Building booths for fair
Fences and gates have been erected.
Mobile homes and house trailers sit parked inside the east gate, connected to the electric posts.
Crews work in the barns, readying them for the steers, cows, hogs, chickens, rabbits and a list of other animals.
Near the midway, three young girls carry a section of fence with their fair club’s name, Star Spangled Clovers, across the front. Lauren Klopfenstein, Emma Davis and Danica Zink move the prop Friday from a vehicle in the parking lot into the Junior Fair Building at the Auglaize County Fairgrounds.
Danica Zink, who is entering the fifth grade at Wapakoneta Middle School, helps set up the booth with her green sun dress as part of the display.
“I just grabbed a pattern at Joann Fabrics and green is my favorite color so that is the material I purchased,” the daughter of Elise and Duane Zink said. “It has a drawstring at the neck and bottom hem is right above my knee.
“This is one of the first sewing projects for the 10-year-old, but it is another aspect of the 4-H project that has her working extra hard, she said.
“I learned that you have to practice a lot to get the modeling down,” Danica said. “You first have to make the dress and now I have to model it this Sunday.”
During the making of the dress, Danica discovered a valuable morsel of sewing knowledge.
“I learned I had to backstitch or the stitches would unravel very easily,” Danica said. “I also learned that I have to iron the dress a lot to keep it smooth, but I would have to say making the straps was my favorite part of making the dress.”
She also made a pillow and bulletin board explaining her sewing projects.
Danica also entered the home living category where she explained how she decorated her bedroom.
Emma Davis is taking advantage of the versatility of the Star Spangled Clovers, which has participants in nearly every facet of the fair from livestock to scrapbooking, from sewing to horse contesting.
Emma, who also is entering the fifth grade at Wapakoneta Middle School, plans to show one of her family’s Holstein steers during the Beef Show and during the Beef Showmanship Show.
“I can’t wait to do all my shows and getting my ribbons,” Emma said.
Emma, who is bringing two Holstein steers to the fair, is quick to give credit to her 13-year-old sister, Hannah, and her parents. Hannah, who was present Friday helping build the display, also is bringing two steers to the fair from the family farm.
“I learned how to wash them, how to walk them and how to set them up,” Emma said. “My sister has been really supportive of me and has helped me a lot.
“My mom also helped me with my books and my dad helped me with the cows,” the daughter of Renee and Luke Davis said.
She noted her steer calmed down after he was dehorned, but her sister’s steer became more wild when he was dehorned.
She also explained how she gave her steer his name.
“When I first saw him and worked with him, he licked me all over,” Emma said. “He has this very long tongue, the longest tongue I’ve ever seen on a steer — like a frog — so I named him ‘Froggy.’”
Despite this being her first year in both shows, she said her steer’s demeanor gives her confidence because he is so calm. She described him as being nothing more than a “big dog.”
“I am a little nervous, because while I know how to show it, I don’t know what it will be like in the ring,” Emma said. “It will be my first show ever.”
Three members of another family — siblings D.J., Kati and Ryan O’Neill — took time out Friday to help with the booth.
Kati, who was displaying a bulletin board of her scrapbooking, with help from Paige Klopfenstein, made scrapbooks of her brother, Ryan’s, Eagle Scout project. He restored a lamp and an oak shelf and made a sign with calligraphy for First English Lutheran Church.
She also did one of her father.
The keys to good scrapbooking is to include embellishments, Kati said, such as stamps, stickers and journaling.
She also is a self-proclaimed scrapbook shopper, hitting hobby and scrapbook stores.
Kati picked up the hobby from Pam Minor, who works for “Close to My Heart.” Kati said the hobby is relaxing.
Kati and Ryan, who are twins, also will compete in the show ring — both show hogs. This is Kati’s second year and Ryan’s third year.
“I became interested in showing hogs when I went over to a friend’s house and was helping him in the barn,” the 16-year-old said of his friend, Austin Fisher. “I was helping him with his hogs when he said he had two other hogs that I could show so I did.”
He recalled that first time in the ring and how much he has learned.
“My first year, the pig is supposed to always be between you and the judge,” Ryan said. “That first year I was always on the wrong side and used the wrong hand to move the pig around the ring. I didn’t have brush.
“I also learned overall sportsmanship,” he said. “If you don’t win, be happy for the other person and shake their hand. The fair is all about being a good sport.”