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Only memories remain of Harrison Fair

July 15, 2012
Weirton Daily Times

The Harrison County Fair is over, with just the memories remaining. Such as two dairy baskets going for $1,200 each, a new high in the projects for 4-H members taking dairy cows.

Alisha Thompson, who was also named the District Holstein queen, was the first to achieve the goal, with Charles Merryman the buyer. Her brother, James, had the second one, with Jewett Restaurant the buyer.

There were some great things in the baskets, actually they were nicely made crates by Dennis Hirschbach, with a gingham liner. We got all kinds of cheeses from Amish country; ice cream products, such as a colorful bowl, scoop, homemade fudge sauce, chocolate syrup and sprinkles; a T-shirt; hot chocolate products; a bracelet; and much more.

John Birney is fun to watch as he tries to coax a higher price out of a buyer. He has been known to send the sweet little boy or girl who is putting the animal up for bid into the audience to plead with a prospective buyer.

His son, Steve, takes after him in many ways. He can be really fun to see in action in the sale ring too.

Sewing projects seem to be fading out of fashion and Harrison County always had the most in the three counties that I cover. But there were eight very nice outfits made and modeled by 4-H members this year.

My thought when I saw Hayden Wallace strolling about with his patriotic, homemade shorts was that he was following in his uncle Kyle's footsteps. I remember a shirt that he made at least 25 years ago. Funny how I can recall that sort of thing but can't remember to stop and get doggie biscuits on my way home from work.

Helen Gladman, a prize winning seamstress for many years, had a clothes for high school outfit and will be going to the state fair to compete. Megan Peters had a stylish dress in muted colors of gold and gray and was a state winner too. McKenna Mizer, the tiny fair princess, had a sewing for fun shorts and top outfit but held it on a hanger as she was dressed in her royalty attire. She is going to state competition also. Alexa Chrisman had a shorts, top and robe loungewear outfit and is headed for Columbus to model and Kelsey Fogle had a clothes for middle school sundress and will going to state competition.

Joao Pedro Colnaghi, who was staying in Cadiz as an exchange student from Brazil said that he learned much about raising animals in the Royal Riders 4-H Club where he was a first-ever member during the year. He had a champion low-intermediate weight hog; pen of two ducks, where he got senior showmanship; and a market goat. He is now back in his homeland after graduating from Harrison Central in May.

Dylan Warner, the fair king, had the grand champion turkey weighing 33.2 pounds. A sizable bird for any Thanksgiving table. The turkey strolled about the livestock ring and never made an attempt to go out the gate.

Helena Gladman received the Lucille Reed Most Outstanding 4-H member award, presented for outstanding work done throughout her years in the organization. Tim Tanner, 4-H educator made the presentation with great emotion as she was one of his first young members when he came to Harrison County.

Sarah Scott and Kallie Telfer were presented Earl Spragg Scholarships by his wife, Dolores Spragg. The couple has been in 4-H work throughout their marriage and Spragg's interest extended even further when he was a member in his youth.

There is a fun-loving group of ladies who have great fun at the auction of the baked and canned goods and crafts after the judging. Steve Birney always starts out as judge and harasses people until they finally raise their hand for a bid.

Sandi Thompson, Lynette Dausch, Lisa Kendziorski, Devanie Gladman and Tina Jones try to play tricks on one another. For instance, last year, a set of three hand painted plates were purchased and they kept getting passed around and hung in barn stalls and offices and finally came to some people as Christmas presents.

They tried it this year but it failed badly. They had a gift bag with a few nice items on top but in the bottom was a very ugly Christmas mug with the sign, "You just got mugged." The problem was the gift bag bid went up to $75 and they decided to let it go to an unknown buyer. Their intended victim wasn't even aware that she was to be "mugged."

I could go on and on about the fair and the nice friends I have made over the 30 years that I walked those gravel pathways. They are all the greatest. And I want to thank Sandi Thompson for getting me a milk crate, pillow and an ice pack to raise my very swollen ankle at the livestock auction. That was very thoughtful.

I stopped at Coffy's Bilo to get a few groceries after a hot day at the fair and found Dave Mizer and Marcia Bedway grilling and selling hot dogs and soft drinks as members of the Cadiz Lions Club. Donations from the food sale were donated to the county food pantries. I carried a hot dog back to work for my late lunch and found that ketchup and pickle relish makes a big mess when it is left to sit awhile.

Katherine Whinnery, a Jefferson County 4-H member and state fair candidate, was found at a benefit at Undo's in St. Clairsville waiting tables with Katelin Gandee. They are both members of the St. Clairsville volleyball team. By coincidence, they waited our table like real professionals and also took care of Pete Vitale and his family. He is our own production supervisor.

(McCoy, a resident of Smithfield, is food editor and a staff columnist for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at

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