No fair food, no greased pig, no moos or bleats welcoming visitors to the youth fairgrounds, but the fair went on. Very few fairs are being held in Illinois this year, due to Covid 19. But, kids are still caring for their livestock, still riding their horses, still growing flowers and crops, baking and painting and crafting.

So, with lots of modifications, changes and safety precautions, the Massac County Youth Fair was held this July. There were fewer exhibitors, animals or projects, but what was there demonstrated that the kids still were working hard, with excellent results.

Award-winning livestock still filled the barns. Champions included the following:

In the beef show John Bramlet, Harrisburg, exhibited the Simmental/Salers/brangus/Gelbveih, balancer/red Angus champion female and grand champion female. Campbell Belcher, Buncombe, showed the commercial champion female and reserve grand champion female.

The all other purebred champion female and the reserve grand champion steer were shown by Abagayle Britton, Olmsted, who also won beef senior showmanship. Haylee Brown, Galatia, had the Hereford champion female. The Angus champion female was exhibited by Davis Evans, Eldorado. Layne Murray, Dongola, took home junior showmanship honors. Kevin Britton, Olmsted, won grand champion steer and also won steer senior showmanship. Steer junior showmanship winner was Dallas Bomar, Cottage Grove, Tenn.

The grand champion female in dairy cattle was shown by Anna Bremer, Metropolis; while Shelby Browning, Cypress, had reserve grand champion female and earned the showmanship award.

At the goat show, Curtner Bergmann, Vienna, showed the grand champion wether. The meat goat grand champion female was shown by Kassidy Beane, Eddyville; who also picked up senior showmanship honors. Junior showmanship winner was Madaline Bergmann, Vienna.

Jayla Ledford, Galatia, entered the Chester white/York/Landrace champion female, all other purebred champion female and grand champion female in the swine show, then took home junior showmanship honors in the market swine show.

The cross champion female was shown by Curtner Bergmann, Vienna, who also won junior showmanship for swine. Earning senior showmanship honors for swine was Jacqueline Wilkins, Jonesboro. In the market swine show grand champion was shown by Anna Claire West, Tunnel Hill, while Katelyn Shadowens, Jonesboro, had the reserve grand champion. Remington Curry, Stonefort, received the senior showmanship award in market swine.

At the sheep show Layna Durham, Metropolis, showed the grand champion female and Hampshire/Suffolk champion ewe. Remington Curry, Stonefort, had all other breeds and crossbreed champion ewe and reserve grand champion female. Senior showmanship in both the sheep show and the market lamb show was won by Haley Schultz, Cypress; and junior showmanship in both shows went to Mikala Schultz, Cypress. Grand champion market lamb was shown by Conner Arnold of Union City, Tenn. and the reserve grand champion market lamb was shown by Logan Crabtree, South Fulton, Tenn.

Smaller animals came to the fair as well. Whalyn Krueger, Metropolis, showed the grand champion duck and the crossbreed champion rabbit. Ryan Boulds, Harrisburg, had the grand champion and purebred champion rabbit. The Catahoula owned by Anna Bremer, Metropolis, winner of the trick competition, also won best of show in the dog show. The kitten shown by Max Neader, Brookport, took home best of show in the cat show.

The exhibit halls on the fairgrounds provided a colorful panorama of displays whether viewed in person or on Facebook. There was something to catch the eye in every department, and fair lovers wouldn’t want to miss a thing. Tables full of vegetables and crops, flowers on shelves or hanging in baskets, science displays and dioramas, walls covered with paintings and photos, groups of items embroidered or stuffed or on hangers, plates of baked goodies and jars of pickles, creative new takes on classic crafts, all filled the spaces with award winners.

A display of grand champion projects welcomed viewers to the exhibit halls.

Tate Miller, Goreville, created a coffee table for his champion metal and wood project in the vocational department, using metal legs supporting a wooden top with a geometric design of blond within a darker brown background.

A naturecraft project, a rustic tic-tac-toe game, used sticks, strings and painted stones to win the grand champion for Gage Barnett, Metropolis.

Hannah Krueger, Metropolis, demonstrated her decorating skills with pink frosting flowers with tiny colored centers dotted on sugar cookies to win the champion rosette in the food department.

In a nod to this year’s fair theme, Let the Good Times Grow, Larkin Korte, Belknap, used quilts, pillows, T-shirts and more to put together a display of winning clothing and textile projects she has shown over the years to add a grand champion to her collection in that department.

Jessy Meadows, Metropolis, packed a rainbow of veggies in a basket for her take on the theme of good things that grow, winning the grand champion in agricultural products. Showing her multi-faceted talent, Jessy also took home the grand champion in floriculture with her mixed live flower arrangement of hydrangea, phlox and lavender.

The floriculture department also awarded rosettes for the two outstanding exhibitors, based on placings in both arrangements and potted plants. Senior outstanding exhibitor was Jessie Lewis, Brookport. Junior outstanding exhibitor was Kate Sutton, Marion.

Audrey Thompson, Metropolis, interpreted the good things growing theme by painting a U.S. map, then painting each state’s flower in that state, to win the grand champion rosette in fine arts. Viewers got to test their knowledge of state flowers: Illinois’ is the violet.

A farm diorama complete with house, barns and outbuildings, gardens, fields, pastures, all with figures of animals, people and equipment, earned Anna Claire West, Tunnel Hill, the grand champion in education and natural history.

Now that this year’s fair is over, youthful exhibitors are already thinking ahead. The next Massac County Youth Fair will be held July 16-24, 2021.

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