North Park Fair connected communities
With the approach of autumn, the excitement surrounding the North Park Fair can be felt within this small community of Walden, Colo. Beautiful weather, good food, and good company, who could ask for a better place to be on a September weekend?
The events really began on August 20, with shooting sports and this year there were quite a few participants. Taking the Junior All-Around Grand Champion was Makayla Douthit and Kaine Brown taking Junior Reserve Champion. There were 30 junior participants this year. Bryon Lytle took the Senior All Around Grand Champion, with four participants in his division.
The Cattle Woman’s association ran the home economics division again this year and there was quite a turn out. Walking through the tables, you saw the wide range of talent that this small town holds. Food, photographs, scrapbook pages, quilts, benches, pretty much anything creative was represented. It is nice to see the 4-H submissions along with adults from the area.
Thursday, September 8, was the first official day of the fair. The horse show is always an exciting event. These kids work with their leaders and their horses as a group weekly leading up to fair. Horse and rider learn to communicate with each other, as well as watching for other participants in the ring. This year the Senior Grand Champion in horsemanship was Ashleigh White with her horse Belle. Intermediate Grand Champion was Makayla McAdoo with Newt and Cali Harper took Reserve Champion Showmanship with Hottie. Renee Parsons was given Junior Grand Champion Showmanship with her horse Linda and Marti Elzie took Reserve with Glory.
Friday was packed with events for spectators and participants alike. Those children that raise and show more than one animal start to feel the pressure as multiple classes are scheduled. Starting off the morning were the swine classes. Codi Baller took home the Grand Champion Swine Showman, with Clay Russell taking Reserve Champion. Grand Champion Intermediate went to Shelbi McAllister and Kaine Brown took Reserve. Junior class Grand Champion was Kayla Jenkins with Darcy Edmonds as Reserve. There was only one participant in the North Park Born and Raised Swine class and that was Ryan Selcer showing a Selcer Show Pigs swine.
Lamb and goat classes started off the afternoon. The Grand Champion Intermediate Goat Showman was Cali Harper with Gavin Jordan taking Reserve. For the junior showman classes Aubrey Jordan took Grand Champion and Kayla Jenkins took home Reserve. There were three participants in the North Park Born and Raised Goat class with Hannah Dilley taking home the prize showing a Pantle Livestock goat.
Four children entered their sheep in the showmanship classes this year. Clay Russell took home the Grand champion Senior Showman. The Grand Champion Intermediate Showman was Kyan Jenkins with Blake Russell taking Reserve. Kayla Jenkins was named the Grand Champion Junior Showman. Kayla and Kyan Jenkins were the only two to show North Park Born and Raised Lambs. Kyan was the winner showing a KJ Lambs lamb.
Saturday was the last day of showing for the kids, though not the easiest by any means. The beef classes kick off the day, and it’s amazing to watch these kids work with these large animals. Though they have been working hard at home all summer, sometimes the noise of the crowd or a new space will make a steer a tad nervous. I give these kids a lot of credit for holding their own out there.
The Grand Champion Senior Beef Showman went to Dalton Edmonds and Clay Russell taking Reserve. Cali Harper took Grand Champion Intermediate and Blake Russell took Reserve. I have to say that the junior class was quite impressive to watch. These young ladies were leading around huge steers and though some had help, they still worked hard and stood their ground. Darci Wintermote took home the Grand Champion Junior Beef Showman and Darcy Edmonds took Reserve. There were 11 participants in the North Park Born and Raised Beef class this year. Blake Russell took home the prize with a Maine X steer from Russell Ranch.
Just because the shows are over, does not mean that the participants can relax. Each participant in 4-H and FFA Round Robin must show their animal and then rotate to each breed and show their knowledge on that breed. Each year the winners are announced at the sale Saturday evening. Aubrey Jordan took the Junior Grand Champion prize while Bryce Russell took the Intermediate Grand Champion title. It was a close race with the seniors, but Clay Russell took Grand Champion in the end.
Before the sale begins the last evening of the Fair, the North Park Fair Board presents the Fair Dedication. This year the fair was dedicated to Mr. Philip Anderson. Mr. Anderson went to school in Walden as a child, and attended CSU after graduation. He has spent the last 23 years in North Park as a teacher and has had a huge impact on our small community. Over the years he has been actively supporting the North Park Fair and been involved with FFA. Recently Philip was given the highest honor a teacher can receive, when his students nominated him for the Colorado Ag Teacher of the year award. He was presented with the Outstanding Ag teacher of 2011 for the State of Colorado at the FFA Convention. Philip believes we need to promote our agriculture lifestyle to our children if we want them to continue in agriculture also. I couldn’t imagine a better person to dedicate the fair to this year.
The sale was again a success. With tears from the participants as they let their animals go, but hopes of bright futures. It is nice to see these children learning from this experience, and the value of consistent hard work. It is also exciting to watch the next generation play in the dirt while the older kids sell their animals; it won’t be long before it will be their turn in the ring.