Last day for children at junior fair: ‘It almost brings tears to my eyes’

Thursday is the final day of the Montgomery County Junior Fair Livestock Exposition, an event that looked different than it has in the past, with mask requirements, guest restrictions and only a Facebook live audience.

Since the 2020 Montgomery County Fair was cancelled, 4-H livestock participants had only this one opportunity to show their animals at the fairgrounds in Jefferson Twp.

The exposition began Monday and did not include non-livestock projects.

Betty Wingerter, 4-H educator with the OSU extension, was a member of the team that planned and put together this year’s Livestock Exposition.

“Our game plan was to make sure that we could still do something for the kids,” Wingerter said. “It’s a real showcase for the young people and the hard work they’ve done.

PHOTOS: Montgomery County Junior Fair Livestock Exposition

Wingerter said that staff and participants wore masks inside buildings. Members of the fair board have also been working closely with the Montgomery County Health Department.

“It’s been going very smoothly,” Wingerter said. “The families appreciate the opportunity to at least show off what they’ve been working on.”

Families are staying in tents, trailers and cars to show on different days of the week. Wingerter said the show style is called a “pull-in pull-out” show.

The Livestock Exposition has already raised $55,000 in sponsorships from the community which will go directly back to participants.

Today is the final day of animal sales. The weight of the animals determine their eligibility and class for competition. After the competition is complete, the livestock is sold to the highest bidder — by the pound.

Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith visited the grounds on Monday to inspect the scales that are used for the weighing.

“I’m really happy the board decided to go on with the competition,” said Keith.

The Facebook live streams can be found on the Montgomery County Fair and Fairgrounds, Dayton OH Facebook page.

“It almost brings tears to my eyes because (the families) are all so thankful and appreciative that we’ve been able to put something together for the kids,” Wingerter said.

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