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Fair goes hog wild
Livestock shows carry on original traditions
W 101811 FAIR HOGS 01
Peter Wall, 8, of Sylvania is nuzzled by one of his show hogs while waiting for Tuesday's show to begin at the Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair. Wall won first place for showmanship in his age group.

      Watch highlights from the Hog Market Show at the Fair. Click on link:

Parade float winners announced
    Tuesday, Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair Parade Chairman Charles Sheets announced the winners in the parade float competition.
    The theme for the agricultural fair parade was “50 Years of Fun: Party til the Cows Come Home,” also in celebration of the parade and fair’s 50th year.
    First place went to Kidovations child care facility. Second prize was awarded to Walker Pharmacy; and third place was given to a local Girl Scouts group.
    Helen Redding School of Dance had a float that took fourth place. A float from Believers Church was awarded the fifth place prize, he said.

Today at the Fair
    4 p.m. — Gates open
    ADMISSION — $5. Grade school students admitted free; college and university students free with ID
    Reduced ride prices
    6 p.m. — Market Goat Show
    ENTERTAINMENT — All exhibits open; nightly pig races, Pirates thrill show, performances by the Statesboro High School Steel Drum Band


    The scene Tuesday night in the Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair livestock barn was controlled chaos as local youth worked to keep their hogs in front of a judge.
    Teens in a variety of classes during the show entered the ring with stock sticks or short whips they used to guide their hogs as they made their way around the ring, but often the hogs have different ideas. Some obeyed, but others squealed and grunted in protest, and at times, some even fought.
    When that happened, show attendants intervened with red plastic boards to separate the two recalcitrant porkers, but for the most part, the classes were full of fun.
    The nightly livestock shows draw large crowds, and are part of the Statesboro Kiwanis Club's goal of keeping the agricultural theme. Now in its 50th year, the Fair was originally started as an agricultural fair, and citizens are encouraged to enter competitions where agricultural and homemade products are judged, said 2011 Fair Chairman Don Poe.
    "The Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair has always been an agricultural fair," he said. "It's a regional fair and agriculture has always supported this community."
    Proud parent James Sanders of Brooklet watched as his son guided a registered Chester White around the arena.
    "It's a lot of work for a kid," he said.
    The hog is fed twice a day, walked, bathed, and records are kept about everything, he said.
    "It gives me something to do besides go home and do nothing, or ride the roads, said Sanders’ son Ray. "It teaches responsibility. You have something that depends on you."
    He said he enjoys hogs and his father has raised them all his life.
    "It's a weird thing to get into, but it is fun and you get to meet people," he said.
    Tracy Joiner watched as both his children- son Tyson, 17, and daughter Tyler, 14, showed their mixed breed market hogs.
    Having grown up on the same farm on which he lives today, Joiner said helping his children show hogs is a very rewarding experience.
    It has been so enjoyable, he helped form and is now president of the Southeast Bulloch High school Livestock Association, which promotes livestock showing, he said.
    He explained how judging goes. In showmanship classes, the handlers are judged, but in other classes, hogs are judged on weight, condition, breeding condition or qualities peruinent to breed.
    "We enjoy it," he said, "It's the best thing I have ever done. It has brought me and my two kids closer together."
    Livestock shows continue today with the Market Goat Show and Thursday with the Breeding Ewe and Market Lamb Show, both starting at 6 p.m. Saturday, the Steer and Heifer Show begins at 2 p.m.
    Holli Deal Bragg can be reached at (912) 489-9414.

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