Youngsters begin county fair in style
By DIANE GASPER-O'BRIEN
Her hair was tucked into a bun, holding her white veil ever so slightly away from her back.
As Kylee Pfeifer moved gracefully across the stage in her simple but elegant First Communion dress, no one ever would have guessed she was a bit out of her element.
And not many probably noticed her blush when the announcer told the audience her favorite projects were swine and beef.
This did not look like a swine-and-beef gal. The 8-year-old Ellis girl will tell you she actually doesn't like to dress up; she more often is seen in a T-shirt and shorts.
But stepping out of your comfort zone is all part of participating in the 4-H Fashion Revue.
Pfeifer, a member of the Ellis Sunflowers 4-H Club, was one of more than 60 4-H'ers who signed up to take the stage at the 2014 Ellis County Fair Fashion Revue Thursday. In addition, numerous Cloverbuds -- or pre-4-H'ers -- participated.
Those attending the event at the Unrein Family Community Building at the Ellis County Fairgrounds were treated to youngsters modeling outfits either sewn or purchased that ranged from formal dresses and shirt and pants outfits to cowboy hats and jeans and several different versions of summer attire.
The audience even got to watch 15-month-old Luke James model a shorts and shirt set sewn by his older sister, 11-year-old Maggie James, also a member of the Ellis Sunflowers club.
"What a variety this year," said Susan Schlichting, 4-H and youth Extension agent for Ellis County. "That's great."
While Pfeifer didn't sew her dress, she did pick it out, ordering it online from David's Bridal especially for her First Communion in May.
"We knew she wouldn't probably get to wear it again, so we thought she should model it tonight," said Kylee's mother, Chandra Pfeifer.
While words like "cute" and "adorable" were heard when little Luke followed his sister around the stage, "dashing" might have better described Nate Walters when he took the stage in matching black dress pants and vest and a light blue dress shirt and tie.
Walters, a member of the Buckeye Jr. Farmers club who will be a junior in high school this fall, swept the senior boys' buymanship honors. He won grand championship honors for his dress outfit of pants, vest, shirt and tie and taking home the reserve champion ribbon as well for his jeans outfit.
His younger sister Katy, who will be a freshman, also took home two ribbons. She was judged the grand champion in the junior division in both the construction revue and the buymanship revue.
All the grand champion and reserve champion winners from the fashion revue will be on display at next week's Ellis County Fair. There are no fair events scheduled for today, but Saturday will start eight consecutive days of activities, beginning with the rodeo queen contest at the rodeo arena at the fairgrounds.
A complete fair schedule can be found on line at www.elliscountyfair.com.
Division winners at Thursday's 2014 Ellis County 4-H Fair Fashion Revue were:
* Clothing construction
Junior division -- Champion: Katy Walters, Buckeye Jr. Farmers; reserve champion: Cadence Warfield, Gemini Juniors.
Senior division -- Champion: Kelli Buxton, Bits 'N Spurs; reserve champion: None.
* Clothing buymanship
Junior girls --Katy Walters, Buckeye Jr. Farmers; reserve champion: Aubry Appelhans, Bits 'N Spurs.
Junior boys -- Jacob Schmeidler, Buckeye Jr. Farmers; reserve champion: Dakota Metzler, Ellis Sunflowers.
Senior girls -- Monica Towns, Ellis Sunflowers; reserve champion: Elissa Jensen, Buckeye Jr. Farmers.
Senior boys -- Champion: Nate Walters, Buckeye Jr. Farmers; reserve champion: Nate Walters, Buckeye Jr. Farmers.