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Lake County Fair exhibits valley talent

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RONAN — Sydney Taylor was back at the Lake County Fair this year for the sixth time to exhibit the end results of a year’s worth of work, but first, she had to get Faith to the chute.

In regular fair fashion, participants bring livestock and pets, as well as projects in photography, science, baking, sewing, wood carving, vegetable growing and more to be judged.  

Faith is Sydney’s beef project for the year. 

“I really like hanging out with cows,” she said. “They are kind of like dogs. They can be friendly and you get to brush them and wash them and then take them to the fair.” She also mentioned that she likes animals of all kinds  and has many pets but the cow is her favorite. 

She said that to participate in the fair a person needs to sign up with the with the Lake County Fair. For next year, sign up information is at www.lakemt.gov under county fair. After signing up, Sydney brought her market animals to the fair arena to be weighed in January. She spent the spring and early summer feeding them, brushing them and generally taking care of them. 

At the fair, she said she brushes her animals, washes them and walks them for the judges who will tally up the points and hand out ribbons based on how well the participate did. A purple ribbon is best. 

Sydney said the trick to getting animals to participate at the fair is to simply be nice to them, but on a hot Friday afternoon, Faith did not want to go to the chute. She stood near the barns. 

Sydney used her technique of kindness and went at the cow’s pace. She pulled on the halter and waited for the cow to finally move into the chute where she was watered and cared for. 

The fair has been a bit different since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and with several years of experience, Sydney took a moment to compare them. “The rules at the fair have changed, but raising the animal was the same. One big change is that they moved the market outside instead of in the indoor arena, which is nice with the open air. It’s not so hot.”

As for anyone who wants to participate, she recommends that people of all ages find something they are interested in. “Try to find something you like. It doesn’t have to be an animal. It can be art, baking, sewing, leather crafts. I did photography and baking before and that was really fun, and this year, I tried painting.” The subject of her painting project displayed in one of the barns was, of course, a cow. 

The fair began on Saturday, July 17, with interviews and judging. On Tuesday, there was a dog show. Livestock projects arrived later in the afternoon on Wednesday, including the rabbits, poultry, goats, cows and pigs. On Thursday, the judging began as did the cat show. The evening progressed with a buyers appreciation dinner. On Friday and Saturday, judging continued. The fair finished up with a stall clean out on Sunday.  

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