From Pipi’s Pasture: Memories of the Moffat County Fair

From Pipi's Pasture

The 2020 Moffat County Fair will go down in the books as the first of the county’s fairs to have limited activities due to a virus. There have been changes to the fair over the years but certainly nothing to compare to this year.

I’m remembering the Moffat County Fair when I was a 4-H member (more years ago than I care to think about). During those days the fair was held in late August (maybe sometimes even early September). Open class exhibits, general 4-H projects, and record books were exhibited in the pavilion. The bleacher section of the pavilion was reserved for community booths, each with a theme and a display of judged open class projects from that community’s exhibitors.

Animals occupied the pens in the fairgrounds barn. Some of the livestock judging took place outside of the barn; some judging was even held in front of the grandstands. There was no pig barn in those days. Poultry and rabbits were put in cages under the outside part of the grandstand.

I also remember…

  • being soaked while washing animals on the wash rack.
  • getting flipped in the face with a soapy steer’s tail (perhaps on purpose).
  • using bluing in the water to make a steer or cow’s tail whiter.
  • the time I washed a white chicken for the fair, put too much bluing in the water, and ended up with a blue chicken.
  • trying to keep a freshly-groomed steer from lying down right before show time.
  • the humiliation of having a weary steer or calf lie down right in the middle of the show ring.
  • kids getting comfort from their dads after getting stepped on by 1,000 pound fat steers.
  • trying to keep one eye on the judge while all the time leading a steer or cow around the show ring.
  • frustration at pigs that wouldn’t cooperate during Round Robin.
  • watching a sheep try to steal a lick from a spectator’s popsicle.
  • trying to convince exhibit animals to eat and drink in an environment unfamiliar to them.
  • the  Parade of Champions on the track in front of the grandstands when an animal got loose and had to be chased down.
  • all of those tears following the Junior Livestock Sale.
  • Homer Wilson’s humor (often comments about politicians) while auctioneering during the Junior Livestock Sale.
  • Marion Jones’ special barbecued meat, served up on buns just before the Junior Livestock Sale.
  • Earl  Van Tassel and Kenneth Osborn taking bids in the sale ring for all those 30 or more years.
  • learning how to be a good sport.

All those years ago…

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