Special to The Hays Daily News

Cotton candy, carnival rides and animals are special memories you might have of county fairs. Growing up in a 4-H family as the youngest of three, my fair memories all relate to our 4-H activities. I remember watching my brothers get animals ready for the fair and the rush of getting everything to the fairgounds. Now is the time to create or celebrate memories with your family.

If you are a grandparent, the county fair would be a great time to take your grandchildren and walk through the exhibit buildings and animal barns. It could also be a good time to watch the different shows. Did you know we have a small pet, cat and dog show at the Ellis County Fair?

There are also the judging events for the larger animals including goats, sheep, swine, beef and horses. Small children really enjoy checking our rabbit and poultry barn. There are a number of breeds in the barns we normally don't see on local farms.

The Schenk Building is a great place to explore exhibits by 4-H members and the public through open-class exhibits. 4-H'ers have many projects including entomology, geology, and photography, as well as the better-known projects of foods and arts and crafts. Open-class entries include horticulture, floriculture, needlework fine arts and quilts and more.

The public is encouraged to be a part of the fair by entering in the many open-class divisions. I often hear people talk about what they have made but did not enter. If all of those folks would bring their entries, it sure would add to the shows.

For entry and show information, contact the Ellis County Extension Office at (785) 628-9430. Most entries are entered at the fairgrounds Schenk Building from 2 to 7 p.m. Monday. Most judging is done and exhibits displayed on Tuesday, and entries are released July 20.

Complete details for entry and daily schedule are available at the Ellis County Website at

Carla Morrical-Frederking is the Ellis County Research and Extension agent for family and consumer science.