Belmont County Junior Fair Comes to a Close
ST. CLAIRSVILLE – The Belmont County Junior Fair wrapped up its animal showing events Friday at the fairgrounds.
While the COVID-19 pandemic dashed hopes for a full fair, the junior fair board and youth rose to the occasion and put on a successful event.
Jenna Duvall of Barnesville was named the winner of the showmen of showmen contest, excelling at showing multiple species of animals ranging from horses to sheep, beef and dairy cattle, rabbits and poultry.
Duvall has participated for nine years. This was her first time as top shower.
“I’ve worked very hard this summer, showing my animals, and I’ve learned a lot about different species,” she said, adding that each species has its own requirements in order to best display it for the judges.
“She’s shown several of these species in the past years,” her mother, Marisa Duvall, said. “She’s shown sheep, goats, chickens, rabbits, pigs. … She’s shown pigs across the state of Ohio. This was her first year to ever win a showmanship class.”
While she made the most of the opportunity to concentrate on showmanship during the pandemic lockdowns, Jenna was not able to go to the Ohio State Fair with her hogs.
She has joined Future Farmers of America and plans to continue her involvement in 4-H.
Megan Garrison placed first in beef exhibition, goats and swine; Paisley Secrest in dairy; Caelyn Crooks in horses; Ayla Holmes in poultry; Andrea Dubiel in rabbits; Sierra Betts in sheep.
Although the event was scaled back, the youth were even more enthused to still have the chance to show their animals. Crystal Anthill, program assistant to 4-H through Ohio State University, said she was very proud of what they have accomplished this year.
“I think our kids are extremely happy and grateful to be able to have the opportunity to showcase, especially since at the beginning of the year we weren’t even sure if that was really even an option,” she said. “We’ve had to do things a little bit differently, but these kids are really resilient and we’ve been able to adjust to the challenges.”
Total numbers are not in yet, but Antill said participation in the junior fair was similar to prior years. Overall fair attendance has been down, with family members of exhibitors as the main attendees.
“I think overall it was kind of hard, because we had no idea what to expect, and they could shut us down any time. It was kind of nerve-wracking, and trying to enforce masks even though we’re outside,” Kaylin Burress, dutchess of the junior fair royalty, said.
“We’ve had pretty good numbers and participation. We would have probably liked more, but it’s not a normal year,” Cheyenne Dallas, fair board member, said.
“For having so many less attractions, we definitely had a decent amount of numbers and support through the week,” Faith Galavich, first runner-up for queen, said.
“Everything went very well this year,” fair board President Ed Campbell said. “We had a fairly decent crowd here all week for the kids. … I think a lot of the community missed out by not having the rides and the motorsports side of things, but I’m just glad we was able to do this much.”
The hot days also meant good business for the Union Local alumni ice cream station, which had nearly sold out of Kirke’s Homemade Ice Cream, going through 40 2.5-gallon tubs by Friday.