Down the stretch

EVART — It’s been a couple hectic, fun days for Amanda Case and her two 4-H’ers Scott and Staci, as the children are participating in their first fair and showing rabbits, goats and horses.

Despite it being Scott and Staci’s first taste of hearty 4-H competition in this setting, Amanda has years of experience as a 4-H’er from her youth and helped them prepare for this week’s Osceola County 4-H/FFA Fair.

“I did this for a lot of years growing up,” she said, as Scott, 12, and Staci, 9, were bustling around checking on their rabbits. “I knew what to expect, so that helps. You can tell they’re excited about the fair, learning what all is expected of them and getting to spend time hanging out with their friends.”

Members of the Rough Riders 4-H Club in Chase, Scott and Staci joined dozens of their fellow 4-H’ers this week in feeding, watering, cleaning, primping, grooming, preparing and showing their animals for the watchful eye of the judges.

On Monday, nearly 60 4-H’ers showed their rabbits in showmanship and market classes. As quickly as the rabbit shows drew to a close, many of the 4-H’ers quickly gathered their chickens and turkeys for the poultry show in the arena.

The garden tractor pull rounded out Monday night’s festivities.

Youth and Open Class goat judging, along with trail and Western riding for horses opened Tuesday’s 4-H festivities at the fair, and the youth and open classes for beef and dairy beef judging were held in the afternoon.

Tuesday was the first day for the TJ Schmidt & Company Midway for fairgoers. The midway will be open from 1 to 10 p.m. each day, except for Wednesday, when it will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The Michigan State Championship Heavyweight Horse Pull took place Tuesday as well.

Wednesday is Kid’s Day at the fair. The morning kicks off with the 4-H swine shows, with sheep judging slated for the afternoon. Farm Bureau will offer its chicken barbecue at noon.

On Thursday, 4-H’ers with dairy cows and horses have shows scheduled in the morning, while alpaca and llama judging is set for the afternoon. The pedal pull will be at 4 p.m. The 4-H’ers take center stage at 6 p.m. for the market chicken, rabbit and goat auction. The truck pull is set for7 p.m.

As the fair starts to wind down on Friday, youth and open class horse and pony judging, along with miniature horse judging, will be at 8 a.m. The market livestock auction beings at 6 p.m. and the antique tractor pull is slated for 7 p.m.

On Saturday, community appreciation day, the horse and goat fun shows will take place in the morning with the rabbit, horse and livestock costume classes are set for the early afternoon. Sweepstakes showmanship will begin at 2 p.m. and the 4-H’ers will round out their week-long stay at the fair with the Ag Olympics at 6 p.m.