4-H Fair battling hot weather, but success is seen in Exhibit Hall, Show Arena

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Switzerland County is seeing some blistering temperatures this week as the 2011 Switzerland County 4-H Fair hits the home stretch, but the hot weather isn’t cooling the enthusiasm of the participants and the patrons of this year’s fair.

The fair also got its annual rainstorm out of the way on Tuesday, when a summer storm hit just after the completion of the swine show, breaking the humidity and bringing a bit of relief from the heat. As the fair now heads into its final three days, the National Weather Service is calling for highs in the upper 90s today (Thursday); with temperatures dropping a bit tomorrow (Friday) and on Saturday as a chance of rain creeps back into the forecast.

The fair got off to a big start last Thursday, as 275 4-H members began turning in over 900 projects for judging. Projects were turned in for everything from alfalfa to zoology; with each 4-H member taking their turn answering questions about their project and explaining to the judge the process that they went through to complete it.

Once everything was checked into the exhibit hall, the judges in each category began to go about the business of awarding Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion ribbons; along with champion and reserve champion ribbon in each of the individual classes within a project area.

Those honors were then “announced” when the exhibit hall opened to the public once the fair got underway.

Over at the Commercial Building, a popular destination for fairgoers has been the Farm Bureau booth, when everyone has been able to cool down with some ice cream while wandering through the silent auction that benefits the Farm Bureau Scholarship fund. Also in the Commercial Building are displays by other businesses and organizations; and Darrin Bowling’s display of farm equipment and lawn mowers near the entrance to the grandstand area has also proved to be a popular spot. 4-H clubs have booths along the midway, as does Grant’s Creek Baptist Church. The members of Center Square Baptist Church again held their lasagna supper on Tuesday night, with the homemade desserts hitting the spot after the meal.

There are also amusement rides nightly through the end of the fair this Saturday, wristbands for unlimited riding available each evening.

The Switzerland County Fair is a summer tradition, and those attending this year will continue to see those traditional programs and activities mixed with plenty of new things.

Here’s a rundown of the remainder of Fair Week:

-  Livestock photos will be taken from 8 a.m. until noon today (Thursday); while the cat show will be held at 10 a.m.; followed by the Pocket Pet Show at 1 p.m.

The beef show will be held beginning at 4 p.m. today (Thursday), while the popular Johnny Andrew Memorial Pedal Tractor Pull will begin at 6 p.m. The meat goat show will be held at the show arena at 7 p.m. that evening; and everyone will want to head to the grandstands for the demolition derby beginning at 8 p.m. Entry for the demolition derby is $5.

-  Tomorrow (Friday), begins with one of the most popular projects, as the Shooting Sports demonstration takes place at the grandstand area beginning at 9 a.m. Over at the show arena, the dairy show begins at 1 p.m.; and the dairy goat show will be held at 2:30 p.m. Everyone will want to pucker up at 5 p.m., when the watermelon seed spitting contest is held.

At 7 p.m. that evening, there will be a sanctioned truck and tractor pull sponsored by Switzerland County Tourism at the grandstand area. The entry fee for the drags is $8, and among the lineup of pullers is the champion truck pulling team “Hoosier Daddy”, which is made up of local brothers Rod and Jack Mathews.

-  The final day of the 2011 Fair kicks off on Saturday, when the Round Robin Showmanship competition is held at and around the show arena beginning at 10 a.m. This competition pits the senior showmanship winners of all of the species at the fair in a single program that has each of the winners answering questions about all of the species.

At 3 p.m. the annual auction barbecue is held at the shelter house near the show arena; and the 4-H Livestock auction will be held beginning at 4 p.m.

This year’s projects will be released from the exhibit hall from 7-10 p.m.; and the grandstands events will conclude with the mud run beginning at 8 p.m. There is a $8 admission fee for the mud run.

In all grandstand events, children age five and under will be admitted free.

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The 4-H Exhibit Hall will be open today and tomorrow from 4-9 p.m.; and on Saturday from 2-6:30 p.m.

The Commercial Building will be open today and tomorrow from 5-9 p.m. and on Saturday from noon until 9 p.m.

For more information on this year’s Switzerland County 4-H Fair, call the Purdue Extension office at 427-3152.