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‘More than FAIR’: Bowman County Fair promises great time for all with long line of events

This weekend promises more animals, vendors and entertainment at the Bowman County Fair, three things that make it a much anticipated event each year. 

By BRYCE MARTIN
Pioneer Editor | bmartin@countrymedia.net

This weekend promises more animals, vendors and entertainment at the Bowman County Fair, three things that make it a much anticipated event each year.

Last year’s county fair offered some new events that seemed to reinvigorate a crowd familiar with the fair’s annual events, and those will return this year.

The grandstands of the Dakota Winds Arena were full of people eager to witness the fair’s new truck and tractor pull last year. It proved wildly successful and quickly became one of the staples of the annual fair.

Bowman residents Rachel Nelson-Hestekin and Dusty Rafferty said it was one of their favorite events.

“Hope (the event) comes back next year,” Nelson-Hestekin wrote The Pioneer’s Facebook page.

Click here for the full schedule of events

And it is. The pull is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at the Dakota Winds Arena.

While there is always something for everyone at the fair, a large portion of its events each year is geared towards 4-H. This year already has a large number of livestock submissions for all species.

The Bowman County Fair, slated for July 7 through 10, is the chief opportunity for the area youth involved in 4-H to show off their accomplishments.

“From a 4-H standpoint and as a facilitator of the program, I think (the fair is) very important,” said Andrea Bowman, member of the Bowman County Fair Board. “The kids work hard to get their projects ready and it’s an opportunity to showcase the skills they’ve learned throughout the year. Whether it be something they made or an animal they bought and took care of.”

4-H programs run throughout the year and those yearlong projects are exhibited during the fair. 4-H enrollment numbers within Bowman County have remained strong and there are a lot of young children coming up into the program.

Those children competing at the county fair then have the opportunity to compete at the North Dakota State Fair in Minot.

“Our 4-H exhibits are very competitive,” Bowman said. “On a state level, our kids do at times represent our county at the state fair and do very well.”

“I think with the county fair just comes a lot of tradition that it’s been in Bowman County,” Bowman said. “The county fair has went on for over 100 years; 4-H programs started in Bowman County in the 30s, so it brings back a lot of tradition.

“A lot of people that have kids in 4-H now were 4-H members themselves.”

The goal of 4-H is to help youth develop life skills, with a focus on specific skills including leadership and public speaking. Head, heart, hands and health are the four H’s in 4-H and they are the four values members work on through programs.

“I think people typically think of livestock when they think of 4-H, but there’s a lot more to it than that,” Bowman said.

The 4-H events at last year’s fair attracted more people than years previous. There were more animal showings, more entries and jaw-dropping livestock sale amounts.

The 4-H side of the fair also saw some new events last year, namely a much-anticipated Ag Olympics and a goat and lamb dress-up contest—both events drew a lot of laughter and excitement. Those will be returning again this year.

“We added the dress up goat and lamb contest for something new and fun,” said Bowman. “They do a similar class at the state fair.”

The Olympics were organized by the Livewire 4-H club.

“The kids had a blast,” she added.

The 2016 fair should mean an even better year for 4-H. But if you’re not interested in what the 4-H showings have to offer, there are still plenty of events and entertainment to keep you preoccupied this year.

“Historically county fairs were when everybody got together; it was like the main social event,” Bowman admitted. “That’s just not the world we live in anymore, but it’s still a big social gathering for the community.”

Contact Bryce Martin, Pioneer editor, via email at bmartin@countrymedia.net.

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