County celebrates 96th annual fair festivities

The 96th Annual Slope County Farmers Fair was this past weekend in Amidon on Aug. 26, 27, and 28.

Judge Jack Buckley (Left) talks to Joel Schulz (Right) about his sheep. (Photo by Rachel Bock/The Herald)
Judge Jack Buckley (Left) talks to Joel Schulz (Right) about his sheep. (Photo by Rachel Bock/The Herald)

BY RACHEL BOCK | Herald Reporter

The 96th Annual Slope County Farmers Fair was this past weekend in Amidon on Aug. 26, 27, and 28. The fair started off late Friday afternoon as 65 Slope County 4-H members brought their static exhibits to be interviewed and judged. The young 4-H members brought outstanding projects to the fair which impressed the judges and Slope County Extension Agent Shelby Hewson. There was also an open class for exhibits, for anyone who is a non 4-H member who wanted to bring in projects. Those exhibits were also judged on Friday evening.

“[It’s] always outstanding to see the number of projects that we have for 65 4-H members. It is great to see and they do a great job,” Hewson said.

For 28 4-H members, Saturday morning started bright and early as the young 4-H kids started cleaning and grooming their animals to make them look top notch for the livestock show. The livestock show consists of 4-H members showing animals in the categories of breeding swine, market swine, market sheep, market goats, breeding goats, rabbits, poultry, market steers, and heifers. During the show, the livestock animals were judged by Jack Buckley. The rabbit and poultry judge was Heather Nester. Not only is the animal judged for their quality, but the exhibitor is also judged on how he or she showed that particular animal. A showman winner from each animal category is then placed into the 4-H Round Robin Show which was held following the livestock show. The winner of each showman animal category brings out their animal and is judged on showing each different animal of hogs, sheep, goats, steers, and horses.

Other events on Saturday included a pet show, a mud volleyball tournament, the NWBRA Barrel Racing, and a horseshoe tournament.  Saturday evening brought the talents of six barbecue teams that showcased their different rib cooking styles. The cook off event has gained popularity over the years, and had a record turnout this year.

Another favorite tradition of the Slope County Fair is the fair theater production, presented by the theater troupe called the Slope County Players. This year the group of actors performed the play ‘Loonies and Snatchers’ by Emilio Regina. The cast of 11 actors performed to a sold out crowd of over 150 people on Saturday night. The size of the crowd required additional seating to accommodate.

“It was a pleasant surprise to see that many people at the fair, and at the show. For a small town fair, it was amazing and we couldn’t ask for a better crowd. We had so many good compliments on the play, and that makes everybody want to come back and do it every single year,” actor Lyndsey Erickson said.

To prepare for the play, practices started right after July 4, and the cast met twice a week on Wednesday and Sunday nights to rehearse.

Sunday brought another busy day at the fair as the day started off with the Rodeo Slack, Ecumenical Service, the 4-H Parade of Champions, and the 4-H Livestock sale. The Livestock sale brought buyers from local businesses from around the area to the fair to support the young 4-H members as they sold their animals to the highest bidder. This year’s sale gave plenty of options as there were two chickens, two rabbits, nine pigs, three sheep, six goats, and nine steers for buyers.

“The livestock sale went well with a great number of buyers and the prices were good. It is always fun to see when our senior members come back from college to show their animals. I think that is a good example for the younger kids to stick with it,” Hewson said.

After the livestock sale, the fair tradition continued with the NDRA/Slope Summer Circuit Rodeo. After the rodeo, to end the fair was the annual pig roast and sweet corn meal. During the meal, local musicians graced the crowd with their talents. After the meal, another performance of ‘Loonies and Snatchers’ was scheduled.

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