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Hundreds of reasons to visit Hunterdon 4-H Fair

RINGOES (Aug. 15, 2016) — There are about 300 reasons to visit the Hunterdon County 4-H and Agriculture Fair.
That’s the number of youths involved in the county program, and just about every one will be participating in this year’s fair, which runs Wednesday-Sunday, Aug. 24-28.
Whether showing sheep, demonstrating robots, performing with their horses or talking on stage about their projects, the members in the 22 clubs will be busy.
The fair is the highlight of their 4-H year. Besides the members themselves, the program includes more than 150 adult volunteers, plus the nearly three dozen people who are involved in the Fair organization.
This is the 17th annual version of the summer event, held at the South County Park on Route 179 near Ringoes. It’s the successor to the renowned Flemington Fair.
Many shows are open for the public to enter. If create items with thread, cloth, yarn, needles, hooks and the like, consider the Needlework and Home Arts show.
Its Needlework and Quilt divisions are for knitting, crocheting, canvas work (needlepoint), counted thread embroidery, embroidery and quilts. Items must be submitted Saturday, Aug. 20, to the 4-H Office, Extension Center, west of Flemington at 314 Route 12, Raritan Township.
Entries of quilts, needlework and other hand-made items are judged there before the fair.
One contest that always attracts scores of entries is the Biggest Specimen Show, for vegetables and fruits.
A perennial favorite, it has 38 classes ranging, from the biggest beet to the longest carrot to the largest sunflower head.
And there’s also a class for what the judges determine is the “most unusual looking” vegetable.
Separately, the fair has a show to select the best vegetable specimens, based on uniformity, quality and other attributes.
Other shows at the fair welcoming public entries include jellies, preserves, baked goods, honey, farm crops, dairy cows, beef cows and goats.
For details on any of the shows and contests at the fair, go to the new website at HunterdonCountyFair.com
Plenty of local talent will perform at the fair. “Tractor Dave” Bond, a Delaware Township farmer, and his Real Country Band take the stage Thursday night.
Entertainer Dan “Dr. D” Torrone of Clinton, a former Hunterdon 4-H sheep club member, handles the Main Stage activities and has arranged a variety of acts and attractions.
It all starts out at Wednesday night’s Movie Night with Dr. D, featuring “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” Friday night’s main act is the Mahoney Brothers “Jukebox Hero” spectacular, followed by fireworks show.
Saturday night has the Polish American String Band on stage, and Sunday afternoon’s performances include Tino’s Hawaiian Entertainment Extravaganza.
At various times each day, “Hunterdon’s Got Talent” on the Main Stage will have 4-H members displaying, demonstrating or discussing something related to their projects.
Tractors and trucks competing is a big part of the fair for many fans, and there will be contests four times.
The traditional farm tractor pull starts Wednesday morning, and the night-time pull (with cash prizes) has a class for pickup trucks in addition to the tractor classes featuring fewer limits on what’s allowed.
Then on Saturday morning garden tractors compete, and on Sunday afternoon, kids get to test their leg power in the Pedal Tractor Pull, with the Fair providing the tractor.
The Wednesday night pull is the only event with an additional charge, $5 per spectator.
There’s no general admission charge and this includes all the Main Stage shows.
Parking is $10 per vehicle, with the money shared with the volunteer fire companies providing the manpower to supervise the parking fields.
The fairgrounds is at 1207 Route 179 in East Amwell Township, between Ringoes and Lambertville.