SEE YOU NEXT YEAR: Fair wraps up

EVART - The 2011 Osceola 4-H FFA Fair ended Saturday as it has for a good number of years now - with the roar of laughter and shouts of excitement.

After a busy, (but fun), final day, and an exacting and somewhat stressful Sweepstakes Showmanship competition, young 4-H’ers, club leaders, and members of the fairground team, gathered for the now traditional end to Fair Week - the Ag Olympics.

Excitement levels were high, with adults and kids alike ready to let down their collective hair after a week of often frantic activity.

There was a ton of fun as six groups of kids competed in a giddy, often goofy contest of skills - such as hula-hooping and egg tossing.

The Ag Olympics is, in many ways, an example of what happens at the fair all week long.

Great cooperation. Kids and adults working together. And everyone having fun.

Throughout the week, there also is the serious side of things - competition for the top slots in a wide range of agricultural fields and endeavors.

Everything went off without a hitch, (or at least without big hitches!)

“We had a great Fair Week,” reported Osceola County 4-H program coordinator Jacob Steig.

“The weather was great - not too hot and not too wet.

“There was a lot of serious work in barns, arenas, and show rings, but there also was plenty of time to enjoy each other and make this week really meaningful.”

Steig pointed out that Fair Week was indeed the culmination of a year’s effort for a lot of 4-H kids, but at the same time it was only one aspect of the 4-H program.

“We have a lot going on all year long,” he said.

“The fair really brings it all together, but we keep busy in clubs and as individuals all through the year.”

The 2011 fair began with weigh-ins, and ended with auction sales; started with renewed friendships in barns and stables, and ended with promised to meet for more of the same next year; began with fun and hard work, and ended with the same - more fun and hard work.

All part of a tradition reaching back well over 50 years without a break, and over 100 years with a few years hiatus.

Fair Week in Osceola County is important stuff.

Always has been, and will continue to be for years to come.

And now ...the last lamb has been trucked home, the rides and midway are shut down and have moved on, and the last piece of “Lions’ pie” has been consumed - for this year.

Time to take a breather before getting geared up for 2012.

Fair Week will be here again before you know it.