The Kent County Youth Fair rolls into town this week, and there is no shortage of animals at the fairgrounds. However, two are deserving of special recognition.
Pickles and Picante aren’t being shown, but they have spent months serving as ambassadors for the fair and making appearances at events ranging from the Lowell Expo in the spring to summertime celebrations across the county.
Owned by Karlye Ordway, Pickles is approximately 15 years old and has served as KCYF mascot since 2011. “Everyone knows Pickles,” Ordway says. “He is a little celebrity.”
The white mini horse makes the rounds at festivals, events, parades, fairs and nursing homes each year, patiently standing as people pet him and take photos. He is there to give people a taste of what they’ll find at the annual fair held at the Lowell fairgrounds.
This past year, Pickles got a new sidekick. Picante is a one-year old mini donkey who was only a month old when he came to live with Ordway. She had to bottle feed him, and he even spent a few nights in her basement because of the cold weather outside. “Picante is so little he used to ride in the back of our Tahoe,” Ordway says.
When the mini donkey was adopted, Ordway already had Pickles as well as goats named Popcorn, Pepper and Peanut. It was decided that the tradition of names starting with the letter P and representing food should be continued, and Ordway’s boyfriend came up with the name Picante.
Finding Fun at the Fair
If you stop by the fair, look for Pickles and see if you can spot the heart-shaped “cutie mark” that Ordway shaves into his haunches each year.
Plus, you can find all sorts of other animals on display. There are cows, sheep, hogs, horses, goats, poultry, rabbits and more. Swing by the main barn to see the still displays and grab a bite to eat from the food vendors. There are also carnival games, rides, free music, daily scavenger hunts, an ice cream social, free classes and so much more.
There is no gate fee to attend the fair, but parking does cost $6 per day or $18 for the week. Shuttles from the parking lot to the midway are available at peak times.
All photos courtesy of Karlye Ordway and the Kent County Youth Fair