The folks at the Louisa County Agricultural Fair are pleased to offer families an opportunity to get out of their houses and into the fresh air to experience good old-fashioned fun. The celebration, dubbed “The Show Must Go On!,” includes an array of features that range from craft works, baked goods and livestock presentations to a bevy of contests.
The names of some of the contests need no further explanation but spark the imagination regarding the raucous fun they would entail, such as watermelon eating, corn-on-the-cob eating, pie-eating and bubble-blowing. Other contests involve participants’ innovation and creativity, such as the Veggie Races, in which young entrants have decorated produce, such as zucchinis or squash, and mounted them on little wheeled chassis to compete for the highest speed down a ramped runway.
Children participating in the Tractor Parade will arrive at the site with a farm vehicle crafted at home—typically, a cardboard box that has been decorated and may be pulled on a wagon or worn with suspender-like straps. And families will cheer for their favorites at such races as the Tot Trot and Baby Crawling, in which moms at the far end of the lane call their little ones on. Meanwhile, gales of laughter from young and old alike will be elicited by the husband-calling contest, where the menfolk follow calls from their spouses who are hidden away. One contest bound to be a favorite on hot summer days is the frozen tee shirt contest, in which contestants compete to be the fastest to unfold and don a balled-up icy shirt.
A classic fair feature is the livestock presentation, which includes goats, sheep, hogs and cattle. The presenters range from adults, who have dedicated much hard work and practice to position their animals to look their best, to heart-melting “Bottle Babies” that pair little animals, such as lambs and calves, with children ages 8 and under who have bottle-fed them.
Visitors will also be delighted at the sight of costumed children and their animals, often with themed outfits, who pull their decorated wagons around the fairgrounds.
The judged exhibits will showcase entries from all ages, including children ages 5-13, and will range from produce, plants and flower arrangements to lip-smacking baked goods and candies. In addition, exhibits will include entries from a spectrum of age cohorts ranging from crafts, such as birdhouses and mailboxes, to artworks in media, including photography, clay, woodcraft, paper art, painting and drawing, jewelry, and even “Trash to Treasure” creations from recycled materials.
The Miss Louisa County Ag Fair Pageant kicks off on July 24 with the older girls in cohorts of pre-teen, teen and miss and will feature the Tiny, Little and Young, contestants ages 2-9, on July 29. Entertainment will be featured throughout the weekend, including a concert by William Michael Morgan at 7 p.m. July 31.
“Our fair reminds us of the impact that agriculture has in all our lives and allows us to showcase the agriculture of Louisa County,” said fair president Chris Gibson. “I think people may be surprised to realize how small a portion of the population provides food and clothing for us all. I hope families will take this opportunity to get a break from their electronics and to form new friendships and see friends they may not have seen in months and I hope that some visitors may even be inspired to create their own entries for next year’s fair.”
“We enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the Louisa County Agricultural Fair. The focus on animals, crafts and youth participation highlights the rural nature of the county, and we always see friends and neighbors at the fair,” said Agnes Dunn, who has attended the event with husband Alan for years.
In addition to the events and exhibits on the weekend of July 29, the Louisa County Ag Fair Horse Show will be held at Walton Park on July 25, featuring English, Western and Gaited classes, as well as in-hand presentations and fun classes including costumes and an egg-and-spoon race.