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[r29] Column: Come out to the 75th Hamilton County 4-H Fair!
Start Date: 7/17/2013Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 7/18/2013End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description
Come out to the 75th Hamilton County 4-H Fair!
 
The 75th Hamilton County 4-H Fair is here! Volunteers have been getting the fairgrounds ready, projects have been brought in and the animals are arriving.  July 18-23 the fair will be going on with a lot of fun activities and events the whole family can enjoy. Ever since I was in grade school, I have looked forward to and attended the county fair. It has become an annual tradition to participate in the fair and see all the different 4-H shows and programs. 

In looking at the schedule this year, each day is packed with fun entertainment and must-see attractions. I am especially eager to see what the youngest fairgoers will present. Their projects are always so exciting and innovative; every year I’m amazed with what these students and young adults are able to do. The lessons students learn in 4-H are lessons they will keep for a lifetime and help them prepare for the many challenges ahead. 
 
4-H is the nation’s largest youth development organization covering every corner of the country and its diverse landscape – urban, suburban and rural communities. The organization has provided invaluable services to building leadership traits in young people and adult mentors for over 100 years and does an excellent job at providing practical, "hands-on" learning experiences that connects public school education and country life. This will all be on display this week starting on Thursday.

By participating in 4-H, students are taught leadership, organization, teamwork and responsibility on top of building great friendships and ties to the community. Students who participate can show animals, make cookies or do something new and different! 

Our community’s 4-H program is extra-special because we have a melting pot of participants – kids who live on cul-da-sacs and kids who live on farms. This is what makes our fair so diverse and unique for visitors to soak up the full 4-H experience. The staff and volunteers led by Susan Peterson, Bill Rice and Kathleen Bodhe have worked so hard to adapt to the many changes this county has seen, whether that be managing the economic and population growth, adjusting to new ideas and projects or working their way through budgetary hurdles. We are very fortunate to have such a dedicated and hardworking staff at the Extension Office. 

While the national 4-H organization has been around since the late-1800’s, Indiana’s, and more specifically Hamilton County’s, 4-H organization wasn’t founded until about 20 years later. We have come a long way since the organization’s beginning, and I am humbled to play a role in that having served on the Hamilton County Extension Board for nearly 15 years now. This is an exciting time as the 4-H Council, led by President Craig Henry and all the volunteers, has been working year-around to make this event the very best it can possibly be. And, while I am on the subject of volunteers, we have the greatest and most dedicated group anyone could ever ask for. This fair's success comes not only from the great 4-H’ers we have but the hundreds of folks who are either leaders, building superintendents, judges, vendors, building hosts, cleanup crews and every other task that needs to get done to make our fair one of the best traditional 4-H fairs around.

The fair begins this Thursday and concludes next Tuesday. The last few days leading up to the fair will not be idle and probably just as busy as actual fair days. The 4-H’ers, staff and volunteers will be running around turning in and finalizing projects, and the volunteers will be making sure everything is ready for the fair’s kick-off. 

We just completed a really busy and exciting weekend in Noblesville with one of the largest crowds at the street dance. I encourage everyone in the community to continue the fun and come out to this great local fair. The fair truly provides something for everyone. Friends and family make this event special as people from all over the county come together. 

I have one recommendation for first-time attendees: come hungry. I always struggle to decide what to try first. The chicken and noodles in the Extension Homemakers Kitchen is one of my favorites, but over the week, I will undoubtedly try other delicacies like a chocolate shake, an elephant ear, corn on the cob, slushies, strawberry shortcake or cobbler – just to name a few. 

The fair and the 4-H program would not be made possible without our supportive community. I know a lot of time and effort is spent by many to make this fair so successful, and I want to thank everyone for their dedication to this event. 

Remember that admission and parking is free, so get ready and make your plans now to have a great time this week. You might find me in the Homemakers Kitchen (eating and working), at the ice cream contest, the pet parade, working in a booth, announcing at the livestock auction or just walking the grounds. I can't think of any other place I would rather be! See you at the fair!

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