Weld County Fair time brings family, friends together
July 19, 2016
The animal pens, booths and stands at Island Grove Event Center are more than they appear — they set up a social space for Lauridson kids. The youngest, Sydnee, 8, said she and her friend, Carson, check out the booths and items for sale.
That, and pick on Carson's older brother.
And Sydnee isn't the only Lauridson who enjoys play in the family's downtime.
Justin Lauridson, her father, said he loves watching the fun times the kids have.
"You have so many friends, but honestly they're all family," Justin said. "Every time we go to a show, you have the same people. The older kids help the younger kids."
Justin mentioned a time at a show when some of the 4-Hers threw water at one another. He turned to his 13-year-old daughter, Macey. She was grinning.
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Macey was the one who started the water fight by dumping a bottle onto a friend's head. Macey said they chased each other, continuously squirting water throughout the grounds.
And as either Lauridson girl is off running and playing with their friends, Justin and mom, Amanda, don't have to worry about where they went. Having friends and family at the county fair means eyes can and will be on the girls.
And it's not strictly people around the fair who are like family — it's those who help the girls' participate in 4-H.
"We've got some pretty neat guys we buy animals from," Justin said. "They're some of the bigger names around that sell pigs and lambs, but they're more like dads to these girls, and they treat them like that, too. They just love the kids and would do anything for them."
The family doesn't stick to local farmers to purchase their animals. Some actually come from Illinois, so the family makes it a point to travel out to pick up the animals.
They don't travel much for fairs and shows, as they stick to the local fair and jackpots. But they do travel to the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo where Macey — and hopefully Sydnee — will soon compete.
"My favorite memory is the first time Macey made State Fair and her and Sydney were really little," Amanda said "Macey was so tiny that her lamb sat on her shoulder and was in her face the entire time. They were just so little."
Sydnee said she just sleeps — the 4 a.m. departure time doesn't sit well for her to start her day. But traveling gets the family together.
Plus, for Amanda, it's time the family gets to spend together away from home.
"We like traveling," Amanda said. "We like to get away. Being farmers, we're kind of bound to the homestead quite a bit. So if we get a chance to travel a little bit we're pretty excited about it." ❖
Samantha Fox is a reporter and designer for The Fence Post. "Road to the county fair" is a weekly column series that includes six Weld County 4-H participants as they prepare and compete at the 2016 Weld County Fair. Reach Samantha at email@example.com or connect with her at @FoxonaFarm on Twitter.