4-H fair moves full force into Hier’s Park this week

Jessie Earhart’s horse was transformed into a mastodon, the mascot of Indiana-Purdue University Fort Wayne, for the costume contest at the 4-H Horse and Pony Show. Earhart wore IPFW gear in keeping with the contest’s “favorite school” theme.
Jessie Earhart’s horse was transformed into a mastodon, the mascot of Indiana-Purdue University Fort Wayne, for the costume contest at the 4-H Horse and Pony Show. Earhart wore IPFW gear in keeping with the contest’s “favorite school” theme. Photo by Cindy Klepper.

With a host of early activities in the books, the Huntington County 4-H Fair moved into Hier's Park in full force over the weekend.

For the remainder of the week, visitors can partake of milk shakes and elephant ears while checking out the fruits of the 4-H'ers' labors.

The Family Living Building and Heritage Hall, which house the non-livestock 4-H projects, will be open to visitors Monday through Wednesday, July 23-25, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Both buildings will open at 10 a.m. on Thursday, July 26, but will close at 4 p.m. that day as the fair winds down.

Commercial tent exhibits are slated to be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. all four days.

In addition, antique tractors will be on display throughout the fair on the west end of Hier's Park. The tractors will be showcased in a parade on Monday, July 23, starting at 5:30 p.m.

Here's a rundown of this week's activities:

Monday, July 23
The 4-H Swine Show, one of the largest livestock shows of the fair, gets under way at 8 a.m. and is expected to last all day.

Monday is also "Ladies' Day at the Fair," with four afternoon programs on tap in the Ladies' Day tent next to the Family Living Building. Jim and Ann Hollar, volunteers with the Forks of the Wabash Historic Park, will kick off the afternoon with a program on Chief Richardville at 1 p.m. "Homespun Huntington" starts at 2 p.m. and the Huntington County Visitor Bureau will follow at 3 p.m. with an overview of "Places to See in Huntington." The Huntington County Extension Homemakers organization, which sponsors the afternoon, will present a program on "History of Huntington County" at 4 p.m.

The Touch of Class Extension Homemakers Club will take over the Ladies' Day tent at 5 p.m. for its cookie baking contest. Registration begins at 5 p.m. and judging will commence at 5:30 p.m. A panel of judges will select winning cookies in three categories.

Following the antique tractor parade at 6 p.m., the Huntington County Master Gardeners will present a program at 6 p.m. The Huntington County Farm Bureau's annual Pet and Hobby Parade steps off at 7 p.m. on the United REMC Outdoor Stage.

The evening's entertainment, also on the outdoor stage, will be provided by country singer-songwriter Jessie Brown beginning at 8 p.m. Brown, who grew up in Marion, traveled and sang with her family's southern gospel group from age 3 until she was 13. She's currently touring the country and has opened for Toby Keith and Trace Adkins.

Tuesday, July 24
The 4-H Beef Show at 9 a.m. and the 4-H Rabbit Breeding Show at 2 p.m. are the livestock shows of the day.

Huntington North High School's FFA chapter will sponsor a kiddie tractor pull at 2:30 p.m., and the Master Gardeners will return with another program at 6 p.m. The Canine Capers and Waggin' Tails 4-H dog clubs will demonstrate their dog handling skills in a 6 p.m. program.

The Nazarene Band of Huntington's First Church of the Nazarene will make its annual performance at the 4-H Fair in an hour-long concert beginning at 6:30 p.m. on the outdoor stage. They'll be followed by Classic Voice at 7:45 p.m. Classic Voice, based in Fort Wayne, sings classic hits from the '50s through the '90s, rockabilly to rock, swing to standards.

Wednesday, July 25
The 4-H Sheep Show starts the day off at 8 a.m., with the Starter Calf Show getting under way at 1 p.m.
The Master Gardeners return with a program at 6 p.m.

Awards and scholarships will be presented to 4-H'ers during a program beginning at 6 p.m. in the Show Arena, where the big winners of the week will be recognized during the Parade of Champions. The 4-H members will get a release from their weeks of hard work during 4-H Spirit Night, which starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Show Arena.

The Huntington-based band BackWater will offer the evening's entertainment, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the outdoor stage. BackWater's repertoire includes country and southern rock.

Thursday, July 26
Auctions are the order of the day on Thursday.

The sale of 4-H animals begins at 9 a.m. with the dairy project, followed by (in order) beef, sheep, goat, poultry, rabbit and swine.

Complete caption: Jessie Earhart’s horse was transformed into a mastodon, the mascot of Indiana-Purdue University Fort Wayne, for the costume contest at the 4-H Horse and Pony Show. Earhart wore IPFW gear in keeping with the contest’s “favorite school” theme. The costume contest was held Sunday, July 15, at the Chief LaFontaine Saddle Club.