2019 Manistee County Fair off and running

ONEKAMA — There was a sense of nervousness and excitement all mixed into one on the young faces as they waited patiently in line to get their chickens judged at the Manistee County Fair on Tuesday afternoon.

Even though this ride was spinning at a rapid rate of speed these two girls still wanted to smile for the News Advocate camera.

The fair is always the culmination of a year’s worth of hard work for young 4-H members when they get to go before a judge to get their entry reviewed. Clerks at the fair said the chickens and other animals are all judged on a variety of things to determine the top ribbon winners.

“There is a series of questions they have to answer and steps that must be followed,” said the clerks. “They need to know their breeds, the feed, how much they weigh and what type of bird they are. They need to know the educational part of it when asked by the judge. We have three seniors, two juniors and 12 beginners competing in the showmanship right now.”

Volunteer Jamie Smith said the rabbit competition, like others, was competing for the top ribbons in reserve champion, best of show, best of breed grand champion and best overall and much more.

“There isn’t quite as many as we had in the past, but I know one exhibitor had 10 rabbits,” said Smith. “It has been a good show with good judges and the kids are having fun.”

Fair board member Elaine Bossingham said things have been going well in the first few days of the annual fair. She added that the grandstand events are doing very well.

People view the animal exhibits in the 4-H buildings that had already been judged and won a ribbon.

“There is a lot of out of town people who have been coming in and we had a request for some more flyers because people not from here want to come to the fair,” said Bossingham. “Last night we had a huge showing for our horse pull as 11 teams came, which is the biggest pull of the season so far in terms of number of teams. Tonight we have the TNT King of the Track Demolition Derby bump and run and that should bring in a good crowd.”

Bossingham said Wednesday’s activities feature a lot of judging of the 4-H animals with the rabbits being done in the morning and the chickens in the afternoon.

“We have had a good showing and the kids are having a good time and we can’t complain,” said Bossingham.

On Thursday, the merchant building will open at noon and run until 10 p.m. and at 1:30 p.m. the tastiest judging event of the fair takes place with the Pie Baking Contest. Everyone will be competing for the coveted blue ribbon in the Pie Baking event.

Kids will get the chance to enjoy the rides and other activities of the Family Fun Time Amusement Carnival from 2-10 p.m. in the midway Thursday.

All the hard work of those 4-H students gets the chance to pay off at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday with the animal auction that always draws in a large crowd of bidders to purchase the animals.

One of the most important parts of getting their animal judged at the Manistee County Fair was for the 4-H students to be able to answer questions about them.

On Thursday under the lights, SJO Productions Motocross will thrill everyone in front of the grandstand. The gates open at 6 p.m. and the show takes place at 7 p.m. as it is a show that is sure to excite everyone.

On Friday the carnival will run from 2 to 11 p.m. and in front of the grandstand at 7 p.m. there will be the West Michigan Pullers. The grand stand will open at 6 p.m.

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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