Altamont Fair wraps up

The Altamont Fair finished up on Sunday, Aug. 17, following a week filled with educational exhibits, a calf-birthing demonstrations, and musical performances.

Operations Manager Marie McMillen said attendance was down a little from last year, citing bad weather, flooding and a slumping economy as possible reasons.

We know our numbers are down from last year, and our revenue is down a little bit, but not a lot, she said of the unofficial statistics for the fair.

She said not everyone had recreation on their minds, but those that did come out told her they enjoyed the attractions and had a lot of fun.

Pat Knapp, who attended the fair with her grandchildren, said her favorite attractions are the 4-H educational exhibits.

The 4-H Youth Development program sponsors many of the exhibits as well as the animal competitions.

The organization focuses on strengthening life skills and preparing children, "socially, morally, emotionally, physically and cognitively."

Knapp said her grandchildren have shown an interest in a lot of exhibits, but they are now old enough to appreciate some of the features they did not before.

"This year, the kids are happy playing with the animals," she said.

Animal-oriented events were major components of the fair this year.

One of the 4-H-sponsored events was a cow competition that gave children an opportunity to learn about the agricultural trade while having a good time.

Competitors brought their animals to the barn and were judged on how much they look like the "ideal animal."

"The judge knows what an ideal animal looks like. They need to find which look the most like the ideal animal should," said Cattle Supervisor Charles Preska, who competed in the competition five years ago.

He said his daughter, Jennifer, had nine cows in the competition.

Animals big and small, including rabbits, got the attention of patrons.

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