Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

September 16, 2013

Fowl and fur at the fair

Families line up to enter animal shows

TAHLEQUAH — Ten-year-old Wyatt Dodd was one of the first to sign up Friday evening for the poultry show at the Cherokee County Fairgrounds.

Wyatt and his dad, Mitchell, brought several birds for the event. One, a shiny black Jersey Giant hen, had a unique name.

Wyatt’s family has had that particular fowl since it was young.

“Her name is Lonely,” said Wyatt, “because when we first got her and put her in with the other chickens, she liked to be alone. Now she does not. She’s also hard to catch, too.”

For Wyatt, a Shady Grove student, Friday was his first time entering the poultry show. He said he enjoys having chickens and caring for them.

Activities provided local children an opportunity to show off their poultry, their rabbits – even their cats and canines.

Festivities also included a terrapin race.

“We’ve been coming to the fair for three or four years, just to sit and watch everyone bring in their cats and dogs,” said Tera Jones, a Lost City area resident. “We were excited to hear that the county fair allows cats and dogs to be part of the fun. It’s so cute!”

Friday also included an opportunity to enjoy a steak dinner, with benefits to support 4-H activities such as day camps for sewing, fishing, or livestock, plus other leadership events.

Sponsorships from area businesses helped offset the costs of supplies for the steak dinner.

After enjoying a meal, visitors had the opportunity to see indoor exhibits at the county fair, from quilts to photographs and from homegrown vegetables to arts and crafts.

“The fair gives kids something to take pride in,” said Carl Wallace, director and 4-H educator for Cherokee County. “They work diligently, whether it’s for their arts-and-crafts projects or the livestock projects. It takes hard work to get their projects to a point where they are ready to be exhibited.”

Wallace said the county fair is a culmination of participants’ year-round efforts. Aside from 4-H students, community members are also able to enter some of the fair events.

“We sometimes spend too much time watching TV and don’t get outside to interact and do these kinds of things,” said Wallace. “The kids who participate in the fair have to get involved, they have to care for their animals all the time. By doing these things, they gain life skills – work ethics, general ethics.”

Children also learn that food doesn’t come “straight out of McDonald’s, but it comes out of your garden, out of someone’s hard work.”

-- jnewton@tahlequahdailypress.com

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