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  • Poultry champion loves his chicken

    When I saw 11-year-old Marshall Frye, wearing a white lab coat, watching the Poultry Show in the Small Animal Barn on Thursday during the Hamilton County 4-H Fair, I had to ask if he was showing a chicken.

    He seemed so serious, dressed nicely in his lab coat while watching the judges go from one chicken cage to the next.

    So I asked. And yes, he was exhibiting his chicken.

    But even better, he had just been named Hamilton County 4-H Grand Champion Poultry Showman in the beginner division. A little later, the son of Blair and Emily Frye won Reserve Grand Champion in Poultry Exhibition for beginners.

    His mom was standing nearby eavesdropping on our conversation about Marshall’s chicken. And there was a paparazzi brother, Cameron, 13, a 4-H’er carrying a camera, snapping photos of us as I interviewed the home-schooled seventh-grader, a first-year Hamilton County 4-H’er.

  • ‘Charlotte’s Web’ director is all about the kids

    WESTFIELD – Brandi Davis has been involved in theater since she was 5 years old. So, directing shows came natural to her.

    She is currently directing Westfield Playhouse’s summer kids production, “Charlotte’s Web,” opening tonight and continuing through July 29 at the former church-turned theater located on Indiana 32 in Eagletown.

    “I love working with kids,” Davis said.

    This show has 30 kids, 29 kids on stage and one in the light booth. The youngest is 4, and the oldest is 16.

    “The biggest challenge is keeping them quiet backstage, but that really isn’t specific to them being youth. When two people whisper backstage, it isn’t a problem. When 20 people whisper backstage, it is a wave of sound that travels right in the house,” she said.

    As far as wrangling a lot of kids, she has experience.

  • 80th 4-H Fair opens today

    It’s opening day of the 80th Hamilton County 4-H Fair.

    While there isn’t a special celebration to commemorate the milestone, I always love the opportunity to talk about our wonderful 4-H Fair. 4-H’ers checked in their farm animals all day Wednesday, so the Fairgrounds today smells of horses, pigs and cows, like going to the farm.

    And I also love the smell of the delicious foods -- the ribeye, the lamb burgers and the rabbit brats -- cooking on the barbecue grills at the Producer’s Tent.

    And while I've said before that I look forward to the Fair food, I think everyone else does, too.

    A favorite of many Fair goers is the grilled cheese sandwich, available with a choice of American cheese on white bread or Swiss cheese on rye bread. The Hamilton Heights Husky 4-H’ers make and serve the grilled cheese as a fundraiser. They start warming up the griddles this morning, with grilled cheese being served 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today in the Producer’s Tent near the Small Animal Barn, and again on Friday. 

  • Meet our new 4-H Fair Queen

    Three times is charm for our 2018 Miss Hamilton County 4-H Fair Queen Megan Wiley.

    While the 4-H Fair officially opens on Thursday, 4-H Queen Megan Wiley has already began her queen duties, awarding grand champion and blue ribbons at Monday’s 4-H Dog Obedience Contest. Wiley, along with members of her court, presented the contest awards in the Show Arena, which filled with 4-H’ers and their families.

    Giving out ribbons to 4-H’ers isn’t new to Wiley, who in 2016 earned first runner-up on the Queen’s Court.

    “This is my third time competing,” she told me on Friday night as she was receiving congratulatory hugs from friends and family, and the 11 other contestants.

    “I was on court once (in 2016), and I wasn’t again (in 2017), and it’s taught me to be strong, and keep going, keep pushing, and always do your hardest,” said the green-eyed, red-haired 19-year-old, who stands 5-6 inches and is a member of the Giddy-Up-Gang 4-H Club.

  • 4-H Dog Obedience leads to new friend

    Hamilton County 4-H Fair time is here.

    On Friday, Westfield’s Megan Wiley was crowned 4-H Fair Queen.

    On Saturday, 4-H’ers brought their canine friends and competed in Dog Agility. 

    On Sunday, 4-H’ers checked in an array of projects, from Creative Writing and Photography to Arts & Crafts, and Home Environment, Gift Wrap and Sewing. 4-H’ers also checked in Aerospace, Child Development and Electric. Bees, Entomology and Forestry. Genealogy, Health and Small Engines. And almost all posters were checked in.

    Today, both open and closed judging will take place for many of these projects, which will be on display during the 4-H Fair that officially opens on Thursday and runs through July 23 at the 4-H Fairgrounds, 2003 E. Pleasant St., Noblesville.

