By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Barton County Fair is for everyone young at heart
Avery Popp, left, and Jayla Wyant hold rabbits at the Barton County Fair on Saturday. The fair continues today at the Expo grounds west of Great Bend. - photo by Susan Thacker

From the 4-H and Open Class exhibits to the livestock shows, entertainment and competitions, the Barton County Fair has something for all ages.

Saturday morning, Jayla Wyant, a member of the Eureka Homesteaders 4-H Club in Great Bend, was checking on her rabbits and took time to talk to Avery Popp about joining 4-H. Jayla’s English Spot rabbit won Best of Breed and Best of Show earlier in the week. She showed Avery how to hold a rabbit as she shared tips on food, grooming and the best breeds for someone just getting started in showing rabbits, something Avery thought she might want to try.

Over in Expo II, the Be Well Barton County Health Fair was wrapping as people came through for lunch and to check out the exhibits. Aaron Braddy from Hoisington, who served as superintendent of the woodworking entries this year, pointed out some of the Open Class winners. He said Marc Calcara milled the bald cypress tree from his front yard after it was removed and used the wood to make his furniture project. But the purple ribbon went to a high school senior from Great Bend, Austin Miller, who made an oak dining room table.

“Every single one of (the entrants) brought their own talent,” Braddy said. “I don’t envy the judge.”

Meanwhile, the entries for the antique tractor pull were starting to arrive. Chuck Smith from Buehler, along with his friend Jim Decker from McPherson, brought a Massey-Harris 44 built in 1948.

He didn’t know a lot about the history of the tractor. “It actually came from the junk yard,” Smith said. He tore it apart two years ago and started rebuilding it. The tractor did well at last year’s Barton County Fair, one of only three pulls he was able to attend.

Kyle Schulte from Victoria brought a 1958 Minneapolis Moline GB and a 1941 Case DC. The MM was owned by his grandfather, and then by another family member who entered it in tractor pulls. The last owner is now 84 years, so Schulte bought the tractor and was ready to enter it for the first time.

Robert Smolik of Great Bend said his 1944 McCormick Deering came from an auction. When he bought the tractor, “it was solid grease,” he said. Underneath, he found what appears to be the original paint. The tractor has won first place at other area pulls and he was looking forward to Saturday’s event.

The tractors would start the competition pulling 4,000 pounds and the weight would increase to 6,500 pounds in 500-pound increments.

The fair continues Sunday at the Expo Complex west of Great Bend. Volunteers are welcome all day Monday for the tear-down and storage, final check-out of remaining exhibits and clean-up.

Sunday’s schedule

8:15 a.m. 4-H Members Breakfast Sponsored by 4-H Holding Board

9:30 a.m.  4-H Small Animal Round Robin (Aaron’s Repair Arena)

10:45 a.m. 4-H Livestock Round Robin Showmanship Contest (Aaron’s Repair Arena)

2 p.m. 4-H Showcase Awards (Aaron’s Repair Arena)

Farm Bureau Assn. Root Beer Float Social (Expo III)

2:30 p.m. Sale of Champions (Aaron’s Repair Arena)

4 p.m. Buildings Closed for Check out preparations

4:30 p.m. Check out Exhibits