As the 2019 Kent County Youth Fair winds down today, here’s a look back at this year’s event.
The annual youth fair is one of the biggest events held in Lowell each year. It draws thousands from Kent County and beyond to the city’s Recreation Park.
The highlight of the fair is always the wide assortment of animals that have been raised by county youth and brought to Lowell to be shown and perhaps sold. As you wander the fairgrounds, you’ll encounter more exotic species such as alpacas…
…barnyard animals of all kinds…
…and even creatures we associate as being pets, such as guinea pigs and bunnies.
Kids don’t have to raise animals to be part of 4-H though. This year’s still exhibits featured a variety of paintings, photography, baked goods, textiles and more.
Children from ages 8-19 can be full members of 4-H. This year’s exhibition hall included a special display of graduating seniors, highlighting their many accomplishments in the program.
After months of preparation and hard work, many participants walked away with ribbons and trophies.
But winning isn’t everything. Participants in 4-H learn skills that will serve them well throughout life. They also have plenty of fun decorating stalls (and animals, in the case of this horse) and hanging out with friends for an entire week.
This is the grand champion steer, Ted. Weighing in at 1,320 pounds, he was brought to the fair by Justin Sytsma of the Byron Center Busy Workers 4-H Club.
Brody Hurley of Milky Way 4-H Club had the Supreme Champion pig this year with his gilt, Zelda, taking the top spot among 340 entries. She weighed in at 266 pounds.
People packed the fairgrounds arena to watch area youth show off their animals and handling skills.
The weather couldn’t have been better for fair week — warm and sunny every day. Animals were kept comfortable with fans and some, like these sheep, sported snazzy cooling jackets.
Visitors to the fair had plenty to keep themselves occupied. In addition to viewing the exhibits, there was a petting area and children’s activities for families.
Keiser’s Kitchen was staffing the main food building on the fairgrounds…
…and there were food trucks offering a variety of items from steak tips to elephant ears to deep fried Oreos.
While adults may have wanted to play bingo or listen to the live music performances, the carnival rides and games were a draw for the younger set.
It’s time to say good-bye to the 2019 Kent County Youth Fair, but we will look forward to another week of fun in 2020.
Did you go to the fair? What was your favorite part? Tell us in the comments below or on our Facebook page.