Fair's big debut
By Steve Herring
Published in News on September 26, 2013 1:46 PM
Tyler Jones, left, tries to get his miniature horse, Little Man, to follow him, while his sister, Mikayla, leads her miniature horse, Little Lady, to the livestock exhibit building Wednesday night the Wayne County Fairgrounds. The Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair begins its 10-day run today at 4 p.m.
From left, Adam Cook , Luke Winders, Jeremiah Winders and Jacob Fletcher looks at a village made out of Legos. People began setting up booths and exhibits Wednesday at the fair. The deadline for exhibits was 10 a.m.
Gail Price and her son, David Ethan Price, bring in several exhibits to the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair Wednesday afternoon. The fair starts today at 4 p.m.
DUDLEY -- Mikayla Jones breaks into a big smile as she talks about her miniature horse, Little Lady.
But showing her pride and joy is not all that excites the 9-year-old about the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair, which opens tonight at 4 p.m.
Her smile gets even bigger as she lists all her favorite fair foods -- candy apples, nachos and cheese and funnel cakes.
Mikayla and her brother, Tyler, 5, were among the hundreds of people Wednesday bringing in their animals or entries into the many competitions being offered at the 65th annual fair.
The fair stopped taking exhibits this morning at 10 a.m., a change from previous years when the deadline was noon. The new deadline will allow time for judging prior to deciding how to best display the exhibits before the fair opens this afternoon.
The fair will run through Saturday, Oct. 5, with the gates opening at 4 p.m. daily during the week. The gate will open at 11 a.m. on Saturdays and 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Tickets this year at the gate are $7 for adults and $4 for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Online tickets are $6 and $3, respectively. To purchase the tickets online, go to waynefair.com and click on the button for advance tickets.
Also, the $25 ride wristbands are $20 plus a convenience fee, which is paid to Etix, which is handling the online sales.
Mikayla said she loves animals and coming to the fair.
"Ohhhh, goats. They are so cute," she said.
While her brother enjoys the fair, he is not as fond of handling their miniature horses, Little Lady and Little Man, as she is, Mikayla said. They are the children of Brandon and Michelle Jones.
Taking care of the horses requires a lot of work, she said.
"We have to feed them, give them water, and make sure their pen is clean," she said. "I have two dogs, two cats and two horses. I love animals. This is my first time (showing animals at the fair). We had to clean them, get the vet down here and check them out, a lot of stuff. I ride them sometimes. It just depends on what day it is and how busy I am."
Despite the apparent chaos of hundreds of people bringing in exhibits and setting up booths, fair manager Eddie Pitzer said the evening had been "pretty smooth."
"There has been a lot of activity out here with everybody converging on us here to get all of the exhibits in the exhibit halls," he said. "It looks like we are getting some good participation."
A lot of the directors came out early and decorated ahead of time to get ready for the exhibits, he said.
"We always hope for a record crowd. It just tells us how much people like to come to the fair and the programs that we have. Hopefully, we have a quality show and provide some good family entertainment in a safe environment."
Elizabeth Rowe, 21, of Dudley has been a familiar face at the fair since she was a small child. While she has aged out of the youth livestock competitions, she continues to enjoy showing animals.
This year, she is showing six goats -- three boars and three pygmies.
"As long as I can remember my mom and dad showed horses out here, and it has spilled over to my responsibility in the last couple of years," she said. "As long as I remember we have been putting animals out here, 14 or 15 years."
She is the daughter of Vivian Rowe and the late William Thomas Rowe.
"I bring the animals out here so other people can enjoy them and look at them because there are not many people that get to experience livestock firsthand," she said. "I love being out here even though it gets really tiring by day 10."
It also brings back childhood memories,
"The fair was everything," she said. "When I was little, I used to love coming out here. I hated to see it go, but as I have gotten older, I still enjoy coming out here."
Gary Martin, of Princeton, was busy loading cows for the livestock exhibit.
"There are no more around here like these cows. They are romagnola," he said. "They come from Italy. I have 200 cows in all, but I don't have many of these. I am just experimenting.
"They are beef cows. They are real gentle. I like that about them. I don't like the horns."
Martin said he has been exhibiting animals at the fair since he was a child, and for about 20 years now as an adult. Martin said the timing worked out this year so that his cows had calves in time for the fair.
"I am just going to show cattle unless they need some rabbits," he said. "I did tell them if they needed some rabbits that I would bring some. It really ain't work what we do. It is just for people, city people."