My family used to go to the county fair every year when I was a kid. My mom would offer dozens of different vegetables and baked goods for judging, and we’d spend hours examining her competitors wares and smiling proudly over her blue ribbons on display. We’d also travel through the maze of animal stalls, spending the most time petting pygmy goats and laughing at crazy looking chickens.
I’ve only been to the fair a few times as an adult. Henry and I went right before we got married (five years ago) to scope out goat breeds for potential purchase. We got some invaluable advice about buying and keeping goats from a high school 4-Her.
The whole family was pretty excited to go to the fair this year.
Did you know that a guinea pig is also called a “cavy”? I had no idea. You can tell I never did 4-H as a kid. This creature was pretty adorable, and Charlotte was happy to get a chance to pet it.
We breezed through the llama area and said hello to this friendly contestant.
Our neighbor and 4-H friend Wren, was gracious enough to get her show homer pigeon out of its cage for a little photo shoot. Wren originally owned racing homers with hopes of training them to fly back to their roost from miles away, but local predators (hawks) dashed her hopes of letting them loose without suffering heavy losses. Show homers are a little heavier than racers, but they are beautiful.
This is a cool cowlick on a goat belly. I’ll put up some more goat photos from the fair in a nearish future post about goats.
Levi decided about two weeks ago that he wants a rabbit for a pet. I’m not quite sure where he got the idea, but he’s not giving up on it. I’ve never owned a rabbit, but it’s seems like a pretty good first pet for a gentle little boy.
In the rabbit area, I asked Levi to pick out the breed that he’d like to have, and out of all of them (some as big as small shaggy dogs), he chose a rex rabbit. They don’t have guard hairs in their coat, so they are incredibly soft. Good choice, Levi! Now we need to look into their needs for food and facilities and find out where we can buy one.
If you really want to see a few more photos of beatnik chickens and dog-like rabbits, check out my County Fair Flickr set.
The owner of this cow invited Levi to sit on its rump. 4-Hers work for months gentling and training their animals for this show. The 4-H curriculum teaches participants about animal anatomy and showmanship. It also gives a hands-on lesson about the economics and responsibilities of owning and caring for an animal
This is a legendary Cart de Frisco chicken sandwich. I would eat one of these every day for the rest of my life if I had the opportunity. It’s a savory combo of barbecued chicken, a sort of coleslaw, and about five different secret sauces. I probably went through ten napkins while scarfing this one down. What a delicious mess!
We skipped the deep fried Pepsi…
and opted for the elephant ear instead. As someone who stays pretty far away from truly fried foods most of the time (for a variety of reasons), I have to admit that this thing tasted wonderful and was still warm with the cinnamon-sugary goodness on the outside. I’m glad I don’t have more opportunities to eat these.
The OSU Forestry club set up a demonstration of logging sports. I’m not sure exactly what this event is called, but basically the guy had to run around the corner, walk out to the end of the log, and saw off a round. I was impressed by how fast he could move while keeping his balance.
Axe throwing is on my list of things I’d like to learn.
Riley Watkins shows off his mad pole climbing skills.
Charlotte was keeping it pretty real as usual. She had a good time overall but got a little freaked out in the animal barns with all the bawling sheep and goats. (“They’re crying!”)
As the sun was going down, we caught a little bit of the rodeo.
If I have any say in things, I’d love for my kids to participate in 4-H when the get a little older, but I’m hoping to avoid having a rodeo queen living under my roof. Life is weird, though, so we’ll see how things pan out.
Both Shauna Foster, the Philomath Frolic and Rodeo Queen, and Clara Crocker, the Benton County Fair and Rodeo Queen, are clients of Henry’s.
Even though we stayed for a couple hours, I felt like we missed some of the main attractions. Maybe next year I’ll get around to photographing the food exhibits, art, carnival rides, more of the rodeo, or the brand-spankin’-new solar-powered livestock pavilion.