Pocahontas County Fair
By PETER KASPARI
POCAHONTAS – The fairgrounds in Pocahontas County were teeming with activity last Friday afternoon as fair-goers and participants prepared for and finished up showing.
One of the main contests going on Friday afternoon was the 4-H and FFA Garden Show.
Dianne Zeller, of Bancroft, was judging the vegetables and flowers that were entered in the competition.
She said the criteria of judging included finding “the best” item that was on display.
However, she said there were concerns that this year they wouldn’t have a garden show.
“Unfortunately, we’ve had excessive rain, then heat,” Zeller said. “Then more excessive rain and then more excessive heat. It’s not ‘garden’ weather.”
Despite the challenges with gardening, Zeller said there were a large number of entries this year.
“I was really excited to see so many enter,” she said. “We thought, with the bad weather we’ve had, we wouldn’t have a garden show. The kids did really well.”
Throughout the fairgrounds, 4-H’ers spent the afternoon cleaning up their animals that they’d shown earlier in the day and earlier in the week.
Kelsey Janssen, 13, of Clare, a Boots and Spurs 4-H club member, was washing down her horse, Joker, outside the horse barn.
Janssen was preparing to show Joker Friday evening and today.
She had also shown him at the Webster County Fair, where he got first in one show, as well as second and fourth in others.
Did she think he would perform well in Pocahontas?
“Yeah, I hope so,” she said.
She’s been showing Joker for three years after he was bought from Waverly.
Guys and Gals of Grant 4-H’er Caden Freeburg, 11, of Pocahontas, was taking care of his pig, Lunker.
“We showed this morning,” he said. “I won my class at my show. I got first place in showmanship.”
This was the first year he had shown Lunker.
While Lunker was relaxing in a pen, Charlotte, a pig being shown by Makayla Paulsen, 13, of Havelock, was being stubborn.
Paulsen, a Central Pioneers 4-H club member, was trying to get Charlotte to the washing pen to clean her up. However, any time she got close to being washed, she turned around to go back into her pen.
This was unusual for Paulsen, who said Charlotte was fine Friday morning.
But she thought she knew why Charlotte was being stubborn.
“This morning was our show,” she said. “She might be tired.”
Eventually, with Freeburg’s help, Paulsen was able to get Charlotte washed and ready.
And while there weren’t any official shows in the main barn during the afternoon, that didn’t mean there wasn’t anything happening.
Two 4-H’ers, Abby Paulsen, 11, of Pocahontas, and Ryan Pambecker, 12, also of Pocahontas, decided to have an impromptu sword fight in the show ring – except instead of swords, they used sticks.
Paulsen, of the Central Pioneers, ended up “defeating” Pambecker, of the Shooting Sports 4-H club, in their unofficial duel.
It’s part of an annual tradition, she said.
“We always have some sort of challenges against the boys,” she said.
How’d she feel after winning?
“Good, because I always knew I’d beat him,” Paulsen said.
Pambecker thought he put up a good defense.
“Yeah,” he said. “I whipped her.”
“Yeah, once,” Paulsen interjected. “In the back.”
The Pocahontas County Fair continues today, and 4-H’ers will have the opportunity to contribute to a special project in memory of a young girl who died last month.
VedaMae Klocke, 12, of Rolfe, died in a tractor accident on June 23 in her hometown.
Two quilts are being put together at the fair that will be given to her family, according to Clara Barnhardt, who was sewing one of the quilts Friday.
The quilt Barnhardt was working on featured some of Klocke’s favorite interests.
“The little girl who passed away loved insects and bugs,” she said. “So this one’s all insects and bugs.”
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