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Barton County Fair celebrates kids of all ages
mutton ride.jpg

“Ever ride a sheep before?”

That was the question asked of a 4-year-old preparing for the Mutton Bustin’ event, Saturday at the Barton County Fair.

Mutton Bustin’ is a tradition at many rodeos and at the fair, according to Kate Wary, treasurer of the Barton County Fair Board.

“The kids ride the sheep and hold on as long as they can, right across the arena,” she said. They wear helmets and face guards and the dirt floor of Aaron’s Repair Arena in Expo III was covered with sawdust to soften their landing if they fell.

Saturday was Kids Day and Promote 4-H Day at the fair, with events such as the pedal tractor pull and the cornhole tournament. There was also a display of big trucks and equipment for kids to explore and Rosewood Services offered free horse rides.

“Saturday is always the busiest day of the fair,” Wary said. And although it was Kids Day, there was something for kids of all ages. Adults could also enter a cornhole tournament or a pedal tractor pull.

Eric Phannenstiel from Great Bend and his brother Brett Phannenstiel from Hays were among the competitors in the antique tractor pull. Eric’s 1941 John Deere A and Brett’s 1944 Massy Harris each took first place in separate weight classes.

The brothers said they’ve been entering tractor pulls for years and bought their antique tractors for that purpose.

“It’s a fairly cheap hobby,” Eric said. The tractors are heavy but “they’re pretty simple to work on.”

Saturday’s events also included a horse show, sheep show and pet show. There was a watermelon feed in the evening, leading into Toby’s Carnival and the rock and roll tribute concert.

The fair continues Sunday with a non-denominational church service at 8 a.m., followed by breakfast. Other events:

• 9:30 a.m. 4-H Small Animal Round Robin

• 10:45 a.m. 4-H Livestock Round Robin Showmanship Contest

• 11:30 a.m. 4-H Barbecue

• 2 p.m. 4-H Showcase Awards; Farm Bureau Association Root Beer Social

• 2:30 Sale of Champions