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Hancock County held ‘a good fair’

By Staff | Aug 6, 2010

The Hancock County Fair’s bucket calf show was held Friday, when young exhibitors, calves and families gathered to watch the judging. There were 21 entries in the open class, seven entries in the 4-H junior class and three entries in the 4-H intermediate class.

BRITT – Area farmer Rick Burgardt described this year’s Hancock County Fair that just completed its run over the weekend saying, “It was a good fair.”

Randy Hiscocks, of Britt, fair board president, would agree with Burgardt, but each man has his own reasons for saying so.

Sydney Burgardt, the 10-year-old daughter of Rick and Laurie Burgardt took home the reserve champion ribbon in the bucket calf class.

This member of the Orthel Jolly Workers 4-H Club also received blue ribbons for her bird house, pillow case and pajama pants. As any proud parent would say about receiving all blue ribbons, “It was a good fair.”

Hiscocks’ description of a good fair starts with this fair breaking records that were set just last year. Actually, Hiscocks statement was that the fair was “very, very good.”

Travis Schmidt, 7, of Garner, son of Rusty and Tracy Schmidt, entered his calf, named T-bone, in the oipen bucket calf show. This is his second year.

Attendance figures are not known for certain as the fair has an open gate. Hiscocks said the only problem with this year’s fair was that it ran out of parking space, but was able to use an adjoining oats field that had just been harvested for the overflow parking.

At a time when exhibitors are cutting back, Hiscocks said they had six machinery dealers exhibiting at the fair and there was interest from another dealer to be at next year’s fair.

A rodeo was a new event for this year’s fair and Hiscocks said the fair board “didn’t know what to expect.”

The participation and attendance for it was everything they fair board had hoped for.

The rodeo will be part of next year’s fair.

Sydney Burgardt, 10, daughter of Rick and Laurie Burgardt, of Britt, is a member of the Orthel Jolly Workers 4-H Club. She is washing her calf, Frisky, in preparation for the bucket calf show.

Hiscocks said the last time the fair had a carnival there was about 25 years ago and this year’s carnival manager said he wants to return next year.

With carnivals booking themselves as much as five years in advance, Hiscocks said competition for carnivals is keen so when a carnival wants to return, it is a positive sign.

All the numbers that are used to measure a fair’s success were up, said Hiscocks.

In addition to attendance numbers, the numbers of livestock entries and sales receipts were also higher than the previous year’s records.

Randy Hiscocks told of his pride in this year’s fair in helping a family overcome a sudden and tragic death in the Britt area when Cody Smith of Britt, who would have been a junior in high school this fall, died in an accidental just weeks before the fair.

Sydney Burgardt and Frisky wait in the show ring for their turn to be judged. They were entered in the 4-H juniors division.

The FFA chapter he belonged to at West Hancock School decided to show his hogs at the fair.

At the fair’s sale Cody Smith’s hogs were sold and then resold. Randy Hiscocks said after being sold eight times, they had to call an end to the sale.

The $14,000 received from the sale along with the money from three flare boxes of returnable cans consumed during the fair will be used for a scholarship in honor of Cody Smith.

Randy Hiscocks remembered Cody Smith from last year’s fair when Smith went on a trip sponsored by his church that was held at the same time as the fair.

Cody Smith helped with the fair set up before leaving and then helped after returning with the fair’s clean up.

Proudly displaying the reserve champion ribbon they won together at the show, Burgardt and Frisky pose for photos. The grand champion award was won by Jacob Hejlik of the Britt Broncos 4-H?Club.

“He didn’t have to do that,” said Hiscocks. “He was just that kind of a kid.”

Next year’s Hancock County Fair is scheduled for July 26 through Aug. 1. Plans are for it to be a “good fair.”

Contact Clayton Rye at crye@wctatel.net.

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