Wool is walk & wear in fair contest
When Kelly Gillis, 11, of Greensburg was asked how she felt as she waited to compete in the Junior Leadline Sheep and Wool contest at the Westmoreland Fair, she had a very simple answer for the crowd. “Hot,” Gillis said.
That was understandable. The young girl was dressed in her great-grandfather Charles Silvis' floor-length wool military coat — her outfit for the contest, which required contestants to wear costumes or outerwear at least in part made of wool.
Gillis, a first-time competitor in the show, said she prepared her sheep for the big night.
“I fixed up my sheep,” Gillis said of “Baby.” “I cleaned out her hooves and cleaned out her nose, then I got my great-grandfather's coat, so I am all ready.”
The contest is one of the more fun events at the fair, organizers noted, giving 4-H members the opportunity to compete in a much less serious setting.
“This is a long week for these kids and by the time this competition rolls around, many of them are tired,” wool superintendent Wanda Smail said.
The competition is a fun blending of showmanship, with handlers showing their sheep while wearing something made from wool.
“They can wear entire outfits or costumes,” Smail said. “They can wear a lot or a little. It's up to them.”
Smail said the handlers are judged on how much they are wearing and if they made it or where it came from.
“We ask them if they made what they have on or if someone else made it for them or if they just bought it,” Smail said. “Their answers and where their items come from are all a part of how they are scored.”
The handlers were introduced with a short biography.
Smail said the numbers were down this year for the competition, but felt that other events occurring at the same time could have played a part.
The competition is divided into three age groups: pee-wee, junior and senior, and is open to all 4-H members.
“This is a really fun event for the pee-wees, because there aren't too many other events that they can actually compete in here,” Smail said, adding that unfortunately, there were no pee-wees this year.
The event was started many years ago by the Sheep and Wool Association of Westmoreland County, but that group is no longer in existence.
“We no longer have that association in the county, so we took it over,” Smail said of the volunteers and superintendents who run the show. “It's just a fun thing for these kids to do and it's always a surprise to see what they come up with.”
Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Contest seeks Fayette student entries to name road to jail
- Motorcyclist listed as fair after Fayette County crash
- Security tightened at Fayette courthouse; Westmoreland says its procedures are sufficient
- Sirochman: Fayette genealogy workshop planned for Wednesday
- Fayette County Fair up and running
- Lynn: Frazier to offer kindergarten readiness classes
- Pennsylvania State VFW Post 8543 Band continues to grow
- Dunbar Twp. man held for trial in DUI fatality
- Export man must register as sex offender
- Residents plan town-hall style meeting on Connellsville’s proposed abandoned building ordinance
- Connellsville theater group ready to ‘Make a Deal’