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home : education : schools August 27, 2015

8/6/2013 12:58:00 PM
Sisters well-represented at Deschutes County Fair
Sam Mitchell waits to show his sheep at the Deschutes County Fair. photo by Jerry Baldock
+ click to enlarge
Sam Mitchell waits to show his sheep at the Deschutes County Fair. photo by Jerry Baldock

By Kathryn Godsiff

The Deschutes County Fair is touted as having something for everyone. The Nugget visited on Friday afternoon, dodging the rain that fell on Sisters.

The 4-H exhibit hall had static displays ranging from beekeeping to vegetables, robotics to livestock. Some were information only, arranged on foam-core board, while others were fine examples of art and craft.

The Stars of Sisters 4-H club had exhibits turning up all over the hall. Photos, metalwork, a tie-dye T-shirt and decorative art had ribbons fluttering from them.

Over in the Open Exhibit hall, some members of that club displayed their culinary skill in the youth division. Jayla and Tymbre Townsend had examples of their baking, table settings, and youth canning. Shae Gascon of Sisters had a quick bread in the baking section.

The fair is proof that gardens do thrive in our brief season. The floral displays ranged from simple blooms to elaborate arrangements. Lorene Richardson of Sisters came away with a Best In Show for her floral arrangement titled "What's Cookin'." Bright cut flowers were arranged in an old coffee pot with a bowl of beans and biscuits set alongside. Richardson's name also figured prominently in other floral, baking, and preserving classes. She's competed for many years at the fair and enjoys it, plus the premiums are generous.

"I'd encourage anyone to give it a try," she said. "Get ahold of an old premium book because the classes don't change much, and see what's there."

Leaving the flowers and jams behind, this Nugget correspondent wandered through the maze of vendors looking for a favorite Marionberry cobbler stand. It wasn't in its usual spot, and fried candy bars weren't very appealing, so it was on to the livestock barns to see what animals garnered prizes.

Sisters exhibitors were present in the poultry and rabbit barn. The Wascally Wabbits 4-H club had several bunnies looking very relaxed in their cages. No owners could be found, but several ribbons were on display.

Christine Cole is a poultry enthusiast who owns several prizewinning chickens. The fair is just one of many shows she attends and her hens and roosters did her proud. Cole's silkie bantam hen was Best of Breed and Champion; the salmon faverolle hen was Reserve Champion and the rooster was Best of Breed.

The sheep barn was a busy place for the Cloverdale Livestock Club, a longtime 4-H club with members from Sisters, Redmond and Bend. The 30-member club had a successful show, with around 90 percent of participants earning blue ribbons in their various classes. Several made it to the championship rounds, and Chase Langeliers was Reserve Champion Senior Showman.

Ethan Morgan of Sisters was enjoying his first year of fair. The 7th-grader said, "My best moment was when the judge handed me my first blue ribbon." He showed his lamb in showmanship and in the market class, and while she didn't make weight for the auction held on Saturday afternoon, she sold privately afterward.

Pam Mitchell has been at the helm of the Cloverdale club for 28 years, and is continually inspired by the young people she leads.

"It's a blessing to be a part of so many great kids' lives. The future of our country is in good hands," she said.

Heading for the exit and passing the food stands once again, this correspondent stopped for a Young Life hot dog and shared a table with a 60-years-married couple enjoying their annual visit to the fair. We chatted as they worked their way through hand-dipped ice cream bars, agreeing that the fair is a good place to be on a summer afternoon.

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