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COME TO THE FAIR: 4-H event promotes education, entertainment

June 28, 2013

COLUMBIA CITY — Whitley County 4-Hers are preparing for the county’s fair that will run from July 12-18. Although the event caters to those students who have worked on projects, crafted various items, and raised a variety of animals, the fair is geared toward families.

Keith Schuman, of South Whitley, is a parent active in the county’s 4-H program. He has a 10 –year 4-H member and now his daughter, Tiffany, is completing her 10th year.

“The 4-H fair experience is like none other,” Schuman said. “Our fair is rather unique. There is no charge for admission and parking is free as well. That is something you don’t find at a lot of other fairs.”

The other item that makes Whitley County’s fair a standout among 4-Hers is the absence of carnival-style rides.

“We don’t do the rides here. That has become popular at other fairs,” Schuman said. “I think by not having rides, we are able to keep the fair 4-H focused and it keeps the fair free. Having an amusement company come in could possibly mean we would have to charge just to get into the fair.”

Because the fair itself is free, families have the opportunity to come and experience the animals without expense. For those who might not be able to get up close and personal with cows, goats and pigs, the fair is a way to get familiar with animals.

“People think the fair is just for 4-H participants. It’s more than that,” Schuman said. “For those that have kids, it is a great way to introduce them to 4-H. It’s also a great way to let them see animals they may not ever get the chance to touch.”

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