Marias Fair kicks off this week

By Adele Stenson for the I-O
Marias Fair kicks off this week
GROOMING THE STEER — Gabrielle Drishinski clips her 4-H steer to prepare him for the Fed Beef Show at the Marias Fair on July 16. Photo courtesy of Dan Picard
   Marias Fair Fun Time begins officially for the public on July 16, and concludes on July 19.
   The fun (and the work) have already begun for 4-Hers preparing for the big event.  They have been working all year for the opportunity to exhibit and compete at the Marias Fair.
   This summer they have been busy attending clinics to hone their skills in everything from sewing to livestock fitting and handling, to horsemanship. Some of their Marias Fair events are even completed. The Fashion Revue judging and shooting sports tournaments are completed in advance of the Fair. They will receive their awards at the Fair though.Events for the 4-H youth kick off Wednesday morning, July 15, with the Rabbit Show at 8:30 a.m. The Cat Show will be at 11 .am., the Poultry show at 1:00 p.m., and the Sheep Show at 6:30 p.m. These shows are all open to the public, and there is no gate admission on Wednesday.
   In addition to shows, 4-Hers will start working the Food Booth, which will be open with a variety of dining options throughout the Fair. The food booth has breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus, including a daily special. This booth is a major fundraiser for the 4-H premium fund, and is staffed almost entirely by 4-H families.
   Amidst all the other activity, 4-H members will be interviewed and their projects judged on Wednesday. This process is not open to the public, but Thursday morning the Exhibit building will open at 10, and the public is invited to stop in anytime throughout the week to check out the projects on display. At the Exhibit Building, visitors will also find a wide selection of Silent Auction items available for bid, to benefit improvements at the Exhibit Building.
   Thursday is a big day for the youth with market livestock animals. The swine show begins at 7:30 a.m. and will run most of the morning. The fed beef show begins at 2:00 in the afternoon. The youth in these shows and the sheep show are judged on their showmanship, and their animals are judged on market conformation.
   Demonstrations and speeches begin on Thursday at 10 in the Senior Center. Watch for the schedule to be posted at the Exhibit Building and the Senior Center, if you’d like to stop in for a few minutes to hear 4-Hers share their knowledge about a wide variety of topics. This event is always informative and interesting, and the building is air conditioned!
   Friday features the horse show, which begins at 7:30 a.m., and will run until mid to late afternoon. Events range from western to English, trail, barrels and poles, ranch horse, colt to maturity, and green horse. Bring your lawn chair, so you can find a shady spot to enjoy the young horsemen and women.
   Saturday is Tough Enough to Wear Pink day. All day, the Fair Board will donate $1 of your gate entry to the Hi-Line Women Against Breast Cancer, if you wear pink. Everyone is encouraged to wear pink to show their support of this generous organization, and breast cancer victims everywhere.