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Junior Fair gears up for big show

by Alan Lewis Gerstenecker
| July 16, 2013 9:53 AM

The Lincoln County Junior Fair, which begins Thursday, is a long tradition that exceeds the lives of its volunteer board members.

For 56 years, the Junior Fair has been the dog-days event that both provides summer activities for children and recognizes them for their achievements.

“It’s all about the kids,” said volunteer Treasurer Debbie Tangen, who has been assisting with the Junior Fair for 16 years. “For me, it’s seeing the new kids come in and the excitement they see when they get a ribbon. That’s what it’s all about.”

Last year, more than 120 children provided 1,051 exhibits featuring art projects, baked goods, pets, livestock, photography and more.

Tangen has two children who aged out of the competition, but because of its benefits to children, she still volunteers.

“I think we’re all that way,” Tangen said of the volunteers. “We all do what’s needed. We all do a little bit of everything.”

The Junior Fair allows children up to 18 years old as of Sept. 1 before the current year’s fair, to compete.

For Publicity Chairwoman Cathy Jenks, the Junior Fair gives children something to think about during the summer.

“I think it’s important for children to be active,” Jenks said. “The Junior Fair gives children a positive opportunity to grow. Every child gets a ribbon.”

In addition to Tangen and Jenks, other Junior Fair Committee members include Janet Kendall, Kathleen Sheffield, Lisa Goodman and Mary Christensen.

“We’ve got a good group,” Jenks said. “We do so much with what the county gives us.”

Lincoln County Commissioners provide $2,629 in funding for the fair. 

“The county is so good to us,” Jenks said. “We know the budget is tight.”

Presiding Commissioner Tony Berget said he wishes the county could do more.

“We do what we can for the fair,” Berget said Sunday. “We really haven’t gotten (Eureka Commissioner Cole) Mike involved that much yet, but Ron and I do whatever we can.”

Exhibit registration begins 8 a.m. Thursday, July 18, at the former Asa Wood Elementary School. Registration continues until 8 p.m. Thursday.

Beginning at 8 a.m. Friday, fresh flowers and food exhibits may be presented. These exhibits will be accepted until 9 a.m. No exhibits will be accepted after 9 a.m., officials warned, at which time judging will begin.

At 9:30 a.m. Friday, July 19, the lineup for the parade will begin followed by the parade at 10 a.m. Participants should be at the Memorial Center for lineup. Children will travel west on Lincoln Boulevard to Asa Wood. 

From 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, all exhibits will open for review. At 5:30 p.m., the dog exhibits will take place on the Asa Wood lawn. Dogs will be judged on obedience, showmanship and the obstacle course.

At 7 p.m. Friday, children whose talents in the performing arts will be judged. 

The Junior Fair will continue Saturday at 7:45 a.m. with the livestock check-in at J. Neils Park. All of the livestock exhibits are through a preregistration process. Livestock judging then will begin at 8 a.m. From 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. the exhibits will be open for review.

The awards presentation ceremony will be from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Asa Wood.

For more information on the Junior Fair and for a list of the vast entry categories, go to www.lincolncountymt.us/juniorfair.