When you think of a county fair what first comes to mind? Animals? Rides? Food? Contests? People enjoying themselves? All of the above?
All of the above are very important parts of a fair, but did you ever consider the most important aspect of a successful fair? If you have ever participated in a fair event then you know that people are essential to a fair. After all, who bakes the pies, makes the jellies, and crafts the quilt or wood working? A fair is a showcase of what people in the community have created, or the talent that exists locally.
Now Pinellas County residents can participate in everything a fair has to offer at the Greater Pinellas Country Fair taking place in England Brothers Park in Pinellas Park in November.
This year’s fair will be focusing on youth. As the 4-H Agent, I have been encouraging school age children in the county to enter the fair. In addition to the 4-H Poultry, Plant and Rabbit Shows, there are youth divisions in many of the other classes of entries. All school-age youth can participate in the 4-H shows, however those shows will be run by 4-H rules. Preparing an animal or caring for a plant before the fair helps a child learn responsibility, commitment, perseverance, and mastery of skills.
Evidence of what skills are honed while competing in the fair can be found in Nicole, a teen 4-H’er and the winner of the State Fair Poultry Champion Youth contest. Last Saturday Nicole presented a workshop at the Pinellas County Extension Office open to the public on poultry showmanship. Participants learned the parts of a chicken, down to the different types of wings feathers. They learned the different breeds and comb types. Now participants know how to bathe a chicken and wrap it up in a towel like a burrito. Did you know there was a correct way of removing a bird from the cage during a show?
Nicole created this workshop, repeated from last year, using lecture with a PowerPoint, inserting “pop quizzes”, and hands on activities such as choosing items appropriate to wear during a poultry show. She was calm and poised during the presentation, included all members of the audience, and welcomed all questions. As we say in 4-H, “It’s not only blue ribbon animals, but blue ribbon youth.”
Participating in a local or state fair is an educational activity. Consider encouraging your children to become involved
By the way, there are no fees for exhibits entered by children.
If you have questions on the 4-H shows at the fair, please contact me at email@example.com.
If you are an adult and interested in entering or volunteering at the fair, direct your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information on the Greater Pinellas Country Fair, please go to: http://www.pinellasfair.org/