A little summer fair

No one's going to want to miss seeing pigs, ducks and goats -- all original stock -- going head to head at the Hogway Speedway, new this year at the Head of the Lakes Fair.

No one's going to want to miss seeing pigs, ducks and goats -- all original stock -- going head to head at the Hogway Speedway, new this year at the Head of the Lakes Fair.

And you're not going to want to miss it when the late models, modified and pure stocks take to the track Tuesday night. It's been awhile, but racing is back at the fair this year too.

Plus there'll be concerts -- Blue Oyster Cult and Rodney Atkins -- to keep music fans entertained.

That's just a few of the attractions people will find when the Head of the Lakes Fair rolls into town on Tuesday. Take a sneak peak at the midway starting at 6 p.m.

But no fair would be complete without the 4-H. Judging starts Tuesday.


The 4-H driving event is 8:30 a.m. Saturday, 28, followed by the open horse show. The dog show has gained popularity over the years, causing the number of participants to increase by leaps and bounds. Because of this there is no room in the fair, pushing the fun event to Saturday, August 4, 9:00 a.m.

"The 4-H is what makes the fair," said Roxanne Nephew, fairgrounds assistant manager.

The 4-H program was originally designed to reach out to kids in rural areas, but not any more.

"Its not all cows and cooking," said Pat Luostari, a 4-H club leader and fair superintendent for youth exhibits.

"Fifty percent to 60 percent of kids participating in 4-H are from Superior," said Sarah Wilcox, University of Wisconsin-Extension 4-H youth educator.

The program offers education and leadership opportunities for youth in 13 community clubs and through five after school programs in Douglas County. Three after school groups joined together to work on a Lake Superior environmental project. Other projects were replanting part of the rain garden in the Superior Middle School and the fast plant project -- a project that allows kids to watch grow from seed and go back to seed.

The clubs are ran by the youth, with an adult volunteer to help out when needed. Entire families are encouraged to participate.

"There is a little bit of something for everybody," Luostari said.


The individual clubs participate in hay rides, roller skating and overnight stays at the YMCA, in addition to contributing to the fair exhibits each year. The 4-H program is best known for its animals at the fair, but there are 2,000 exhibits in other areas, such as computers, environmental, photography, woodworking and mechanical science.

"There are so many options," Luostari said.

Emily Collins, 18, a recent home-school graduate, has been with 4-H member for 13 years. She's dabbled with many different projects during that time, from weaving to building her own boat.

"There is a continual learning process," said Nancy Collins, her mother. She and her husband, Stephen, have long supported their daughter's ventures.

Collins joined 4-H in kindergarten, as a Cloverbud, designed for children up to second grade. Cloverbuds don't compete; participation is the key and everyone gets a ribbon.

"I'm the type of person who always has to be doing something," Emily Collins said.

Last year, Collins built an eight-foot-long, two-passenger boat. Her father discovered the plans for the small craft had been sent along with the plans for his own boat. When the younger Collins found the plans, she got excited and decided to build her own boat.

"It was a lot of fun," said Collins. She described how she drew the pattern onto the wood so her dad cut the wood. She drilled holes to wire the boat together, then applied epoxy the seams.


"There are three levels of epoxy -- mayonnaise, ketchup and peanut butter. I used peanut butter," Collins said, laughing at the way the directions described how to determine the consistency of the epoxy.

When she finished with the year long project, she celebrated by taking her parent's for a ride on Allouez Bay, one at a time of course.

"There is a project list; she signs up for the more interesting ones," Wilcox said of Collins project choices.

Collins received grand champion ribbons last year. She made a rendezvous outfit for the clothing exhibit and a Celtic knot designed pillow for a home environment entry.

Other projects Collins has been involved with include weaving, sewing, and photography. She experimented with a pin hole camera and was the only one to enter the category in the fair that year.

"There is such a variety of things to get involved in; 4-H fosters an independent learning," Nancy Collins said. Collins weaving has intricate, detailed patterns in the place mats and table runners she has made.

Clowning has been a long-term project for Collins. She designed her own patriotic clown costume and has been entertaining people for years at community events, such as parades and the fair. Collins earned the honor to represent Douglas County at the Wisconsin State Fair last year with her clowning project.

"It's fun to see them staying in a project for awhile, how they grow with it," Collins' mother said.

This year, Collins plans to enter 14 exhibits at the Head of the Lakes Fair.

For more information about 4-H, call Sarah Wilcox at 395-1363.

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