Now that entry day is finally ended, I can be more optimistic and cheerful about the rest of fair week.
I will begin with an shameless advertisement for [our] County Youth Fair. A beautiful, well-kept and well-organized fairgrounds houses displays of everything under the sun – from livestock to food, woodcraft to sewing, flowers to photography, veggies to house pets. In addition, vendors peddle their tongue-tempting wares only in well ordered, designated areas. And if you truly want to “get into” the fair experience, you can visit the farm equipment areas, the historical building, attend scheduled grandstand events, or even watch a few animal shows. Were one infected by a desire to own a few animals himself, auctions of small and large animals take place on Thursday and Friday.
Anyway, since you are now thoroughly convinced to come up to the fair this week, I’ll describe what my day looks like tomorrow.
Wake at 6am. Arrive at Fair around 7am. Do rabbit chores. Begin washing/ scrubbing goats for showmanship (nasty work this). Hand off a few cleaned and prepared goats to nicely, whitely dressed siblings (who will, preferably keep themselves white at least until the show starts). Clean myself up (which might include showering, and will definitely entail a clothes change into showroom whites). Review ADGA Senior Doe scorecard. Watch younger siblings show.
Watching the younger showmanship classes is a critical part of preparing to show, because by watching the judge and listening to his/her comments, I can generally figure out what this particular judge is looking for. Each judge has his own personal quirks and peeves. If I know that bump-setting impresses the judge, I’ll bump-set my goat instead of hand-setting. If I know that squatting will raise the judge’s opinion, I’ll squat instead of stand. Basically, it’s a kind of systematized flattery: you give the judge what she wants and she’ll give you what you want (ie: a nice placing).
Then I’ll enter the ring, do my best to control Caprina who thinks that the showring is a place for running, paste on a smile till that class is over, then milk out my darlings. Then change into Rabbit Showmanship clothes and run to the Rabbit Barn for Showmanship with my beautiful Flemish Giant “Addy” (short for Adiaphora).
Then I’ll run back to the goat barn to show market goats. Then I would have had to run back to the rabbit barn to show market rabbits, however, since two of our six market bunnies didn’t make market weight, I let Anna have the pen of two and decided not to sell rabbits this year. After all, I do have my 74lb market goat, “Lime”.
So, that’s as far ahead on Monday as I can see. After all that is finished, I’ll peek at what the rest of our entries earned. And hopefully we’ll go home in time to do some house clean-up: the place is a pit!
Oh, and Saturday I will be declaiming two poems by Sir Walter Scott. The plan had been to recite three, but three wouldn’t fit with-in the 7-10 minute time frame we are allowed. Ah well. I shan’t tell you which poems they be : if you want to know you’ll have to come hear them. Or ask my siblings. They’ve heard those poems more times than they’ed like.