4-H projects only for the 2020 Calhoun County Expo
ROCKWELL CITY — Rabbits, poultry and pets, including dogs, ferrets and hamsters, took to the stage at the Calhoun County Expo on Wednesday for the Expo’s small animal and pet show that was followed by the rabbit and poultry show for the county’s Clover Kids and 4-H members.
Wednesday afternoon was also judging for static exhibits including photography, clothing and communications.
Reilly Dobbins, 12, of Rockwell City, brought Niffler, a ferret, to the Calhoun County Expo’s pet show on Wednesday. Dobbins has been working with Niffler to get him all ready to impress the judges.
“We gave him a bath a couple days ago, trimmed his nails and have been giving him fish and salmon oil pills to help with his fur and dry skin,” said Dobbins.
Brenna McCarter, 8, from Lake City brought her hamster, Little Cutie, as her exhibit at the pet show as a Clover Kids member in Calhoun County.
McCarter said she was excited to show Little Cutie to the judges — a hamster that lives the typical hamster life, according to McCarter.
“We have been feeding him and he usually likes to sleep and likes climbing on the bars in his cage,” she said.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Calhoun County Expo took on a different path this year, allowing only 4-H exhibits and livestock shows to take place.
“This year, we decided to cancel all of our grandstand events for public safety –we didn’t feel like we could accomplish social distancing, but we wanted to give the kids an opportunity to display their exhibits this year,” said Tiffany Blair, Calhoun County Iowa State University Extension and Outreach county youth coordinator.
In order to include the public and help celebrate the annual Calhoun County Expo, the board made the decision, however, to hold the parade and fireworks.
Hillaree Meyer, treasurer for the Calhoun County Expo board, said the parade will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday with fireworks at 10 p.m.
Normally, the Calhoun County Expo is held Wednesday through Sunday, but this year, the decision was made to have the show Monday through Saturday.
“This allowed for us to have each species to have its own day on the grounds,” said Blair. “Our livestock checks in early in the morning and there is a 10 a.m. show and everything goes home instead of staying the night like they normally do. That way, in the afternoons we can sanitize the barns, get everything cleaned and get ready for the next day.”
The static judging was also extended to be held Monday through Friday during the Expo with only one or two projects being judged each day.
“That way we could reduce the number of people in the building and the judges still have that close connection and conversation with the kids while practicing social distancing,” said Blair.
Blair said everyone has been cooperating and so far the Calhoun County Expo has been going very smoothly — just a little lonely in the afternoons.
“It doesn’t seem like the fair,” she said. “It’s quiet, the kids are gone, but at least the kids have gotten to showcase their projects, and that’s what is cool.”
Meyer said she is also pleased with how the Expo has been going so far, but is looking forward to putting this year behind them and moving forward.
“We are very much looking forward to having a normal fair next year, with lots of people and lots of fun stuff to do,” she said.