Glen Park in Portsmouth, RI hosted the Eastern RI 4-H Country Fair on the third weekend in July. Like so many 4-H Fairs, livestock and tractors were prominent. One fair contest featured livestock waste. Dried cow pies were used in a distance-throwing contest, instead of traditional balls or spears. Each contestant had two chances to throw a cow pie.
Mike Costa won the Adult class in the Cow Pie Throwing contest with his toss of 77’ 6”. Costa’s toss just barely beat the second place throw by Tyler Pimentel at 77’5”.
K. C. Bellavance’s 59’ cow pie throw won him first place in the Children’s class, edging out Michael Aguiar’s second place toss.
Judging the contest was Amanda Leonardo from CAT Country radio's morning show. The Adult contest prize was $150.The children’s class prize was a $50 gift card to Barns & Noble. “A Traditional Sweep” of Portsmouth, RI sponsored this event. View photos and the official rules at here.
Local farms and businesses sponsored other contests throughout the Fair’s two days including:
- Corn husking – DeCastro’s Farm Stand
- Donut eating – Ma’s Donuts
- Blueberry pie eating – Li’l Bear & Cat Country Radio
- Ice cream eating – Anna D’s
- Watermelon eating – Andrew's Fruit and Produce
- Log sawing – Bill Sales
A dunking booth, huge water slide and a bouncy castle delighted kids of all ages. A variety of performers and activities entertained visitors including:
- “Lucky Bob Prop” Comic
- “Fire & Ice Mad Scientist”
- “Candy Land Band”
- Wool and fiber spinners
- Dog training demonstration
- Irish Wolfhounds
- Tap, ballet and modern dance demonstrations
- Martial Arts Demonstrations
- Audubon Society demonstration
Several parades were included in the Fair
- 4-H animals
- Children’s decorated bikes
- Antique, garden and farm tractors
The Fair offered families a chance to see 4-H exhibits and livestock like cows, chickens, duck and rabbits. Children enjoyed pony and horse rides as well as a petting zoo with goats, lambs and hens.
On display were antique tractors and farm equipment. Farmers operated corn shellers and grinders. Farm and lawn tractor owners participated in dramatic tractor pulls.
The goals of the Eastern RI 4-H Fair were:
- Provide a venue for 4-H club members to exhibit their livestock and crafts
- Offer vendor booths to help raise money for their individual 4-H Clubs
- Offer an affordable family event ($2 suggested donation/admission)
- Educate about 4-H program opportunities
- Introduce and involve more youth in the 4-H program
Each year, the Fair includes a Saturday night Chicken Barb-B-Q Dinner and Live Auction and an additional fundraiser. View photos and read more about this Fair here.
Volunteers Make the Difference
Like many 4-H Fairs, this Country Fair was planned and managed entirely by dedicated volunteers. The committee includes several volunteers who where never involved in 4-H as children or teens. They visited the Fair with their children, found out the Fair needed volunteers and stepped up. These volunteers generously offer their time, advice, input, connections and more. “Without them, I am pretty sure the Fair would have gone under due to lack of volunteer support,” said Heidi Small.
A similar story ran in the August 8, 2013 New England edition of Country Folks.