Ripley County 4-H Fair July 19 through July 25
Get your free ice cream at the fair

Wanda English Burnett

The only thing better than ice cream at the county fair on a hot summer day - is free ice cream!
Well, the ice cream is not entirely free, but almost. According to Mary Schmaltz everyone who gives blood at the Hoxworth Bloodmobile will get a free ice cream cone courtesy of the Farm Bureau. Those donating will also be registered to win one of two Reds ticket packages.

The blood drive will be held Tuesday evening, July 21 from 2-8 p.m. at the Ripley County Fairgrounds Park where the 4-H fair will be in full swing. To make an appointment you can call Schmaltz at 812-654-3949.

Nearly 700 4-H’ers will converge on the Ripley County Fairgrounds Park in Osgood for the 2009 4-H Fair, scheduled for July 19 through July 25. According to LouAnn Menchhofer, Extension Educator 4-H/Youth CFS, there are more 4-H’ers than ever this year bringing the number of projects to 2303, up over last year’s total of 1959.

The fairgrounds park will be buzzing with excitement as the 4-H members begin bringing in everything from photography to livestock. Menchhofer noted food, photography and animal projects are some of the more popular.

Goats are once again popular with varieties including boar, dairy and pygmy. The photography category will require four judges this year, more than has ever participated due to the high volume of projects. Menchhofer noted that there is new penning in the sheep and goat barn.

This year you will see members of the Youth Advisory Board in shirts denoting their status thanks to Farm Bureau and Zimmer Tractor. This is the third year the board has been operational and “what a blessing they’ve been to 4-H” noted Menchhofer.

The group is comprised of 25 members in the fifth through senior year of high school from across the county. They are 4-H members who listen to their members, get together, and work toward programming for all 4-H’ers. “These kids are outstanding,” Menchhofer noted of the diverse group. They have implemented new ideas for categories with welding being an example that got off to a running start and is now going strong.

Highlights of the fair
Sunday night will be the official grand opening for the 2009 4-H fair with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 6 p.m. at the free stage, located by shelter #2. Following the grand opening will be the crowning of the 2009 4-H Junior Leader King and Queen and the presentation of the 2009 Ripley County Queen and Court. The Miss Ripley County pageant will be held this Sunday, July 12 at the Damm Theatre in Osgood.

The Antique Tractor Pull will be showcased in the grandstand Sunday evening July 19 beginning at 4 p.m.

Monday, Wednesday and Saturday will be wristband nights where children can ride all the rides they want for one price - $15.00. The price is the same as last year with Fun Time Carnival operating the rides.

Monday evening the popular baby show will begin at 5:30 p.m. Note the time is later than ever before. This is to accommodate working parents, according to Menchhofer. The contest will be held at the free stage. Grandstand activities will include a tractor pull, sponsored by the Osgood Lions Club.

Tuesday night’s grandstand event will be the national pedal pullers and racers at 5 p.m. followed by Motor Cross at 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday night the 4-H Horse and Pony Show will begin at 5:00 p.m. at the Ripley County Equine Center. The Demolition Derby will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the grandstands.

Thursday afternoon you can see the Pygmy Goat Show at 1:00 p.m. at the sheep and goat barn and show arena. Quad and Cycle Flat Drags will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the grandstands.

Friday the 4-H Livestock Auction will begin at 3 p.m. in the show arena. The auction will begin with sheep and poultry will be the last entry. Last year the auction brought $147,057. Grandstand events on Friday and Saturday will be sponsored by the Osgood Fire Department. The popular truck drags will begin at 7:30 p.m.

There will be local entertainment on the free stage nightly, according to Julie Brancamp, park manager.

“If you haven’t been to the fair for a while, you’ll be surprised at all of the changes,” noted Menchhofer. She encouraged the community to come out, enjoy the many exhibits the 4-H members have worked hard on, get some great food, and enjoy the grandstand events and more.

The park is one of the nicest in the area and is constantly updated thanks to many grants, groups, and volunteers who make it possible.

Editor’s note: Watch for more information on the fair in upcoming issues of the Osgood Journal and The Versailles Republican where a complete listing of events will be published.