For nearly 100 years, the Tazewell County 4-H Show and Junior Fair has represented the culmination of a year’s work for 4-H members.

Throughout the county, 4-H members have been working on club-sponsored projects to present at the fair. The projects have ranged from agricultural pursuits like raising livestock and horticulture to artistic endeavors like photography and wood-burning to scientific enterprises like aerospace and computer sciences.

“It is an opportunity for kids 5 to 18 who participate in one or more of the 22 4-H clubs across the county to bring exhibits they have been working on throughout the year,” said Katharine Girone, Tazewell County 4-H coordinator. “We have exhibits like the swine show and the goat show, but we have a wide spectrum of displays. There’s usually something for everybody when they come to see the show.”

Anticipated new attractions at this year’s fair include displays of three-dimensional printing and drones.

The 4-H Show and Junior Fair will take place July 30 through Aug. 1 at Mineral Springs Park near Parkside Athletics Club. Tazewell County 4-H partners with Veterans Memorial Fair Association. 

“We convert the indoor tennis courts into our Cultural Arts Hall,” said Girone. We use the indoor ice arena, we have the Livestock Review Building and we have the three livestock buildings.”

The grounds will be open to the public from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the three-day fair. However, exhibits will not open until 5 p.m. on July 30.

“Because the first day is when the bulk of our non-livestock exhibits are getting judged, we try to keep foot traffic through the exhibits to a minimum,” said Girone. “We could have up to 250 kids coming to the fair to be judged, and when we start adding the public to the mix, it makes it hard for our contestants and judges and volunteers to maneuver.”

Bailey Hoerbert, a Tazewell County 4-H alumnus, will not be participating as a contestant in this year’s fair. Instead, she will participate as a 4-H summer assistant, helping around the fairground as needed. 

“I think some of the highlights of the fair will be things like the royalty contest on the first day, where they will elect a Miss Tazewell County for 2018, and the livestock and youth project auctions on the last day,” she said. “(The livestock owners) get to sell hogs or steers to different vendors. The youth can also do that with their wood-working, their vegetables, their flowers or their crops. It’s a chance to showcase a project and make a little money doing it.”