Record entries at Pittsburg County Free Fair

·3 min read

Sep. 8—A new record number of exhibits entered at the Pittsburg County Free Fair is keeping alive the passion of a late 4-H leader and educator who died in June after a brain aneurysm.

Greg Owen, Pittsburg County OSU Extension Educator in 4-H & Youth Development, said Frink-Chambers Public School had approximately 276 entries last year — with the school more than doubling that number with 555 exhibit entries this year. Owen, who has helped coordinate the fair for 27 years, said

"I don't ever remember another club having that number," Owen said.

More than 150 of the entries were colored and decorated 4-H clovers designed by the Frink-Chambers 4-H Cloverbuds consisting of students in kindergarten through the second grade.

The clovers feature the late Donna Curry's well-known quote "Make it a great day or not. That choice is yours."

Curry was the school's 4-H leader for more than 20 years prior to her sudden death in June.

"The county fair was a big deal to her," Owen said.

Owen spoke of a playful competition between 4-H groups located within Pittsburg County on which group would have the most entries in the exhibit hall with the largest competition held between Curry and the Kiowa 4-H leader.

"If they got beat by the other school, Mrs. Curry would literally ger on her school intercom and tell her kids this isn't going to happen again, we're going to beat this school," Owen said. "And Kiowa would be at their meetings and saying we can't let Frink beat us."

Owen said overall, participation in this year's fair is up around 55% than last year, which is also the first year in-person judging resumed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We're really glad to be 100% back in person," Owen said. "The participation levels have been exceptional."

Owen said he is also excited that the 4-H interest overall in Pittsburg County this year has grown.

"It is literally on fire," Owen said. " I've got so many people signing up; I can't even keep up."

Although the fair this year does not feature carnival rides, there are a handful of food truck options available for fair-goers and participants.

Friday events include livestock judging contests and the Aggie Olympics. Poultry, pigeons, and rabbit judging will also begin on Friday.

Livestock entries will check-in from 5-7 p.m. before the goat show begins at 7 p.m. Friday.

Saturday will feature an ugly and pretty chicken contest at 7:30 a.m. before the junior swine show begins at 8 a.m. followed by the sheep and cattle shows.

The 4-H best all-around contest is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. followed by the awards program.

For more information about joining 4-H and its events and activities can call the OSU Extension Office at 423-4120 or email Owen at greg.owen@okstate.edu.

Contact Derrick James at djames@mcalesternews.com