4-H club members show off creations at Westmoreland Fair
Hannah Cunnard ducked her head early Friday afternoon as she walked into the 4-H building at the Westmoreland Fair.
She didn't want to know yet if she won anything.
“It's just fun being able to do it and show off what you've done all year,” said Cunnard, of Unity, a member of the Spice of Life club in Scottdale.
Like dozens of other 4-H club members, Cunnard was hoping to see a ribbon of any color hanging from her entries in the buildings that house photographs, blankets, clothing, cakes, pies, flowers, vegetables and artwork.
Entrants dashed to their creations when the doors to two buildings officially opened late Friday afternoon after hours of painstaking work throughout the day from volunteers to judge and display hundreds of entries.
Cunnard had entries in multiple categories — photography, kite-making and baking, among others — which is typical, said Johanna Sheppard, Penn State Extension educator.
“They work on making their skills become better and better throughout the year,” she said. “This is where most of them display their final, best effort.”
That means in the barns, too, where many 4-H club members have animals they plan to show off this week at the fair.
“It's a culmination of continuous, yearlong project work,” said Dustin Heeter, 4-H and livestock educator with the extension. “The fair kind of is the icing on the cake.”
In the family living building, volunteers spent most of Friday morning selecting the best items in a variety of categories that anyone can enter. There are divisions for children and adults.
Kitty Eget of Indiana looked at a handmade vase and tapped it with her hand, nodding her approval as a best in show winner in the junior handcrafts category.
“The fact that it was hand-built and all of the glazing that would have to go on it,” she said afterward as the reason for her selection.
By about noon, the judging had wrapped up and volunteers were setting up the items — and any ribbons it won — for display. Superintendent Teresa Graziotto said it's important to show the names of winning entrants.
“The young adults, they work all year and they need to be recognized for their hard work,” said Graziotto, who has been a superintendent for more than 20 years. “I talk with the kids, I celebrate with them.”
For the many who don't get a ribbon, Graziotto talks them through the judge's criticism or suggestions for next time.