  • Gal pals share NobleStories

    I’ve known Sandy Stewart as long as I’ve been working in Noblesville as a journalist. And I met her friend Dottie Young a long time ago, too.

    The 1964 Noblesville High School graduates, who live just blocks apart in Old Town Noblesville, have a lot of fond memories of old Noblesville, growing up here. And they plan to share a lot of those memories during Noblesville Preservation Alliance’s inaugural Noblestories storyteller series, which kicks off on Sunday.

    They’ll speak at 4 p.m. at Logan Street Sanctuary, 1274 Logan St., just blocks from their homes. Admission is free and open to the public. Hamilton County Television is also a partner in the series, which will be broadcast live.

    Young is a small town girl from Clarksville in Hamilton County’s Wayne Township and found herself in much larger surroundings when she arrived at NHS in 1960.

    They met in high school, in art class. “I knew who she was, but we didn’t run in the same crowds,” she said. 

  • Pageant tonight, 4-H Fair nears

    It’s Friday the 13th, superstitious for some, and lucky for others.

    For our 12 Hamilton County 4-H Fair Queen contestants -- one of whom will be crowned to reign over the 2018 Hamilton County 4-H Fair -- it will be her lucky day.

    But it isn’t necessarily luck that wins the competition. Judging is based on three categories: Professional Wear (40 points), in which contestants model a business suit; a five-minute judges’ interview (100 points), during which contestants are judged on their ability to converse and their professionalism; and Formal Wear (60 points), during which contestants model an evening gown, while demonstrating stage presence and poise.

    The 2017 4-H Fair Queen Chloe Mills will crown the winner. Mills, 19, of Arcadia, a 2017 graduate of Hamilton Heights High School and a 10-year 4-H’er, reigned over the 2017 4-H Fair and spent the past year representing Hamilton County at various events, including our city’s holiday parades.

  • Watching our trains leave Forest Park

    Midnight today is the deadline for the Indiana Transportation Museum to move out of its longtime 10-acre home in Noblesville’s Forest Park.

    Anybody who’s driven through the park in the past couple of days has likely noticed that giant cranes are being used to delicately hoist and position the museum’s rail cars, one after another, onto special carriers behind semi-trucks.

    The ITM’s train cars, locomotives and preserved train equipment are being transported to new homes, near and far, via roads and highways after not being allowed to use Hoosier Heritage Port Authority’s train tracks.

    Preparing each piece to move is a slow process. While bodies have been busy moving the trains and equipment, from sunrise to sunset, there is no feasible way that the museum could remove its more than 5,000 tons of equipment by tonight’s deadline.

  • ‘Clancy’s Topper’ returns to Noblesvillle

    A Noblesville family with a long history in the restaurant business has opened a new eatery in downtown Noblesville.

    The Fogelsongs -- Perry Fogelsong and his sisters, Annette Cunion and Becky Reynolds, and Perry’s son, Blake Fogelsong -- are the owners of the new Grindstone Public House.

    With the opening comes Clancy’s Topper, a hamburger that was popular at Clancy’s Hamburgers, the Fogelsongs’ former fast-food restaurant in Noblesville.

    Grindstone Public House has been long-awaited, say invited guests who on Saturday attended a special friends-and-family celebration.

    Noblesville Common Council member and Realtor Brian Ayer and his wife, Toni, were on a guest list that also included Noblesville Mayor John Ditslear, who led a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony.

    The Ayers both ordered the Topper. Brian Ayer had fries with it, and Toni had coleslaw. They also had a Crab Dip appetizer.

  • Stay in town this July 4th
    6/30/2018 We never consider leaving town or even consider anything else than being in downtown Noblesville on July 4.

    For as long as I have lived in Noblesville, I have attended the Noblesville Fourth of July Parade and Fireworks Festival. I have either sat in a shady spot along Logan Street or on Ninth Street, or have participated in the parade. 

    The parade route steps off at 4:30 p.m. from Ivy Tech Community College at 300 N. 17th St., and travels west on Logan Street, north on Ninth Street and east on Monument Street back to Ivy Tech.

    We love to see all of the hometown entries in the parade. 

    Noblesville Mayor John Ditslear (this year, he’s the parade’s honorary grand marshal) and First Lady pastor Teri Ditslear, State Rep. Kathy Richardson and the Noblesville Marching Millers are among the entries at the beginning of the parade.
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