More entries needed at fair

Published 9:32 am Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hats off to Amanda, Connor and Holly Gowin for raising roosters, chickens and rabbits on their family’s Ivor farm and taking them to last week’s Franklin-Southampton County Fair.
Much of the credit goes to their parents, Tim and Carolyn Gowin, who likely got the trio started with raising and showing animals, and support their children.
The Gowins were among the disappointing few to show animals at this year’s fair. A walk through the barns showed mainly empty stalls where otherwise cattle, pigs, sheep and goats should be.
The home show was a bit of a disappointment too. In the past, it’s been packed with displays of artwork, photographs, canned fruits and vegetables, baked goods and much more.
Many youngsters enter animals through 4-H clubs. They spend a year raising a steer and show it at the fair before selling it. It’s a good way for youth to learn responsibility while making some money, for example, to pay for college.
Youngsters can also enter crafts, vegetables, baked goods and artwork on their own, without belonging to 4-H. That will probably take some encouragement from parents.
It’s easy.
Contact fair officials about rules for entering items. Assuming a family has a garden, you can get your children to help. It’s not only fun to watch the fruits of your labor, but they can then enter, for example, tomatoes from the garden in the fair. Taking a blue ribbon can be pretty exciting for a kid.
It’s fun to cook with kids. Have your child bake his or her favorite cookies or cake and enter it in the fair.
Children like to draw. Again, encourage your child to enter a picture he draws in the fair. It may inspire them, especially if a ribbon is awarded.
The fair organizers — all volunteers — work tirelessly to put on a first-rate event for the community. They need the citizens’ help in restoring the exhibits to the showcase attraction that they used to be.