today.

The centerpiece of activities at the fairgrounds are the livestock and other competitions by 4-H and FFA members.

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Rachael Fraley, extension educator for Lawrence County 4-H, who oversees those events, says there are 30 4-H clubs in the county that take part in the fair, with 600 children and teens participating.

It is no small undertaking, and Fraley said she is assisted by 125 volunteers during the fair, many of whom competed in the events in their youth.

“Enrollment is up a bit this year,” Fraley said of the number of 4-H members taking part.

She said that the highest participation comes in the hog and chicken shows, where those competing are judged for the animal, as well as showmanship and their ability to present it.

Those who win in the showmanship competitions will then take part in the Showman of Showmen event on Friday, where they will present multiple animals and a grand and reserve champion will be chosen.

One event that will be new to the fair, which was approved by the board, is a chance for youth who are too young to compete in showmanship events (ages 8 and under) to present animals. The Pee Wee Showmanship event will take place at 4 p.m. on Thursday.

Fraley notes this is not a 4-H event, as it is not a competition, but the children taking part will also get a chance to meet and talk to experienced showman from 4-H programs.

This event will be followed at 5:30 p.m. that day by the Spice of Life Costume Contest, in which 4-H members and their animals dress up, then at 6 p.m. by the Old Timer Showmanship competition, in which former 4-H members of all ages return to the ring in the barn to present animals.

Fraley said that special day of events for the extended 4-H community will conclude with a barn dance and games at 8:30 p.m.

— For a full list of fair events, see our guide included with this weekend’s edition of The Tribune.