Going to the Dogs
A good crowd of competitors participated Saturday, July 8 in a 4-H dog show, part of the Dodge County Fair in Kasson.
Dogs large and small were judged on a variety of topics, including obedience and showmanship.
“I love it. This is a great event,” said Melissa Seljan, a sophomore-to-be at Kasson-Mantorville High School, who showed Henry, her 6-year-old yellow Lab.
“We’re never going to top last year,” said Marilyn Lermon, Fair president. “It was an unusual, terriffic year.”
Gone from this year’s Fair is a national exhibit that brought in thousands of people. The Fair hosted the 9/11 Never Forget traveling display, one of the most notable exhibits to ever grace the local fairgrounds.
But while there are no national exhibits this year, the local fair is packing a punch in other ways by of offering a line-up of exciting attractions.
One of the new attractions this year is an ag cab lab, which will be featured in the Four Seasons Arena.
The lab allows children to play a simulation game to see what it is like to drive a tractor on the farm.
Some new additions are taking place in the livestock area. For the first time, the Fair is offering open class poultry show in which anyone from Minnesota can bring chickens, turkeys, ducks and other poultry. Previously the poultry show was limited to 4-H and FFA members.
This year the 4-H program will be honoring supreme showmanship awards for outstanding members showing their animals, including goats, sheep, swine, dairy and beef.
“We’re going to be busy,” said Kelly Vincelette, 4-H program coordinator for Dodge County. She noted the entry numbers are looking on track as well for the number of exhibitors at the Fair.
The grandstand will feature lawn mower racing on July 23. The Minnesota Lawn Mower Racing Association is sponsoring the race.
Another new exhibit will be historical demonstrations of wooden bowl-turning and pottery by Roger Abrahamson and Reggie Britton of Minneapolis.
Back by popular demand is a gift from Mother Nature coming in the form of rare Royal White Tigers. There are less than 400 Royal tigers existing in the world, and at least two of them will be featured at this year’s Dodge fair.
As part of the tiger exhibit, there will be tiger talks, feeding demonstrations and other shows with the tigers. The display encourages animal conservation to get people engaged by promoting the animals.
Mike Whittman of the All Things Wild Zoological Parks said of the exhibit: “They are a machine that Mother Nature has developed. They are attention junkies who love people.”
There is a $3 admission fee for the exhibit.
Lermon relishes in the tradition brought about by the Fair.
“I don’t think there’s anything more American than the old county fair,” she said. “The fair just goes back to the very heart of everything and what makes us great. It’s a wonderful tradition.”
The Fair, Lermon said, is the one county get-together to promote education and entertainment for the young and old.