Clover buds and Skittles

Friday's county fair activities geared towards children

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Stretch the Nine Foot Clown lets children from Young Tracks Preschool and Childcare run between his legs outside the livestock show hall on Friday. The children toured the fairgrounds with 4-H members. Friday was Clover Bud for a Day, a special day during which preschoolers could learn more about the county fair and about the 4-H program.

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Adalid Ponce, 4, reaches out to pet a pig Friday. Adalid and other children went on a tour of the Routt County Fair to learn more about 4-H.

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Kacie Babcock, 6, shows off her Grand Champion ribbon she won in Friday's Dress Your Animal show. Babcock dressed up as Tinkerbell, and her dog, Cash, was Peter Pan.

— James Bradley gave the thumbs-up.

For a 6-year-old, there is no better morning treat than a vanilla wafer topped with frosting, chocolate sprinkles and a rainbow of sugar.

Decorating a cookie was just one stop young children made during the Clover Bud for a Day program Friday at the Routt County Fairgrounds.

"We created Clover Bud for a Day for all preschool kids to learn more about the fair," said Karen Massey, extension agent with Colorado State University. "This is Routt County. We are all about rural life."

Area youths involved in 4-H, which is open to children between the ages of 8 and 18, served as tour guides.

"They bring these kids to see the animals," Massey said.

Mariah Hoots was guiding a group of children from Young Tracks Preschool and Childcare. She stopped in front of her two pigs to show off her Grand Champion ribbon.

She explained what judges are looking for when selecting a winner.

"Out of all of these pigs here," Hoots said, pointing around the pens, "this is the best pig."

Hoots said it had the "right look," but her other pig didn't stack up to its penmate.

"The hams weren't tight enough," she said.

For Shelbee Weiss, 4, and Adalid Ponce, 4, Friday's pig-petting session appeared to be a first - the girls wrinkled their noses after touching the award-winning pig.

Sheep, steers, llamas and pigs were just some of the animals on display, but Friday also was Dress Your Animal Day at the fair.

Children pick a theme and dress themselves and their pets in costume.

Savanah Maxwell, 7, and her goat, Ripple, went with a princess and unicorn theme. Ripple was the unicorn.

Kaia Kuzminsky, 7, and her sheep, Skittles, were pirates.

Jewel Vreeman, 8, and her sheep, Alfalfa, looked like they had just left the farm.

But the Grand Champion ribbon went to Tinkerbell and Peter Pan.

Kacie Babcock, 6, dressed in a flowing, glittery green dress, was all smiles, but her dog, Cash, dressed as Peter Pan, was ready to drop his sword.

Children were the theme Friday.

In addition to Clover Bud for a Day, all fair rides were free, courtesy of First National Bank of the Rockies.

Young children lined up to jump inside inflatable tents, climb through inflatable obstacle courses and go down inflatable slides.

"Cannonball," Willie Martin, 5, yelled from atop the slide.

"That was awesome," he declared while getting back in line.

The Clover Bud for a Day program was orchestrated through 4-H and First Impressions of Routt County. Massey said more than 170 preschool-aged and young children participated in Friday's free activities and fair tour.

- To reach Melinda Mawdsley, call 871-4208 or e-mail mmawdsley@steamboatpilot.com

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