The Times photo by Betsy ReasonThe Hamilton County 4-H Fair is right around the corner.
The Times photo by Betsy Reason

The Hamilton County 4-H Fair is right around the corner.
It's already July 8, which means the Hamilton County 4-H Fair is right around the corner.

I know that because my 11-year-old daughter is scrambling today to finish up one of her projects, with the help of her Aunt Debbie.

This is our fifth year involved in the county's 4-H program. We spent two years in Mini 4-H, where we took Horse & Pony, Clogging, Collections and other projects. Then when my daughter was old enough, she joined the regular 4-H program. Her first year, she signed up for about a dozen projects, but we realized that we couldn't get them all done, so she enrolled in fewer projects over the past two years.

While the 4-H Fair officially kicks off on July 20, there are lots of events and deadlines for 4-H'ers before then.

Tuesday is the deadline for 4-H'ers to pre-register their projects online. Our Consumer Clothing notebooks are also due at noon Tuesday, with private judging at 5:30 p.m. Consumer Clothing is a fun project that teaches 4-H'ers to make wise clothing decisions. My daughter kept a notebook. She purchased an item of clothing that she'll wear with other clothes in her wardrobe. Then Tuesday evening, she will model her purchases, tell the judges about her items, what she learned and about activities she completed.

4-H'ers who take the Sewing project are also invited to model their handmade clothing during the private judging Tuesday, with 4-H'ers from both projects invited to model their clothing in the public Fashion Show during the 4-H Fair.

The biggest event prior to the Fair is the 4-H Queen Pageant, which is at 7 p.m. Friday in the Exhibition Center at the Hamilton County 4-H Fairgrounds, 3000 E. Pleasant St., Noblesville. This year, 16 contestants from throughout Hamilton County will vie for the crown. Admission is free to the public.

Then, a week from today, next Saturday, is set-up day at the Fairgrounds, with a Dog Rally and Dog Agility Show. On Sunday, the Fair Office officially opens, with 4-H'ers checking in their projects, from arts and craft and aerospace, to insect collections for entomology, wildflowers and woodworking. The 4-H Fairgrounds will be bustling with activities.

Monday, there is open judging for projects such as child development, sewing and small engines, plus a dog-obedience contest. Tuesday, there's more open judging, plus a bicycle rodeo for 4-H'ers in the Bicycle project.

Wednesday, farm animals move into the barns. It's a day that I love because it really feels like 4-H Fair is here. Then on Thursday, the Fair officially opens with all of the food booths, goat, dairy, horse, poultry and rabbit shows and llamas doing an obstacle course.

On Friday, the sweet smell of chicken barbecue finds 4-H'ers cooking their recipes on the Fairgrounds, and 4-H'ers model in the Fashion Revue. Saturday, there's a homemade ice cream contest, in which my daughter and family usually competes, plus Mini 4-H projects and Extension Homemaker projects on display, and a cat show. Sunday, there's a champions food auction, pet parade and pedal tractor pull, plus Farmer Olympics. Monday, there's a talent show, beef show, horse show and the Royal and Supreme Showmanship contests. Tuesday, the Fair winds down with the annual livestock auction.

Save the dates for the 4-H Fair, July 20-25. See ya there!

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