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Fair Brings Kids and Family toether  
By Dian Thomas

After writing an article last month about day adventures I have been much more aware of opportunities to get out of the office and find day events to enjoy. A friend called me and asked me if I would like to go to the Utah State Fair. It has been years since I took time to go and see the fair. I asked her what she would like to see. She said that the animals were at the top of her list. My list began with the big vegetables. It is always fun to see what people can grow in this state.

Upon arriving at the fair I found a young family out to create some new experiences for their young children.

One of my favorite experiences is to see a family showing their animals that they have been working together to raise. I found one such family who had a cow. It was a real family affair and every member of the family was having a great time as they groomed their cow to show.

It was not long before we went outside and found one of the most amazing entries. Talk about a big family! We found a mother pig that had 8 small babies to feed. She looks like any mother who has multiple births and tries to take care of them. I could not help but wonder how she was going to make it though the day?

As we went to the next building we found an area that was equipped to wash the animals as the young kids would prepare their animals to show. The bath bar was the first stop on their way to being “Dressed for Success”. Then they went back into the barn to have their hair blow dried, clipped and moussed. By the products being used, you would think you were at the corner beauty parlor.

These four cows could not have been more content as they were all groomed and lay waiting for their turn to make some family proud of all the work they had done to get their special cow ready for show.

As we took a seat by all the proud parents and family who came to see their cows shown in the arena, I could not help but particularly notice a young girl guiding her cow around the arena so the judges could take special note of her pride and joy.

Then we came to the building with all the vegetables. Sure enough they are still growing squash that I only dream about. The whole barn was loaded with vegetables and fruits from around the state. I was sure that many parents had worked hard helping their kids grow this premium produce.

Just as we were leaving the vegetable barn, we came across the beehive. We learned the role of the bee and how important their job is in this process. The bee keeper told us that one hive could produce as much as 60 lbs of honey a season. Boy that sounded sweet to me.

All of this brought back memories of when I was just ten and involved in my 4 H project. I made a skirt and scarf that I sent to the state fair some 50 years ago. I could not have been more proud of the purple ribbon I received. This was an experience I never forgot.

There was still a lot more to learn as we went to the goat barn. We met a goat that is used for packing. That's right, the goat carries your camping gear so that you can enjoy your hike though the mountains. Each pack goat weighs about 200 lbs and can carry ¼ his weight. Clay Zimmerman is the owner of 22 pack goats. He rents out these special animals in a pair. They are great with people, they love to hike, cuddle and be around people. Next backpacking trip you may want to consider taking along a pair of goats to add to the adventure.

I know that there are state and county fairs across the country. My advice is to gather up the family for a fascinating day. You do not need to worry if you did not get a vacation this year. Check out all the special programs in your area and you will be well educated, very entertained and most of all create a memory with your family that could last for ever.

   
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