Switzerland County 4-H Fair begins a busy week as projects check in

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The 2009 Switzerland County 4-H Fair kicks off today (Thursday) as members check their projects into the Exhibit Hall for judging and the fashion revue is held.

Exhibit Hall projects come to the fairgrounds today, when 4-H members may enter their work from 8 a.m. until noon.

That activity serves as the springboard for a week filled with exhibits and fun that members of the fairboard hope will bring large crowds to the fairgrounds over the next week.

There are 276 Switzerland County children involved in the 4-H program this year, and coordinators at the extension office say that 4-H members enrolled a total of 1,143 projects in this year’s fair.

Along with many of the traditional events that are held each year at the fair, the fairboard has also developed some new activities that involve the entire family, and has brought back at least one “old fashioned” fair activity that should be fun for everyone.

The “Family Challenge” – a very popular event in its first year last year – will be held this Monday night, July 12th, at 6 p.m. The “Family Challenge” will pit four-member family teams – two adults and two children – in a “Survivor-type” contest. The winning team will be crowned as the “Switzerland County Family of the Year”.

A new feature at this year’s fair is really an old one.

On Tuesday night, July 13th, following the swine show, a “greased pig” contest will be held. This old favorite is sure to bring back memories, as well as many competitors.

Last year the “inflatables” area of the fair was very popular with kids and adults; and this year the fairboard has expanded the “inflatables” midway so that it will be open for three nights: Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

Kids can play all night for a $5 bracelet fee each evening.

Another new twist comes as the fair opens, with the popular bull riding event now covering two nights: tomorrow (Friday) at 7 p.m. and again on Saturday at 7 p.m.

The Exhibit Hall will be open daily from Monday through Friday from 4-9 p.m.; and on Saturday, July 17th, from 2-6:30 p.m. The Commercial Building will be open Monday through Friday from 5-9 p.m.; and on Saturday, July 17th, from noon until 9 p.m.

The county “Open Class” competition will begin on Thursday, July 15th, when entries will be accepted from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.; with judging beginning at 1 p.m. The Open Class display will then be open to the public on Thursday from 5-9 p.m.; on Friday from 5-9 p.m.; and on Saturday from noon until 9 p.m.

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Here’s a rundown of this week’s activities:

– The fair then officially kicks off its week of activities tomorrow (Friday), with poultry check in from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.; and the annual fashion revue will be held in the Community Building beginning at 7:30 p.m.

The bull riding show takes place in the Grandstand area beginning at 7 p.m..

– This Saturday, July 12th, the poultry, other fowl, and market egg show will be held at the show arena at 10 a.m.; and the American Red Cross will also be at the fairgrounds conducting a blood drive beginning at 10 a.m.

The Keith Swinney Band will perform beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday night; followed by the second installment of bull riding beginning at 7 p.m. before the Keith Swinney Band returns for a second session.

– Sunday at the Switzerland County Fair is the Horse and Pony Show, and it will begin at the grandstands at noon. The annual Youth Rally will also be held on Sunday, and it will begin at 7 p.m. in the Community Building. Thanks to a grant from the Vevay-Switzerland County Foundation, this year’s Youth Rally will feature a live band and other activities, and everyone is invited to attend.

– Rabbits take center stage on Monday at the fair, with check in from 8-11 a.m. The annual ag tractor and lawn and garden tractor driving contest will also be held on Monday, and it’s set for 1 p.m. at the grandstands.

The rabbit show then comes to the show arena beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Monday; and along with the “Family Challenge” beginning at 6 p.m.

The Little Miss and Little Mister contest will be held at the Community Building beginning at 7 p.m. Monday night.

Monday night also marks the opening of the exhibit hall at the fairgrounds; and everyone will be able to view all of the exhibits each night from 4-9 p.m.

Capping off Monday night will be the “Battle of the Departments” at the Grandstands beginning at 7 p.m.

– On Tuesday, livestock check in runs from 6 a.m. until noon; and the swine show takes over the show arena at 6:30 p.m., followed by the “greased pig” contest.

Another popular Tuesday event is the lasagna dinner that is hosted by the members of Center Square Baptist Church; and that begins serving at 5:30 p.m.

There will also be an event in the Grandstand area on Tuesday night, and fair organizers are still working on what that entertainment will be.

– On Wednesday, the day kicks off with the dog show at 9 a.m.; and the Mini 4-H Fun Day will follow at 10:30 a.m.; and the Indiana Pacer Van will also make an appearance on the midway at 10:30 a.m.

The annual “4-H Fun Day” which features competition between the county’s 4-H clubs will be held at 1 p.m. on Wednesday; and the sheep show will then be held at the show arena beginning at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

Up at the community building, the Baby Contest will be held beginning at 6:30 p.m. and over at the Grandstands, everyone will be treated to ATV racing beginning at 7 p.m.

– Thursday begins with the cat show at 10 a.m.; and that will be followed by the second annual “Pocket Pet” show, which will feature 4-H members and their pets such as gerbils, hamsters, white mice, snakes, other rodents, and pets like those. The pocket pet show will be held at the Community Building.

At 4 p.m. on Thursday is the beef show at the show arena; and that will be followed by the Johnny Andrew Memorial Pedal Tractor Pull for children, which will start near the show arena beginning at 6 p.m.

Over at the grandstands, a ranch sorting competition and demonstration will take place beginning at 7 p.m.; and the meat goat show will begin at the show arena at 7 p.m.

– Friday will kick off with one of the most popular projects in the Switzerland County program – shooting sports. Students who have been involved in shooting sports will compete and give a demonstration at the grandstand area on Friday morning beginning at 9 a.m.; and those in attendance will get to see children competing in archery, pistol, rifle, shot gun, and muzzleloaders.

All students who are a part of the shooting sports program are required to attend three safety meetings before they are allowed to go out to the range.

At the end of the demonstration, parents and others in attendance are allowed to try their hand with the different areas, all under the supervision of the shooting sports staff.

The dairy show will then be held at the show arena beginning at 1 p.m. on Friday; and the dairy goat show will be held at 2:30 p.m.

The Switzerland County High School cross country team will host its third annual cornhole beginning at 6 p.m.; and there will also be a turkey calling contest beginning at 6 p.m.

Friday will wrap up with truck drags beginning at 7 p.m. at the grandstands.

– The fair finishes its run on Saturday, July 17th, but it closes with a day filled with activities.

The Round Robin Showmanship competition will be held at the show arena beginning at 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning; and the open exhibit garden show exhibit will be held from 2-5:30 p.m.

The auction barbecue will begin for buyers at 3 p.m.; and the annual livestock auction, which last year brought in more than $86,000, then gets started at 4 p.m.; and 4-H projects will be released from the exhibit hall from 7-10 p.m.

Over at the grandstands, a demolition derby will be held beginning at the conclusion on the livestock auction.

Make plans now to come out and enjoy the 2010 Switzerland County 4-H Fair.