Home Fries and Blue Ribbons
For many 4-Hers, the 2021 Cheshire Fair looked different than previous years. The fair association opted to host the “Cheshire Ag Days” in place of the 2021 fair to emphasize the fair’s roots in agriculture. There was no midway or carnival, but instead a smaller group of people who all came together to show their love of agriculture and showcase it to the fair goers.
A big difference for 4-H families was the fair opted to host youth animal shows rather than 4-H shows. This consolidated COVID-19 guidance for exhibitors, and still gave the youth an opportunity to show against their peers. The fair took care of all the details and made light work for the 4-H office with this change. A special touch was that all youth exhibitors who are enrolled with 4-H, were given a 4-H pin to wear in the show. A 4-H presence was still felt throughout the show ring. 4-H members could also enter a stall decorating contest to show their 4-H pride throughout the barns.
Many things at the fair still felt the same for 4-H. The exhibit hall demonstrated all the hard work 4-Hers did throughout the year, despite the challenges with COVID-19. Clubs created large displays in the theme of “4-H is Resilient” to show that our 4-H families can persevere through anything: even a pandemic. Other clubs created education displays to educate all that went to the fair about their projects.
The 4-H Food Booth was open for service as usual! Volunteers enjoyed seeing familiar faces and new patrons who came to the fair to support the 4-H program. The food booth has become a staple at the fair for many exhibitors as a place to eat and spend time with their “fair families”. Proceeds from the food booth go directly back to Cheshire County 4-H members by helping to fund scholarships for youth to participate in 4-H beyond the county level.
Like so many things now, the 2021 Cheshire Fair looked different from usual but should be considered a success to all who were involved. A 4-H presence was clear throughout the fair, and that wouldn’t have been possible without the resiliency of the participating families. The Cheshire County 4-H community looks forward to a full return to the 2022 Cheshire Fair.