The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


August 23, 2012

80 4-H'ers vie for ribbons at county fair

SUNBURY — Nearly 80 4-H’ers from every corner of Northumberland County helped kick off the third annual county fair on Wednesday by submitting projects for judging in hopes of earning a blue ribbon for a job well done.

“These aren’t competitions,” said Sam Nicola, of Shamokin, the county’s 4-H coordinator. “What the kids are submitting are projects they’ve been working on, in some cases, for up to a year. Projects ranging from horse and pet care to basketry, shooting sports, scrapbooking, sewing and knitting. Coming here to be judged is the final requirement. They have to talk about their interests, show the judges that they’ve learned something about their subject of interest.”

4-H is a youth development organization, he said. “We’re not just farmers, which is what most people not familiar with 4-H think of us,” he said. “We’re a lot more than that. We’re all about creativity and teaching life skills to kids from ages 5 to 18.”

Once the 4-H’er has completed the project, he or she can enter it in Friday’s contests. “That’s where there is real competition,” Nicola said.

This is the 100th year of 4-H in Pennsylvania, “so this event is kind of special to us,” he said.

Sarah Bassett, of Sunbury, president of the county council, said she was excited by some of the projects she had seen. “I saw some cool basket weaving by a girl who was 6 years old,” she recalled. “Another girl had a poster about her goat, and she was only about 9 years old. It was very creative for someone her age. One girl made a stall made out of popsicle sticks and made a little saddle on it and a horse inside. I love working with the little kids because they have such different viewpoints than older kids. Their creativity is unreal. It’s neat how they want to portray things, and how they see the world.”

Ashley Long, 6, and her sister, Shelly, 13, of the Herndon area, were showing off a basket and a poster about a goat, respectively. Ashley said she worked with her mother, Angela, on the basket, which was cleverly put together.

David Savidge, 14, also of Herndon, has had an interest in air rifles and basketry. “I’ve been in 4-H for six years,” he said.

He was particularly proud of his basket because it showcased his creativity, he said.

David Brittingham, 14, of Sunbury, showcased his treatment of Nemo, his roping horse. And he displayed great love and care for the horse to Judge Kathy Weller.

Although this is officially the third annual county fair, it’s actually been an event for more than 10 years, Nicola noted. “Before being officially designated a county fair, it was an expo. It’s good to have taken that next step and be recognized for what we are. Everywhere else, there are county fairs. Now we have one too.”

The event is held in the Sunbury Armory, Mile Hill Road. It will be held from 3 to 9 p.m. today and Friday and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday.

Events will include a farmers triathlon, tractor driving, bale stacking and bale throwing. The contests are open to everyone and will be grouped by age.

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