BY MARIE McCAIN
The Cincinnati Enquirer
In the quiet morning hours -- before the rides are turned on, the video games are plugged in or the elephant ears are fried -- there are the fair animals.
Junior Fair Boards members take a sleep in the petting farm.
(Ernest Coleman photo)
Horses, chickens, rabbits, goats, cattle, kittens, puppies, llamas. Each one has to be prepared for the day's viewing. "It takes us about an hour-and-a-half to clean up the six we have here," Jackie Duvelius, of Hamilton, said Friday at the Hamilton County Fair. She and her husband, Don, both employees with the Lakota School District, show their shorthorn beef cows.
"It's hard work. They have to be washed and fed, and we have to watch them throughout the day to make sure they stay clean," Mr. Duvelius said. "It's not easy, and we have to get much of it done before the fair opens at 11."
Outside the rabbit barn, 13-year-old Andy Burger, of Colerain Township, washed down his two prize-winning Black Angus feeder calves. A first-timer at the county fair, Andy is doing pretty well. His calves, Bubba and Kyle, took first and second place in their categories.
IF YOU GO
What: 143rd annual Hamilton County Fair. |
Where: Hamilton County fairgrounds, at the corner of Vine Street and Paddock Road.
When: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily through Sunday. Monster trucks at 2, 6 and 9 p.m. ; sprint-car racing at 3 p.m. Sunday.
Cost: $7 admission includes rides, exhibits and grandstand shows. Parking $3.
An animal lover, Andy slept on bales of hay so he could stay by his cattle overnight.
Presentation is important, said Martha Enriquez, who brought her 4-year-old daughter, Sophie, to watch the early morning goat judging.
"The animals have to be cleaned thoroughly," the Batavia woman said, adding that her 7-year-old daughter, Olivia, shows goats in the Clermont County fair. A short distance away in the rabbit and chicken barn, Rebecca, Nathan and Andrew Batchler, of Harrison, scrambled to feed and water their rabbits.
Nathan, 14 -- working in tandem with his 10-year-old brother, Andrew -- pulled a wagon behind him filled with bags of rabbit food and quickly scooped green pellets into feeding containers, while his brother did the same thing with a container of oats.
"We have about 50 rabbits," he said. "We like doing this, it gives us a chance to meet a lot of different people and learn about the animals. Most people just think of rabbits as something that runs around in their back yard."
Joe Henz of Saylor Park gives a bath to one of his brother's sheep.
(Ernest Coleman photo)
Rebecca, 12, said she and her brothers leave their rabbits at the fair overnight but return every morning to feed and keep them clean.
"This is fun. It's a great learning experience," Andrew added. Joe Henz of Sayler Park gives a bath to one of his brother's sheep.
Hamilton County Junior Fair Board members Cori Kordenbrock and Joann Wurzelbacher, both 16 and from Colerain Township, sleep in the petting farm.