Harrison County Fair reflections

What a week for the 167th Harrison County Fair. The temperatures were not though the roof, there was a nice breeze when needed, and the attendance was one of the biggest I have seen in many years for the livestock sale.

I chanced upon Stacie Stromski Durig, a 4-H member who raised rabbits a few years back. We enjoyed a few roasted turkeys also that were purchased from her brother, Derek, at that time.

Once, I came upon a young Derek drying a chicken with a hair dryer after giving it a bath and won “Picture of the Week” back at the newspaper.

Stacie has a daughter, Leah, who is 3 and seems to have the same love of rabbits as her mom. She was putting her little hand in to pet one of the fuzzy Californians in the rabbit and poultry barn.

Tristan Arnold of Freeport Friends was quite happy to have won the grand champion honors with his 256-pound market hog in his last year of 4-H. TJ Gas and Go of Freeport was the buyer.

The numbers are up on those taking dairy projects this year, with 31. Because the dairy cows are not sold, the Harrison County Dairy Association puts together containers with a large amount of dairy products and items that are associated with the dairy industry.

They used large, metal milk cans one year. There have been wicker baskets, chests, wooden carriers, flower boxes and other items to hold the cheeses and all things dairy. Doug Caldwell is president of the dairy association, and he and his officers do a great job of handling the basket sales.

The 4-H Volunteer Recognition Banquet is held each year in the junior fair building, a time when 4-H advisers are on the grounds.

Heather Keller, program assistant, thanked all for attending, and Allison Dawson, student assistant working through the summer of her sophomore college year at the Extension office, gave the invocation. Allison has been part of Germano 4-H for many years and was one of the members to sell a dairy basket each year. Being through the 4-H program earned her the knowledge to work in the office that promotes the organization.

Allison told me that next year, she wanted to go to Cedar Point and work at the park for the summer .

Adrianna Blazeski, fair princess, was present at the banquet and led in the pledge to the flag and the 4-H pledge. Believe it or not, after all these years, I have finally learned to recite it.

Along with Kathryn Whinnery, Ohio Fairs’ Queen, and her mother, Vickie, honored guests were Bill Host, commissioner, who serves as an auctioneer at the sale, livestock sale committee, junior and senior fair board and Extension advisory committee.

Honored for her first year in 4-H was Kassie Wojchowski, Shamrock 4-H. Others honored were Lois Wright, Country Cousins, 35 years; Barbara and Dave Cunningham, Green Valley, 20 years each; Wendy Chrisman, New Rumley, 10 years; and Rebecca Eberhart, five years. Bill Birney was presented a crystal platter for the years of his 4-H dedication. He died in October 2013, and this is the first fair for the family, 4-H and fair to be without him.

Four-H camp counselors are Abbby Dodds, Alex Chrisman, Bailey and Callie Eberhart, Grant Sproull, Joelle Jones, Kelsey Fogle, Matt Howthorne, Megan Barcroft, Nathan Peters, Sam Raber, Tucker Fenstamaker, Zack Jones, Abby Keller, Andrew Mizer, Brittany Hawthorne, Chelsea Toland, Jalyn Jones, Kaci Carter, Lindsay Dowdle, Matt Mizer, Megan Peters, Ryan Peters, Susanna Yourko, Westin Fogle and Zack Matusik.

When asked by Wayne Falb, auctioneer, the name of his market lamb, Zebekiah Fisher replied “Whiplash.” That lamb sounds like trouble to me.

The show arena gate for the livestock sale came open while the grand champion hog of Tristan Arnold was strolling around.

He thought about making a run for it just a bit too late. Chris Kent of the Farm and Dairy jumped up to shut and latch it.

Big brother Zack helped Cael Jones with his showmanship ducks when they came into the show ring. They are both members of the Harrison County Fair royalty, as Zack is king and Cael is prince.

When Wes Fogle was being photographed with his ducks, someone from the livestock committee was telling the ducks to smile.

You have to look for the funny things as the sale goes on for many hours.

The break for a dinner of pulled pork, green beans and cheesy potatoes was very appreciated. And all the young 4-H members who walked around carrying containers with bottles of water, cans of soft drinks and snacks was nice as well.

So goes another year at the Harrison County Fair. They have big plans for remodeling and rebuilding for next year.