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Hope Star - Hope, AR
  • County fair interest grows

  • The opening of classes for the fall semester in the Hempstead County schools has brought changes in school-based agricultural education programs that will be reflected in what Hempstead County Agricultural Extension Agent Steven Sheets sees as a renewed interest in the Hempstead County Fair, which opens Sept. 2.
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  • The opening of classes for the fall semester in the Hempstead County schools has brought changes in school-based agricultural education programs that will be reflected in what Hempstead County Agricultural Extension Agent Steven Sheets sees as a renewed interest in the Hempstead County Fair, which opens Sept. 2.
    The fair runs through Sept. 6 at Hope Fair Park, and concludes with the Fair Premium Sales, one of the most anticipated events of the year for the young 4-H Club and FFA students who participate, Sheets said.
    We have more 4-H projects than any of the FFA programs individually,” Sheets said. “But, we are covering the whole county.”
    He said changes in FFA programs at county high schools, including the retirement of longtime FFA class sponsors at Hope and Blevins, have taken a toll to require rebuilding of those programs.
    But, I feel like we will have a little more participation this year; maybe, not a whole lot, but a little,” Sheets said. “It's really important for these kids.”
    He said some 30 or more students from across the county participated in the premium sale last year, which helps students defray costs through an auction.
    Sheets said the livestock division of the county fair has added a new dairy classification, but remains unchanged, otherwise.
    Events kick off Sept. 2 with exhibit check-ins in livestock, horticulture, canning, arts and crafts, and photography exhibits beginning at p.m. Additional check-in of those exhibits continues Sept. 3 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    Baked goods and other flower and horticultural check-in opens Sept. 4 from 9-10 a.m. and exhibitions of displays opens at 4 p.m. Beef, sheep, chicken and rabbit showing begins at 6 p.m.
    Educational exhibits go on display from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sept. 5.
    Entertainment venues at the county fair open Sept. 2 with the exhibitor cook-out at 6:30 p.m., sponsored by the Hope Cowboy Church, and the Mark Keith Jamboree at 7:30 p.m.
    The Hope/Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce Community Coffee on Sept. 3 is sponsored by the Hempstead County Fair Association from 9:30-11 a.m. at the Chamber offices at Second and Main streets.
    Page 2 of 2 - The Hope Lions Club will sponsor one of its famous fish fry dinners from 4:30-7 p.m. at the Fair Park Community Center on Sept. 4
    The annual Hempstead County Fair Premium Sale Luncheon is set for 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p..m. Sept. 5, with the sale beginning immediately thereafter at Hope Fair Park Coliseum.
    A rule change for the 2014 sale, according to the fair catalogue, requires that all participants must be between ages 9-19, and be members in good standing of FFA or 4-H Club units in Hempstead County as of July 15; and, all participants will be allowed to sell one animal each in the premium auction.
    Activities conclude Sept. 5 with a County Fair Cook-Off at 8 a.m. and dinner served from entries at 2 p.m., followed immediately by a ranch rodeo in the coliseum rodeo arena.
    Entries to the Miss Hempstead County Pageant, conducted in association with the county fair week by Beta Sigma Phi, may be made at betasigmaphihope.wordpress.com online, or by contacting co-chairmen Gigi Bradshaw and Nora Marquez.

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