Thousands of cups of lemonade, 400 blooming onions, 700 bags of kettle corn, 900 funnel cakes and 1,080 corn dogs later, the weeklong Douglas County Fair has come to an end.
On Saturday, vendors tallied their sales, 4-H members collected their exhibits, market animals were sold at the livestock auction and final awards were to be presented during an evening ceremony. Sue Ashcraft, member of the fair board, said this year’s fair was successful overall.
“It seemed like we had really good attendance,” she said. “The weather was fantastic, and as far as I know, it was all good.”
But before the exhibits were taken down and the food vendors had retired their treats until next summer, one event on Saturday drew cheers from crowded bleachers in the judging arena.
Thirty-one teams competed in the Barnyard Olympics, an obstacle course challenge for 4-H Club members that is a signature event on the final day of the fair.
Teams of four with names like Charlie's Angels, Lone Stars, Hufflepuff and The Oddballs, stacked hay bales, tossed grain scoops into buckets and carried buckets of water from one horse trough to another. They ended by flipping buckets until they landed upside down, eating slices of watermelon down to the rind and dragging each other across the finish line on large shovels.
Event superintendent Cindy Allen said the odd olympics allows the 4-H members to have some fun after a week of competition at the fair.
“It’s just a fun time for the kids to relax and let it all out,” Allen said. “They’ve been working hard.”
Erin Boigts and Jenna Flory, members of the Palmyra 4-H club, competed in the Barnyard Olympics with their team, the 4-H'ers.
The girls had never competed in the event before, and said their strategy was to just go as fast as they could to beat the first place team, which had finished in about 30 seconds. The 4-H’ers missed their goal, finishing with a time of 56.6.
“The hardest part was flipping the buckets,” Flory said.
Allen agreed, saying the bucket flip is usually the dealbreaker.
“It’s luck of the draw,” Allen said. “You could be going along great, but flipping the buckets can hold you up.”
The first place team was awarded $60 and bragging rights — until next summer's fair, that is.