Memories Made at the 2012 DE State Fair

Well, another DE State Fair has passed. Some of us are sad. Some of us are glad. Some of us are just flat-out exhausted. But the “memories made” and lessons learned, especially for the youth, are priceless. My family has always been involved and even though we don’t take many dairy cows anymore, it was fun to try to keep up with my nieces and nephew as they begin their 4-H and DE State Fair careers. Here are a few highlights:

My sister and I helped Mom lay out a lot of vegetables for her entries in the Garden Vegetable Department in the Dover Building the Wednesday before the fair starts. It’s a long stressful morning but for some reason, we keep doing it. Farmer Dan hates it mainly because it’s very challenging to find multiple kinds of one vegetable that are perfect and match.  Most of the veggies are thrown out on Tuesday night of the fair and we do it all over again on Wednesday morning.

We start by laying all the veggies out on tarp and wiping them down. This allows us to compare them and pick the most uniform ones.

Then we pick the best ones and lay them in a yellow try with a towel, so they don’t get bruised. Many classes differ on the number required (i.e. best 4 green tomatoes, best 12 snap beans, best 3 yellow squash).

And our sweet corn won a blue!

Mom received the Superintendent’s Award for the most blue ribbons in this department. She’s only won it 2 times. She was recognized here by the Governor on Governor’s day.

On Sunday, my cousin Bethany Killmon was named “Sheep & Wool Queen”. She spent the rest of the week dressed up and hanging out with important people, such as the Governor on Thursday. What a nice way to end her summer as she gets ready to start her senior year at Sussex Tech High School this fall. My Aunt Vi also came up from Georgia. She loves the fair and catches up with all of her Harrington High School classmates. My grandmother even came up one night with her. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw Mom-Mom Ann strolling in the barn.

Our cousin, Bethany Killmon (on right), crowned Sheep & Wool Queen. She had to apply and give a public speech on what her sheep project has meant to her.

Hangin’ out in the sheep barn!
From Left to Right:
Bethany, Mom-Mom Ann, Uncle Charles, Aunt Vi, Wendee, Christy, Aunt Carla

I could barely keep up with all of my nieces and nephews activities. Maci and Brielle were in the 4-H talent show. Bethany & Alanna presented their 4-H demonstration on raised gardens. Maci & her friend gave their demo on recycling. All four of them won their divisions. Maci showed her Boer goat. Brielle showed her two market hogs. And the list goes on and on. I could barely keep up with Scott either. He loves the fair and spends as much time there as possible. He helps his Mom with her Suffolk sheep.

Maci showing her Boer goat, Patches, and speaking to the judge.

Alanna helping Mom with her big vegetable display.

Oh and by the way, I had a few reasons to be there, too. The DE 4-H Foundation sponsored their Donor Appreciation Brunch on the first Sunday. With the help of a fellow board member, Marian Harvey, we coordinated and moderated the event. Nemours sponsored Healthy Kids Day, which was all day Tuesday. I worked the free health fair, which was in the entertainment tent all day. I also gave a little demonstration in the Ag Commodities Building on Wednesday. I teamed up with Cara Sylvester (see her blog, …story worth telling) for CommonGround to educate fair go’ers on food safety tips for summer. More to come on this later! And on Saturday night I enjoyed the end of it all by going to see Miranda Lambert with some friends. It was a really good show-her voice sounded great and she looked awesome! I loved her skirt and boots!

Miranda Lambert in concert.
July 28, 2012

So, we will all try to catch up on sleep this week and wait another 355 days for next year’s fair come around. Can’t wait to see what is to come and look forward to the memories made next year!

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