Midweek is fairly quiet at Franklin County Fair

August 19, 2004|by BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

By midweek, there's a lull on the grounds of the Franklin County Fair. The 4-H and FFA animal shows are over, and the open-class animal shows don't start until Thursday morning.

It's a good time to view the exhibits at a leisurely pace and to try the most popular foods without having to wait in line.

Wednesday afternoon, the rides were silent and the games trailers on the midway were locked. Several people cared for their animals in the dairy barns while the huge barn fans created a strong breeze that seemed to cut through the humidity. Several people kept an eye on their animals while relaxing in chairs and listening to music.


A few people looked at the prize-winning vegetables and the baby animals in the FFA tent.

On the main stage, musicians tested the microphone and prepared for the night's activities.

Near the cow barns, the goat barns also were quiet.

Goats with no outer ears and others with long, floppy ears rested or stuck their heads out of their pens to look around. Several breeds, including Alpine, Nubian and LaMancha, were represented.

At milking time, they hopped up on raised wooden stands to be milked by hand.

The same stands are used when the goats are fitted - brushed and clipped - for the show ring.

Carolyn Peck, leader of the Franklin County 4-H Dairy Goat Club, said 17 club members brought 90 goats to the fair.

Sharon Walker, 15, of Gettysburg, Pa., had the Best of Show goat, a 5-year-old Alpine doe named Cafe au Lait. Among the seven she showed were a Junior Champion and a Junior Reserve Champion; Cafe au Lait was named Grand Champion Alpine, then Best of Show.

Sharon said her family has a goat herd of about 60, with 20 milking. They sell the raw milk at the farm.

"It's my parents' business, but this is a fun 4-H project," she said.

She has been showing goats since she was 8.

Robin Timmons, 11, and her sisters, Taber, 14, and Hanah, 17, brought 23 goats from their herd at home in Orrstown, Pa. Robin showed a Reserve Junior Champion and took home two first-place ribbons and one for fourth place.

Tia Shearer, 10, of Chambersburg, Pa., showed five goats, three of which were her own. She walked out of the ring Tuesday with first-, second-, third-, and fourth-place ribbons, and a Reserve Junior Champion rosette. She stayed at the fairgrounds overnight for two nights with other club members, sleeping on the wooden benches that provide seating for spectators during the shows.

Their friend Sarah Russell, 9, of Chambersburg, showed only one goat, a Nubian, and it earned her a bevy of ribbons: first place in its class, then Senior Champion Nubian and Best of Breed. She also took home a third-place ribbon for showmanship.

She also stayed overnight, but didn't get much sleep.

"It was really cold and noisy," she said. "The cows were noisy and so were the goats."

The Herald-Mail Articles