Hunters community fair on tap

RaeLynn Ricarte

The annual Community and 4-H Club Fair brings several communities together for a day of family fund that promotes the rural quality of life in Stevens County.
For 110 years, the fair has been sponsored by area businesses, granges and civic groups with the goal of promoting the self-improvement of agriculture, livestock, home life and related activities.
The 2019 fair will be Saturday, Aug. 17, next to Columbia High School, 4961B Hunters County Shop Road.
The fair is billed as the oldest in the state; this year's theme is “Fun for the Whole Herd.”
Youth will be participating from Hunters, Cedonia, Fruitland, Enterprise and Gifford. Activities include a barbecue luncheon, crosscut saw competitions, horseshoes, a nail drive and much more.
There will be a flea market and numerous exhibitions. Vendors can set up booths on a first-come, first-serve basis. Call Jo Ellen Budweg at 509-722-6045 to reserve space.
Livestock and dog judging begins at 9 a.m., followed by a round-robin competition.
The parade takes place at 11 a.m. and features Grand Marshals Ron and Sheila Bircher, who have been residents of Hunters since 1968. They have both been active fair volunteers and served the community in many other ways.
However, their favorite thing to do is to spoil their five grandchildren: Brooke, Chase, Kendra, Dustin and Tyler. They are expecting their first great-grandchild in December.
Hunters Fair Queen Natalie Kennedy will also be riding in the parade and present to meet people at a dignitary luncheon that followed the parade in the school gymnasium. The Stevens County Stompers will entertain.
Kennedy, 14, is a student at Columbia who has attended almost every fair with her grandparents through her childhood. She is the fourth generation of her family to attend classes at the local school.
She is involved in volleyball, woodshop, journalism, band, track and Supporting Healthy Youth Relationships.
Her hobbies include helping on the family ranch as a cowgirl, swimming, reading and writing poetry and other creative pieces.
“It is very important to my family and I that I pursue my legacy in the community I call home,” said Kennedy in her application to become royalty.
“It would be a privilege to be a part of bringing our community together and representing our town.”
There are several competitions following lunch and an animal costume parade takes place about 2 p.m. Prizes will be given out for originality and appearance.
The hope of fair organizers is that the fair will educate people about the benefits of 4-H programs and encourage greater participation by youth.
The 2019 event memorializes Fred Esvelt, a local dairy farmer.