THE ISSUE: 4-H Show and Junior Fair starts
OUR VIEW: Youths shine during annual event
The days and even the nights are sweltering.
The fireworks have fizzled out (at least in some neighborhoods).
And back-to-school ads are slowly creeping into the media.
Based on these clues, you don't have to look at a calendar to know it's time for the La Salle County 4-H Show and Junior Fair.
While some may associate the fair primarily with the popular rodeo, there's so much more going on throughout the four-day event for spectators and participants.
According to 4-H.org, "4‑H is delivered by Cooperative Extension—a community of more than 100 public universities across the nation that provides experiences where young people learn by doing. Kids complete hands-on projects in areas like health, science, agriculture and citizenship, in a positive environment where they receive guidance from adult mentors and are encouraged to take on proactive leadership roles.
"Kids experience 4‑H in every county and parish in the country—through in-school and after-school programs, school and community clubs and 4‑H camps."
As noted, 4-H participants "learn by doing." Whether it's raising livestock, growing vegetables or taking photos, 4-H'ers take on hands-on projects that teach them responsibility, diligence and leadership, among many other useful traits they can take with them into adulthood.
And the fair is their time to shine.
While there are lots of other activities mixed in with the judging of projects, we encourage you to stop out at the La Salle County Fairgrounds to check out what these 4-H'ers have accomplished.
This year's theme is Seasons of 4-H. The fair kicks off at 7 p.m. today with the Broken Horn Rodeo on the fairgrounds just south of Ottawa. The theme will reflect the year-round projects, service learning and community activities in which 4-H members take part.
Some of the activities will include various animal shows, truck and tractor pull, public speaking contest, auction, Parade of Excellence among many others. (For a full schedule, go to mywebtimes.com.)
The fair is a perfect family activity and you'll also be supporting local youths who put in long hours on their projects. Also, if you have a chance, take the opportunity to chat with some of the 4-H'ers about their projects, and you'll see just how dedicated they are to the program.
And don't forget to dress for the heat.