Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Fair beefs up with new facilities

Better buildings allow bigger event

By Jenny Callison
Enquirer contributor

[IMAGE] Alyssa Volk, 7, from Lawrenceburg, takes a rest on a cow Monday afternoon in the animal barn at the Dearborn County Fairgrounds before the start of the Dearborn County fair.
(Leigh Patton photos)
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LAWRENCEBURG - Like prize livestock, the Dearborn County 4-H and Community Fair is filling out and growing sleeker.

Visitors this week will note some improvements, notably new livestock and rabbit and poultry buildings that replace an assortment of tents.

"They are designed as multiuse buildings, so all this stuff can be moved to the side when the Tri-State Antique Market comes in here every month," said Russell Beiersdorfer, president of the fair board.

The county also reworked the fairgrounds' drainage system and put in new storm sewers, which makes organizers a little less worried about the rain forecast for later this week.

"Next year, all of our electric will be underground," Beiersdorfer said.

Monday afternoon, all the farm animals were primped, primed and ready for the runway.

[IMAGE] Kerry, 7, and Marcus Raab, 18 months, from Manchester, Ind., pet Rocky the goat on Monday afternoon in the animal barn.
([name of photographer] photo)
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"With the new building, you can see all the animals in the same place," said fair board member Connie Cleary. "It seems like the 4-H just gets bigger and bigger each year, with more and more animals. Now that we have more space, we can get all sorts of animals."

Dale Weaver, 12, of Aurora plans to show two heifers, one steer and two pigs. This is his third 4-H livestock competition.

"I raised the pigs from babies, and they and the steer live at my aunt's," he said. "The heifers stay on our dairy farm. I spend about two hours a day taking care of my animals."

Diana Hubbard of Bright paused for a moment before starting the evening milking routine with her goats.

"We've got 114 goats here this year, up from about 100 last year," said the leader of the Happy Udder Bunch goat club. "Goats are becoming more popular because they can be raised on small farms, even on end lots in subdivisions that allow them. We've got a number of first-time exhibitors this year."

The fair's growth is reflected also in larger numbers of family arts entries, said Cleary.

"This year we got many individual entries as well as entries from homemaker clubs," she said. "We also had more artwork and photography and lots of computer projects."

This week's event marks Dearborn County's bicentennial.

An antique farm machinery display and pioneer village exhibit on Friday and Saturday will spotlight the county's past.

If you go

What: Dearborn County 4-H and Community Fair

When: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. today, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Lawrenceburg Fairgrounds, U.S. 50.

Admission: Free.

Highlights: Bicentennial Apple Bake-off Wednesday, Truck Tug-o-War Thursday, motorcycle races Friday and Tribute to Elvis Saturday.


Fair by the numbers

900+ Blue ribbons awarded

17 Midway rides

580 40-pound bags of shavings used to keep the goat and sheep pens tidy

17 Candidates for Dearborn County fair queen

351 4-H members in Dearborn County

800+ Pork chop dinners sold at last year's fair

$2,900: Top livestock price last year, for the grand champion steer


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