This is the time of year when 4-H and FFA members choose their livestock for the coming year, especially the market animals since they need to start feeding them. During November and December (by January), 4-H members also select those general 4-H projects that they wish to complete during the coming year. The target date for completion of all of these projects is county fair.
Why should these kids have all of the fun? The fair is for everybody. When exhibits are entered into competition on open class judging day at the pavilion, they’re placed in several age categories, which include seniors and youth. A pre-teen class has just been added. Besides that, there are special classes within departments for professionals.
So, if you have a hobby, enjoy cooking, sewing, woodworking or other projects, start planning for your entry for the 2014 county fair now. Winter evenings are long. While your child or grandchild works on a 4-H project, work on a pavilion project of your own. Encourage your family members and neighbors to do the same. Have fun showing them off at fair time.
Carol Haskins, fair coordinator, and Carol Whitehead, CSU Extension staff assistant, have plenty of suggestions for these pavilion projects. First of all, there will be a “rag” contest during the fair — not a contest to see what can be made from rags but to actually make some of the items that have “rag” in their names, such as wash rags and dish rags. Put your creative talents to work and make your own “rags.” (They might be crocheted, knitted, sewn or whatever else you choose.)
If you have boxes of photographs and other memorabilia that you have been meaning to sort, you might consider making a scrapbook. There are lots of books on the market that are filled with scrapbooking tips and ideas. Spend some snowy nights looking through some of the books. Then gather up all sorts of scraps, from papers to buttons, sort out your pictures and make a scrapbook. Just think of the themes: weddings, new babies, family vacations, and a whole lot more. After fair, the scrapbook might become a Christmas gift — maybe with a fair ribbon included.
There are lots of sewing projects that you might choose to do, too. For example, there’s quilting. Besides full-size quilts, you might piece wall hangings and other such items. Whitehead says that lots of possibilities for sewing items that aren’t quilted, both wearable and not wearable. These might include garments, wall hangings, fabric books (for kids), doll clothes, and pillows. If you enjoy making cloth dolls and animals, you could enter your project in the stuffed items category.
Think of the limitless possibilities for knitting, crocheting, and embroidery; tablecloths, afghans, bedspreads, hats and mittens, and a whole lot more.
If you like to work with wood, consider making a piece of furniture, puzzle, clock, lamp, birdhouse, or whatever else you can think up. Hobby ideas are popular, too. Especially popular with kids, but certainly not limited to youth, are the Lego and K’nex departments. Creations can also be made by using erector sets, Lincoln logs, roller coaster sets and others. Think about what fun can be had by experimenting with robotics.
Also new to the 2014 pavilion open class judging is a new division in the photography department. There will be a category of photographs from Moffat County only. The rules will apply as for all of the other photography divisions, but this competition is limited to Moffat County photographs.
Since lots of people do their canning this time of year, it’s the perfect time to set aside that special jar of vegetable, fruit, meat or jelly/jam. Remember to check the fair book for rules concerned with home canning.
There are lots more possibilities. The 2014 fair book won’t be out for a while so stop by the Moffat County Extension Office, 539 Barclay, and pick up a fair book from last year or ask the Extension Office personnel about exhibit information. (You can also visit moffatcountyfair.com where you can download the fair book and find other information.)
More about open pavilion entries next week.