2019 Logan County Fair

Scrambles provide a night of challenges and fun for 4-Hers

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[August 02, 2019]  Midway through the busy fair week, the 4-H Scramble Night allows children to release some energy as they cut loose and “scramble” to catch an animal that is let loose.

On Wednesday night, the stands were filled with crowds cheering on the kids. After Lesleigh Bennett sang the National Anthem, the Clover Cheer Club opened the evening’s event with a cheer to inspire participants.

In the scrambles, children organized by age groups worked to catch different sizes and types of animals turned loose on the track.

Sixteen adorable children between ages five and seven scurried around trying to catch one of the many chickens.  The kids learned just how challenging it could be as the chickens dodged back and forth hoping to escape capture. 

As each child caught the chicken, they were given a goodie bag and one lucky child caught the golden rooster, winning a $5 bill.

Next up, 12 children between the ages of eight and10 tried to harness one of six wily goats who were scrambling across the track. The first child to catch a goat wrestled with it as he tried to get a rope around it. Goat number five gave kids a run for their money before finally getting caught.


Then 12 pre-teens and young teens between 10 and 15 years of age struggled and wrangled with six slick pigs slathered with conditioner, which can be a daunting task. To make it even more challenging, the kids arms are covered in soapsuds.

The slippery pigs kept trying to slip out of their grasps and there was some added excitement when two pigs escaped into the stands and tried to slip under the bleachers before being caught and taken back to the track.

For the final and most exciting part of the evening, 18 kids between the ages of twelve and eighteen participated in a calf scramble with them struggling to harness a big feisty calf that can weight up to 350 pounds.  This feat took a lot of strength and skill and many times, the calves dragged the teenagers around the track as they tried to rope them. Still the sweaty and exhausted kids persevered as they attempted to catch a calf.

Those who caught calves get to keep them to raise for next year’s steer competition to be judged next year during the scrambles evening.

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Eight of last year’s winners brought their calves back to be judged on grooming, confirmation and showmanship.  The overall winner of this year’s steer competition was Vivienne Pratt.  The judge commended all of the steer competition contestants for their public speaking ability.

Judges call the fair’s calf scrambles the best show and granddaddy of all other scrambles. 

A big announcement was made during the 4-H Scrambles Night. Pam Tibbs will be inducted into the 4-H Hall of Fame at the Illinois State Fair on August 13th

The evening included the awarding of scholarships, recognition of seniors finishing out their many years in 4-H and a 4-H leader being inducted into the 4-H Hall of Fame. 

Another event before the calf scramble was an alumni game where males working in groups of two stack approximately 25 hay bales on a trailer and then unload and stack them again on the ground.  Those who completed the task in the fastest time, which was less than five minutes, won the competition.

The evening’s events were lively and entertaining. One audience member who had never been to a scramble said the kids were cute and seemed to enjoy themselves.  The kids watching the event were often wide-eyed with excitement.

[Angela Reiners]

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