Berny Unruh: Fair time and Plan B

Staff Writer
Hays Daily News
Berny Unruh

One of my favorite 4-H fair events is Fashion Revue. I have so many stories I could tell about this particular project. My favorite story is about my younger sister and her lawnmowing experience the day before Fashion Revue. She slipped as she was mowing on an incline. To make the story short, I was the only driver at home so I took her to the ER. As we are driving down the highway, she is shouting at me, “what am I going to do? I won’t be able to get my shoes on for Fashion Revue tomorrow!” In our family, Fashion Revue was the most important pre-fair event! Just to help out my sister, I did give our county extension agent a call. Our agent was able to at least tell the judge to be prepared for an exhibitor who would be limping in to be judged with only one shoe.

One thing that 4-H teaches is the importance of Plan B just in case someone throws a monkey wrench in and Plan A doesn’t work. Planning for the 2020 Ellis County Fair has been extra challenging for everyone. The 4-H members and their families have obviously had to adjust. The 4-H Council members were asked to make plans for a near normal fair, a partially open fair and a stay at home fair and to make it even more difficult, all the planning meetings were held by Zoom. Our Ellis County 4-H Agent, Susan Schlichting has scheduled and hosted more zoom meetings than she can count! Susan has worked with volunteers to get things done without regular face-to-face contact meetings and has made arrangements for some to help out behind the scenes if they did not feel comfortable being with a crowd of people.

K-State Research and Extension is committed to the health and well-being of the public and the participants in our Extension Programs. There are some changes that have been put in place for the 4-H exhibits and shows to protect the kids. A full document of guidelines can be found at

Fair set up will be held on Wednesday, July 8th and then the 4-H Fashion Revue is slated for Thursday, July 9th at 6:30 pm. It will be held in the Unrein Building and the public is invited to attend. Chairs will be set up to encourage social distancing. Plans are being made to record and then post the recording of Fashion Revue for those who are unable to attend in person. The link will be shared with all project members and they will be able to share it with their family members. Others will need to call the Extension Office and request the password to respect the privacy of our 4-H members.

Now is the time to get your 4-H and open class fair exhibits entered online. All fair entries must be pre-entered in advance at by Monday, July 6th. This will allow entry cards to be printed and ready for you when you arrive to enter your exhibits. At the FairEntry website, search for Ellis County Fair in Kansas then set up your account using your email address and a password. You will receive email confirmation that your entry has been received. There really is affordable fun at the Ellis County Fair!

Berny Unruh is the Family and Community Wellness Agent for the Cottonwood Extension District. She can be reached at 785-628-9430 or at