The Barton County Fair is one week away, but the first pre-fair events took place Wednesday.
In the morning, entries such as 4-H clothing and fiber arts were judged at Trinity Lutheran Church. Items were also judged for the Fashion Revue held Wednesday evening at the Crest Theater.
For those who missed it, there will be another style show during the fair, at 6 p.m. on July 7 on the Expo II free stage.
As the church filled with young people, Leonard Kaiser arrived with his daughters Molly and Morgan. "Organized chaos," he said, describing the congested halls and rooms. The girls brought their sewing projects for the TLC Twisters 4-H club. They made tote bags, and quilts that will be donated to nursing homes. Molly also made an apron, and Morgan made a dress.
Gracie Brantley and Julie Bitter, both members of the Eureka Homesteaders 4-H club, were there to have their clothing ensembles judged. These were not items the girls made, but they would be judged on their skill as consumers. The judge would look at the entire outfit, including shoes and accessories. They would answer questions about what kind of fiber their clothes were made of and how to care for them. They even calculated how many times they’ll be able to wear an outfit and compared that to the cost of the ensemble.
Making clothing is becoming something of a lost art, and the number of entries gets smaller each year. But many 4-Hers are learning sewing and other skills associated with fiber arts, said Bernie Unruh, a Family and Consumer Science agent for the Barton County Extension. Examples can include quilting, crochet and embroidery.
Judges even judge 4-Hers on their own judging skills.
Unruh and Rena Berrett, the summer intern at the Barton County Extension Office, were in the last room at the church, where 4-H members were judged on a mental event in decision making. As BrayLynn Anshutz from the Busy Buzzers 4-H club approached a table filled with educational exhibits from the Extension, Unruh explained her first task. There were four diagrams showing four possible ways to set a table, and Anshutz was to rank the choices from best to worst. There were several home economics decisions to make in the FCS Challenge, Unruh said. There is also an Agricultural Challenge involving knowledge of livestock and crops.
Pre-fair events continue this Saturday. The 4-H and open class dog show and agility contest will start at 9:30 a.m. at Expo III.