Annual 4-H festival starts tonight

The Carson City Fairgrounds will be clovered over with green beginning tonight as 4-H'ers from Carson City and Storey County clubs meet and compete in their annual Youth Fair inside the park's exhibit hall.

"This is the first time we've had a three-day fair in 10 or 12 years," said Sandy Wallin of the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.

The event will feature dog, rabbit, cavy (guinea pig) and poultry shows as well as a horse-training exhibition.

"It's a qualifying round for the kids to go on to the state event," says Wallin. "The goal is to show a judge they've learned how to handle their animal through voice commands and behavior."

Craft-wise, the usual fare of fine arts, clothing and textiles, sewing and needlework will be displayed.

Judges will weed out the best in garden-fresh flowers, fruits and vegetables.

All youth are invited to enter any of the contest categories, with nominal fees for each entry, ranging from $1 to $3, depending on the contest category.

The Carson City Sheriff's Department mounted police will be helping the children to bomb-proof their horses.

"Bomb-proofing is teaching a horse to remain calm regardless of what they encounter," says Wallin. "Despite their size, horses are prey and not predators."

The course takes young riders along a simulated trail ride where they encounter such things as plastic bottles, tin cans or a blowing tarp, said Wallin. "Sometimes a wooden bridge can blow a horse's mind and spook it and you'll wind up in the dirt and the horse winds up back in the barn."

"We don't want that," says Wallin.

The fee for Saturday's horse training sessions is $5 per animal. Preregistration is encouraged.

In addition, 4-Hers will be giving speeches and demonstrations.

All area children are encouraged to dress up their pets and bring them out for the crowd favorite, "Pets on Parade," at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

The contests are open to children from 5-19, but to compete in a real 4-H event, competitors must be at least 9, according to Wallin.

If You Go

What: Carson City/Storey County 4-H Youth Fair

Where: Exhibit Hall, Carson City Fairgrounds, Fuji Park, 601 Old Clear Creek Road

When: 4-7 p.m. today; 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m.Ð3 p.m. on Sunday

Who: Sponsored by 4-H, a program of the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension

Cost: Free to spectators, small fees to compete

Call: 887-2252


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