2017-09-07 / Front Page

Stalwart Fair Gets New Exhibit Hall

Activities Begin Thursday for 112th Event
By Debra Petkus

People who come to the 112th Annual Stalwart Agricultural Fair September 7 to 9, billed as “The Biggest Little Fair in Michigan,” will view displays in the new Johnson Centennial Hall.

The new hall replaces the 101-year-old fair building, which has been torn down.

Shelva and Lawrence Johnson, combined, have 91 years involvement with the fair. Their parents and grandparents have served in many leadership roles and both their mothers have served as secretary of the fair board. Their son, Mark, is now fair director. The Johnson family also donated the matching funds needed for a $20,000 rural development grant to the fair, received last April.

Exhibits can be taken to the hall from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, September 7, and the livestock entry is from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. that day. Animals that will be competing for awards include goats, ducks, geese, turkeys, pigeons, doves, rabbits, horses, and ponies.

The Stalwart Fair Queen Pageant will be held at 7 p.m. September 7.

Hall exhibits judging will take place at 8.m. Friday, September 8. Horse judging will be conducted at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., youth livestock judging at 2 p.m. that same day. Horses will be weighed that day from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Pickford Feed Services and the overweight horse pull will be held at 7 p.m.

On Saturday, September 9, speed and action events, run by the Tri- County Speed Horse Association, will be held at 11 a.m. They include barrel racing, pole bending, moving through pylons, and down-and-back racing for ponies and horses. Riding events will be held in classes for youth who are 6 to 13 and 14 to 19 and for adults who are 20 and older.

Other Saturday, September 9, events are: a chili cook-off for which entries must be presented at noon, a 12:30 p.m. garden tractor pull, youth livestock judging at 1 p.m., judging of a pulled-pork contest at 4 p.m., and a heavyweight horse pull at 5 p.m.

The pulled-pork contest is a highlight. Pulled-pork sandwiches will be available for sale shortly after the judging on Saturday.

Most fair winners receive small amounts of cash but horse pulling contests, a crowd favorite in which teams must haul a weighted boat behind them, offer bigger prize money. First place earns $500 and every place through number 15 earns cash. The owner of any additional team will earn their $25 entry fee back.

The queen candidates have duties such as handing out trophies and helping at the gate. The queen and court also will appear at several events around the county during the next 12 months.

Entries at the new exhibit hall will include handcrafted items in the open-class needlecraft division. The talent of those who spent hours creating exquisite designs will be on display, including winners of firstplace, second-place, and third-place ribbons.

Exhibit hall displays also will include knitting and crocheted items, including baby booties, doilies, mittens, sweaters, and afghans; as well as sewn and embroidered clothing, household items, and novelty items. Other handcrafted entries to be judged will include pillows, rugs and quilts; cross-stitch, crewel, quilted, needlepoint and hand-hooked items; and holiday decorations of stockings, tree skirts, and runners.

There will be photographs, oil paintings, paint-by-number creations, and watercolors. In the fine arts division, crafts to be entered and judged include stained glass, felt items, wood carvings, string or wire art, macramé, leather craft, needlecraft on canvas, plastic, yarn novelties, woven pieces, and woodwork.

Other exhibit hall entries will include antiques and antique farm equipment, plants and flowers of all types, grains and feeds, and homegrown vegetables and fruits. There will be eggs; canned jellies, jams and honey; canned meat, canned vegetables, and canned fruit. The culinary arts division will feature candy, pies, cookies, cakes; quick breads such as zucchini and banana bread; and yeast rolls and breads.

Information about the fair book and all of the divisions, costs to enter, and prize money awarded can be found at the website thestalwartfair. weebly.com.

Because the Stalwart Fair is a major area event, Pickford School is dismissed at noon Friday so students can attend.

“Come and have fun,” Mrs. Johnson said. “Come and enjoy it.”

Stalwart is about a 10-mile drive east from Pickford on M-148.

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