10/8/2011 10:00 AM
By Lisa Z. Leighton Central Pa. Correspondent
Central Pennsylvania youth who have spent months caring for their 4-H and FFA livestock will still be able to show and auction their animals at the Bloomsburg Fair despite recent flooding, according to Jeff Giger, Bloomsburg Fair livestock superintendent, and Charlie Porter, administrative leader for the Columbia County 4-H Livestock Club.
“We felt an obligation as leaders, fair personnel and Extension personnel” to have the livestock shows and livestock auction, Porter said.
“These 4-H’ers and FFAers still had their livestock out there. So when the fair board decided not to have the fair this year, we felt we were far enough along with the livestock area cleanup that we could be ready,” he said. “The fair board gave us permission, and we knew it could be done.”
Nearly 250 animals are expected to be shown over the course of three days — Oct. 14-16. Youths from Columbia, Montour, Northumberland, Union, Snyder and Lycoming counties will be represented.
Not Just Mud and <\n>Debris Removal
Some of the livestock barns were inundated with upward of 11 feet of water. One barn is considered a total loss and will not be repaired.
“We were lucky in that we had river flooding, so it was flat water — it came up and then went back down gradually,” Giger said.
On the other side of the fairgrounds, near West Main Street, flooding from Fishing Creek was a significantly different story.
Through countless hours of cleanup from 4-H leaders, 4-H youth, local businesses, fair vendors, volunteers, exhibitors, shareholders and fair workers, tremendous progress has been made since the floodwaters receded.
Mud and massive amounts of debris have been removed, buildings have been pressure-washed, and new stone has been brought in.
The challenge was more than mud and debris removal and cleanup, however. Organizers had to find new judges for the shows, and they had a hard time finding auctioneers.
Although the auction had never been held on a Sunday, they chose to move it because many local auctioneers had already scheduled other sales on Saturday.
Schedule <\n>of Events
The public is invited to attend, for free, the Sheep Show and Market Lamb Show at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14. Weigh-ins for livestock are set for 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, and the fairgrounds will open in the late afternoon.
At 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, there will be a Market Hog Show, followed by the Market Goat Show at 12:30 p.m. and the 4-H Beef and Steer Show at 6 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 16, will feature the Supreme Showmanship Contest at 8:30 a.m. Now in its second year, the contest will determine the showmanship champion for each of five species.
The main event, the Livestock Auction, will be 2 p.m. Sunday.
Many food vendors and several other types of vendors will be near the livestock barns.
Youths Remain Primary Focus
A statement by Giger said, “The 4-H kids have worked for months with their animals to get them to show quality. Many use their sale proceeds to offset animal expenses and put toward future tuition costs for college. The 4H’ers are looking forward to our local businesses and livestock buyers attending the sale. We hope anyone interested can attend and help contribute to our future leaders of tomorrow in their endeavors.”
Visitors are being asked to use the Fifth Street entrance, near the livestock barns. Parking will be restricted to certain lots on fairground property.