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July 6, 2013

Floyd County 4-H Fair opens July 8

NEW ALBANY —  It’s all in Mother Nature’s hands now.

The projects have been turned in, the schedule is jammed pack with activities for all ages, and organizers are just hoping for good weather as the annual Floyd County 4-H Fair prepares to open Monday.

The fair will be held at the 4-H fairgrounds, 2818 Green Valley Road in New Albany, July 8-13. Admission is free and vendor booths and other exhibits open at 6 p.m. each night. However, some events will be held during the day.

The fair has many of the same events as last year including a midway featuring Playland Amusements, numerous animal shows, eating contests and lawn mower demo. The big event Monday will be the queen contest which begins on the 4-H stage at 7 p.m.

There will also be several new events featuring monster truck rides, Redneck Olympics, bicentennial living history re-enactments and a state fair talent show.

“We have added a ton of new activities for the 4-Hers and the community at large,” said Floyd County 4-H Youth Development Educator Melissa Merida. “The kids are really excited to show what they have done.”

Chuck Winn, with the Floyd County 4-H Board, said there are several new events this year that organizers believe will help increase attendance.

“We are just trying to change what we have done in the past,” Winn said. “We have a limited budget and some of those acts are expensive. I think the previous fair board did a tremendous job and we are just trying to build on that.”

Last year fair goers had to deal with excessive heat. While next week is expected to be cooler, Winn and others hope the recent wet weather subsides.

“You always like to see more people there,” Winn said of attendance.

Both Winn and Merida are excited about the youth participation in 4-H programs. Merida said around 300 kids are involved, a number she is pleased with.

“There were more projects last year than we had in the previous 12 years I have been down there,” Winn said.

The fair allows the youth to showcase many of those projects. While some think the 4-H is all about animals, Merida said only nine of 72 programs involve animals.

“The 4-H offers so much more, but animals are a big part of the fair,” she said. “Many of the kids will be showing their projects in the [Newlin Hall] building.”

Merida said Purdue College of Technology is hosting upcoming workshops for 4-H students in robotics, film making and electronics. She said the recent 4-H Day Camp was well attended.

The 4-H junior leaders, youth in grades 7-12, taught 34 students at Green Valley and S. Ellen elementary schools proper nutrition, agriculture and how to start a garden during this past school year.

Merida said there is always a need for more youth, and adult leaders, to help with the programs. Many of the groups meet once a month to work and talk about their projects.

“We have fabulous volunteers,” Merida said. “We are always looking for quality adult leaders.”

While the midway and many of the activities begin at 6 p.m. each day, the poultry show starts at 10 a.m. Monday and the llama and alpaca showmanship show gets under way at 4:30 p.m.

“I think the community will be pleased with the activities planned,” Merida said.

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07_31_new_teacher_1w.jpg

Judy Lunsford works on a lesson plan for her students with fellow teachers, Ellen Rothstein and Adam Stephens, in her classroom at Northaven Elementary in Jeffersonville Wednesday afternoon. Lunsford, a new addition to Northaven, will be teaching second grade.

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