CIBOLA/MCKINLEY COUNTIES - 4-H Club members and Cloverbud Club members will have a chance to shine this Labor Day weekend at the Prewitt fairgrounds for the 44th Annual Bi-County Fair.
Youngsters from 5-19 will have a chance to exercise their talents and skills for the public.
Today’s events include shows of livestock, a children’s rodeo, rabbit and chicken showmanship and an archery contest at 5 p.m.
4-H members, from Booster to Senior level, will be allowed to compete in their respective age groups.
Volunteer Shanna Lopez said the contest last year brought out more than 15 4-H members from Cibola County. Target shooting and 3-D foam animal targets will be two of the categories.
Saturday’s events include a swine show, public speaking contest, the display of the items entered in the exhibit and a Watermelon Eating contest!
All contests and exhibit competitions are divided into age categories. Entry into the contests is only $1 and a portion of the proceeds is the jackpot prize.
An event for people of all ages to enjoy is Pet Show and Stick Horse Race.
Young participants are invited to take part in these events on Sunday morning at 8 a.m. Later on the highlight of the afternoon will be the Livestock Showmanship competition.
Showmanship is the art of training, grooming and showing animals. The contest is based on the preparation of the animal, the animal’s apparent training and the appearance and abilities of the show person. The awards ceremony will follow and directly after that the Jr. Livestock Sale and a 50/50 drawing will start at 1 p.m.
The Fair’s Indoor Exhibits run from Saturday at noon until Monday at noon. Competition categories are vast and colorful. Two divisions separate 4-H members from community members. 4-H youngsters have entered exhibits in horticulture and agronomy, natural science, engineering science, home economics, personal growth and development, and art and crafts among other categories. Everything educational and creative culminates in the exhibit. Participants can admit projects on health and safety, public speaking, engines, welding, gardening, sewing, cooking, baking, yarn work, and photography and the list goes on.
Cloverbud projects are varied as well. While the 5-8 year olds’ projects don’t compete for ribbons they may enter the exhibit in categories such as egg carton animals, finger puppets, paper airplanes, family tree and dried flower books. Certain items displayed in the exhibit will be for sale.
Most of the members of the Bi-Country Fair Board were participants in their youth. Patrick Jaramillo has been on the Fair Board for 17 years but boasts that he has been involved a full 30 years since his involvement began in childhood. He said, “A good majority of our board members are former 4-H members. We pride ourselves on this being our tradition; 4-H helped me in understanding the bond of the community, how people help each other out. It was a great way for me to learn that and recognize the importance of it. That’s why I’m still involved today. It did so much for me as a youth and I want to give back.”
The 4-H Youth Development Program is a dynamic education program, according to officials. The program incorporates fun into learning life skills. The program and its enthusiastic volunteers aim to improve youth through a “learn by doing” approach. They emphasize developing leadership and management skills, positive self-esteem, communication skills, personal responsibility and a sense of duty to community involvement.
There are more than 60,000 youths in 4-H clubs around New Mexico with more than 11,000 volunteers.
The Bi-County Fair runs purely on volunteers, and they are eager to invite community members to join them. Adults who want to share their knowledge and talents with young people can volunteer with the area’s 4-H clubs as well, noted several Fair volunteers.