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Goodland fair weathers stormy skies

7/31/2012

Monday is traditional Howdy Rowdy Fun Night at fair

By GAYLE WEBER

gweber@dailynews.net

GOODLAND -- The rain clouds building in the west Monday night would be a welcome sign to most in northwest Kansas. But on the Sherman County Fairgrounds, those rain clouds were a double-edged sword.

"We need the rain, but we need the carnival to go too," Colleen Duell, the wife of the local fair board president, said as she watched the clouds darken as storms moved in from Colorado.

The Northwest Kansas District Free Fair got under way during the weekend and continues through Saturday with a full slate of 4-H events and entertainment for the family.

Monday night was the long-standing tradition of Howdy Rowdy Fun Night, which gave children an opportunity to play games to earn tickets for the home-owned carnival, which will continue through Friday night.

Randy Berls' four sons were participating in the game night before the two older ones put on a more serious face for 4-H project judging later this week.

"We've been doing lots of stuff, whether setting up booths or getting projects ready," said Berls of Goodland. "We're pretty involved here."

His two oldest sons, Christopher, 12, and Ryan, 10, have projects including dogs and gardening.

Berls said the most enjoyable part of the fair for him is "helping my kids get ready for it and seeing their excitement when they win a ribbon or even the effort in doing it."

Monday's game night has been around ever since Colleen Duell became involved with the fair. Her husband, Steve, is the fair board president, and son, Aaron, is the carnival supervisor.

The fair board has put in the time and effort to make the fair a well-attended event every year. And the board has pulled together an impressive slate of entertainment for the rest of the week. That includes the Western Plains Chute-Out PBR event Wednesday, the state finals of the Texaco Country Showdown on Thursday, a tractor pull Friday and mud bog races Saturday.

"We had a local show here last year," Adam Duell said about the Country Showdown, "and they liked it so much they decided to have the state here this year."

Then, there's the modified tractor pull, which is affiliated with the Colorado Truck and Tractor Pullers Association.

Jerry Bauman has been providing the funding while his son, Richard, does the driving at area tractor pulls for the past eight to 10 years. Jerry Bauman said the event draws in quite a few competitors each year because of the reputation of the track at the fairgrounds. In addition to tractors, mini rods and diesel super stocks will race Friday.

For a complete list of the week's events, visit www.nwksfair.com.