Missouri News

Lewis County Fair opens with animal, quilting shows and queen pageant

Nick Huls, 12, looks over his dairy ribbon during the Lewis County Fair in Lewistown, Mo., on Wednesday, Jul. 11, 2018. The fair will continue through July 14. | H-W Photo/Jake Shane
Jake Shane1|
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jul. 12, 2018 6:40 am Updated: Jul. 12, 2018 3:48 pm

LEWISTOWN, Mo. -- Eighteen-year-old Peyton Hoppe and her two younger brothers, Abram and Gabriel, drove from Kirksville with seven goats so they could compete in Wednesday's goat show at the Lewis County Fair.

All three siblings are members of 4-H and FFA organizations, and they raise goats for fun.

Competing in county fairs and the Missouri State Fair "is just the end result of it," said Hoppe, who showed four goats in Wednesday's 4-H, FFA and Open Junior goat show.

Hoppe said she loves raising goats.

"I like their personalities," she said. "They're normally friendly. You have to train goats to do things. So if you spend that much time with them, they get really friendly. They'll nibble on you, and they'll jump around and play."

The goat show was a featured attraction on the first full day of the Lewis County Fair, which continues through Saturday at the fairgrounds on Mo. 16 a mile east of Lewistown.

Another big part of the day's festivities was the open dairy show in the livestock arena.

Laura Cary of Canton, who was in charge of the event, said 80 animals from Missouri and Illinois were entered in Wednesday's competition, with all six dairy breeds represented.

Cary said the dairy show had been a longtime tradition at the Lewis County Fair until it was discontinued for a while after a decline in local dairy operations. But it was brought back in 2009 through the efforts of some devoted dairy operators, including her grandfather, Bob Cary, who is well-known in local dairy circles.

Laura Cary said her grandfather and her father, the late Kevin Cary, both showed animals for many years at the Lewis County Fair. She, too, showed dairy cattle for a few years.

"It's really a family tradition -- just like any activity," she said. "If your family has shown cattle in the past, it gets in your blood and you really enjoy it."

Another tradition on display Wednesday was the fair's annual quilt show. More than 20 quilts -- some sewn by hand, others by machine -- were entered into the competition.

Holly Hoffman won the best of show ribbon in the machine-quilting category for a sampler quilt she made in a pattern called "Fantasia."

Hoffman said she loves quilting. She even got her two daughters involved as part of their 4-H activities.

"It's what I do to keep them occupied when they're not outside," she said.

Hoffman said she's glad to see more youths getting involved in quilting.

"Quilting is something that's starting to make a comeback," she said. "It was kind of dying. But over time, I see more and more younger kids taking an interest in it."

The theme for this year's fair is "Home Grown Fun." Some of the events slated for this week include donkey races at 7:30 p.m. Thursday as a fundraiser, a demolition derby at 7:30 p.m. Friday, and truck and tractor pulls starting at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

Carnival rides will be offered each day.

Jill Putnam, the fair's advertising chairman, said the Lewis County Fair continues to be a popular form of family entertainment.

"A lot of people say they love the fair because they get to make memories with their children," Putnam said.

Carey Rodas, who on Wednesday ended her yearlong reign as the 2017 fair queen, said she has enjoyed coming to the fair since she was a little girl. She thinks the fair carries on because of the many people who support it each year.

"It's in their blood, so they keep putting it on," Rodas said.

Lauren Smith was crowned Wednesday night as the 2018 fair queen. Earlier in the day, Kyle Hinton and Gracie Logsdon won the Little Mr. and Little Miss contests.

All sorts of displays, vendors and information booths are stationed on the fairgrounds this week. Among them is a group from the Mount Salem-Wyaconda Baptist Association that is using the fair as a platform to spread its message.

"We're just here telling people about Jesus and sharing the love of Christ with people," said Elaine Rathbun of Maywood, who was volunteering in the group's booth Wednesday afternoon.


More information about the Lewis County Fair, including a complete schedule of activities, is available at lewiscountyfair.net.

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