Alva Review-Courier -

Barber County 101st fair coming to Hardtner

Provided courtesy of the Gyp Hill Premiere


Robin Eubank-Callis

Members of Barber County Extension Units pose with the 2022 raffle quilt. This quilt is made from the entries in the 2021 Quilt Block Contest that is open to all. The last day of the Barber County Fair, one lucky person's name will be drawn to take this home with them. Tickets can be purchased from any unit member or in the Open Class Building at the Barber County Fair. A special thanks goes to the Scrap Pack Quilt Guild for making the blocks into a beautiful quilt and to Home Star Quilting for quilting it.

The 101st Barber County Fair will take place July 28-31 in Hardtner, Kansas, at the Barber County Fairgrounds. The fair is the culmination of the 4-H year where 4-H members and members of the community bring the best of their projects to be shown and judged. This year's fair includes two nights of the Kansas Professional Rodeo Association performances and concerts. Other highlights include the livestock shows, exhibitions, merchant building, pedal tractor pull, "rides & slides," Sunday morning church, hamburger feed, watermelon feed, premium sale and more.

The 4-H organization is an important part of growing up for many of Barber County's youth. It is steeped in history and family tradition for many and a form of education in a variety of practical ways. The Kansas 4-H Youth Development website states, "In 4-H, we believe in the power of young people. We see that every child has valuable strengths and real influence to improve the world around us. We are America's largest youth development organization-empowering nearly six million young people across the U.S. and over 70,000 youth in Kansas with the skills to lead for a lifetime."

Barber County has 71 4-H members and 28 leaders. Each member is a part of one of six clubs in the area. Those involved in the organization become a community within the communities at large. Cloverleaf member Grace Cantrell stated, "4-H has been a part of my entire life. My older brothers were members so I was a baby when I joined this unique family. The years have flown by and if I were to give any advice to younger members it would be 'Enjoy the little things, because they truly are the big thing.' I have been a part of Barber County Fair for many years and it truly is a special time. It's like the 'finale' at the end of the year. I have enjoyed meeting friends from different towns and also learned so many valuable lessons that I would not have had the opportunity to learn if it wasn't through 4-H and the awesome leaders. Good luck to all 4-Hers this year at the fair, enjoy the little things and have fun!"

Members bring their projects to the judging table with the hope of receiving the coveted grand champion ribbon. Other high honors include reserve grand champion, state fair blue and blue ribbons. Harmony Moss, a member of the Sunny Lakers club, loves the memories that are made each year. She stated, "There's anticipation on Friday morning waiting to find out what ribbon you will receive," she said.

Projects range from crafts to livestock and a plethora of other things. 4-Hers choose their projects at the beginning of the year and spend time learning about and practicing their skills. Nevaeh Woods, also a member of the Sunny Lakers club, enjoys making projects each year. "Each year I learn something new," she said.

The projects are a good way for 4-Hers to experiment and often lead them to finding a passion for a career, life skill and/or hobby. They are also excellent learning experiences. Any present or former member can most likely recall a project that became a favorite and probably those that didn't turn out so well. Sunny Laker Noah Woods recalls two different memories that stand out in the electric project. His favorite project was an electric barn that he and his dad made when he was seven. "It was a play barn with stalls and lights. [My] nephews still play with it after 10 years.[Another time, I] tried an electric project and finished it the night before the fair, to find out it was a hoax on YouTube," he stated." " [I] learned to read reviews after that but still won the electric project with a bike that had an alternator that could produce electricity."

The fair kicks off prior to the actual fair dates with the fashion revue and perishable food judging for 4-H members and a public fashion revue for anyone who would like to attend. This year's public fashion revue will be held on Friday, July 22 at 7 p.m. at Community Bible Fellowship in rural Medicine Lodge, Kansas.

The fair isn't just for 4-Hers, but provides opportunities for all. Community members have a variety of ways to become involved in the fair, including submitting projects into the Open Class division for judging. Those that are interested in doing so can contact the Extension Office at 620-886-3971. The 4-H community also invites the public to come to the fair to view their projects and exhibits, watch the livestock shows, purchase food items (Friday 10 a.m.-noon), grab a meal at the fair kitchen, take a walk through the open class and merchant buildings and attend one or both nights of the rodeo and concert.

Each year the three Barber County Extension Units work together on a quilt to raffle. Tickets for the raffle can be purchased from members prior to the fair or in the open class building during the fair. The winner will be chosen on Sunday, July 31.

The rodeo will begin both Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. This year's rodeo slack performance has been moved from Friday night to Friday morning. Not all who enter the rodeo are able to perform in the nightly event because of time restraints. The Friday morning event is what is called the slack performance. Contestants compete for the same prize money, which counts toward the finals that will be held in Dodge City this fall. The slack performance is free to the public. Both nights include a free hamburger feed with admission.

Entertainment during the rodeo both nights will be the One-Armed Bandit & Company. The group has been named the PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) "Dress Act of the Year" 15 times. The act includes a variety of trained livestock that amazes audiences with their feats. Their website includes pictures of horses, longhorn cattle, buffalo and zebras as part of their performance.

Friday's rodeo will be followed by a concert featuring Trent Criswell. Following Saturday's rodeo the concert will feature Kenny Feidler and the Cowboy Killers. Tickets for the rodeo may be purchased from this year's Barber County Royalty contestants. Tickets may also be purchased at the gate.

The Barber County Royalty contest will take place July 26 at 6 p.m. in Hardtner, Kansas. "Each girl will be judged on a horsemanship pattern, interview and their advanced ticket sales," said Bobbie Rae Smith, coordinator. "Crowning will be Friday the 29 in Hardtner, Kansas, at 7:30 p.m. before the rodeo. Winners will receive a prize package including a custom tiara and belt buckle along with other fabulous prizes."

2 Princess, 2 Junior Princess Contestants

The princess candidates are Angel Stewart and Paislee Hill. Angel is from Kiowa, Kansas, and is 13 years old and in the 7th grade. She enjoys riding her horses. Her favorite color is purple and her horse's name is Bandit. Angel wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up. Paislee is from Kiowa, Kansas. She is 9 years old and in the 3rd grade. Her interests include dance, baking and riding her horse. Her favorite color is yellow and her horse's name is Roany. Paislee wants to be a dance teacher when she grows up.

Junior princess contestants include Braylee Waggoner and Ramsey Green. Braylee is from Isabel, Kansas, is 7 years old and in the 2nd grade. She enjoys fishing and riding her horse. Her favorite color is purple and her horse's name is Big Nose Kate. Braylee wants to be an agriculture teacher when she grows up. Ramsey is from Cherokee, Oklahoma. She is 4 years old and in kindergarten. Ramsey enjoys working calves, tumbling and rodeo. Her favorite colors are purple and turquoise and her horse's name is Playboy. Ramsey wants to be an animal doctor and horse trainer when she grows up.

Contact information for candidates can be obtained from Bobbie Rae Smith at 580-467-8374.


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