Logan County Fair 


4-H fair auction results and summary

[AUG. 7, 2001]  The 4-H auction at the Logan County Fair was a great success. Dollar totals for the auction, including the $1,700 Cake Classic auction, totaled $64,583.55 this year. This was the second-highest sale; the 1997 sale reached $67,672.45.

The champion rabbit meat pen was sold by Abrigail Sasse of Beason for $800 to Apel Farms.

The champion broiler-fryer poultry pen was sold by Brook Wibben of Lincoln for $100 to Donald Wibben.

The grand champion steer was sold by Sheldon Tibbs of Middletown for $1.75 per pound to Union Planters Bank.

The grand champion barrow was sold by Jason Lee to Croft Fertilizer, AgriPlacements Ltd. and After Shock.

The grand champion wether was sold by Breann Conrady to Jim Xamis Ford/Lincoln/Mercury.

Total sales for this year were six craft items, one rabbit meat pen, two poultry market pens, one junior beef carcass, 18 steers, one junior swine carcass, 59 barrows and 10 wethers.

[John Fulton]


[Click here for livestock auction pictures.]

The sweetest deal in town

[AUG. 6, 2001]  The last judged event at the Logan County Fair is the best of the best — fresh baked and frosted cakes. Winners from Friday’s cake contest are invited to bake their first-place winners and go head-to-head against cakes from other classes.

The only possible preference given in this contest is that the angel food and chiffon cakes get to bake first. They are again judged for placement, and then comes the big moment for the public to get a slice— er, no, the whole cake, less one sampling slice — when Mike Maske auctions them off.

The proceeds from the auction go to the Logan County 4-H to support their activities. Maske has been donating his talents as an auctioneer for this event for eight years.

Forrest Cullers of Cullers French Fries again purchased the winning cake. He has been doing so for the past 18 years. Cullers has been coming to the Logan County Fair for the past 50 years. He celebrated his 75th birthday on Monday here in Lincoln.



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"McIntire’s Home Appliance donated the use of the stoves. Without their generosity we could not hold this event," says Cherie Lock from the University of Illinois, Logan County Extension Unit. She added, "KitchenAid donated two hand mixers to be given to the top two winners."

The best part now is that you can share in Logan County’s best sweet deal from this weekend. The winners share their recipes as follows:

[Click here for recipes of winning cakes]

[Jan Youngquist]

Kids and animals bring laughter
to Logan County Fair

[AUG. 4, 2001]  Chickens, goats, pigs and calves mixed it up with 4-H kids Friday night, and the 4-H kids were the clear winners.

[Click here to see more photos from the scrambles]

The children’s scrambles, one of the most popular events at the Logan County Fair, brought cheering crowds to the grandstand and sweating contestants to the arena to try their luck catching chickens, goats, greased pigs and stubborn young calves.

Although some of the animals demonstrated fancy footwork and good delaying tactics, none of them could get past the sheer determination, skill and muscle of the 4-H contestants, who, with the exception of the chicken scramblers, got to take their prizes home.

The star contestant this year was without a doubt 10-year-old Carley Bobell of Elkhart, who wrestled her greased pig to the ground early in the game but had some problems getting it to the pen.

Most of the other nine greased- pig catchers dragged their captives by the hind legs to the holding pen in fairly short order after the catch, but Carley reports that her pig’s hind legs were too slick to hold onto. Instead, sitting on the ground, she got a firm grip under his front legs and hung on, and only a couple of times did the slick young pig manage to slip out of her arms. When it did, she pounced on it and wrestled it back into position before anybody else could get a firm hold on her prize.

With other contestants circling for a chance to grab her pig if she let it get away, Carley finally got the animal in a leg lock and, still in a sitting position, began inching her way toward the pen. The cheering crowd was with her all the way, with cries of "Open the gate!" and "Give her the pig!"

Carley’s iron willpower and perseverance won out as she scooted her way across the arena and hauled the pig into the pen. Asked afterward what she was thinking during the tense contest, she answered immediately -- "Have to get the pig!"

Carley was one of nine who caught the slippery animals, who this year were greased with cooking fat rather than the black grease of several years ago. Not only the young pigs, which weighed in at about 60 pounds, were slippery; the hands of the young contestants were greased as well.

Other winners in the contest for 9-, 10- and 11-year- olds were Cody McCray of Lincoln, Danielle Horn of New Holland, Kevin Tobias of Athens, Ethan Taylor of Latham, Ellen Olson of Elkhart, Christina Stoll of Chestnut, Josh Clark of Lincoln and Samantha Lowman of Lincoln.

There was plenty of excitement in the other contests too. The chicken scramble for 5- and 6-year-olds brought 16 contestants to the field. John Fulton, of the University of Illinois Extension Service and one of the emcees for the scramble, summed up for the contestants the rules for fair play: "You have to turn in your chicken alive. Otherwise you don’t get any prize but a dead chicken."

The contestants all played fair but some of the chickens didn’t, taking to the air and trying to escape by flying out of the arena. However, alert spectators nabbed the escapees and returned them to the playing field.

Capturing the chickens were Zachary Fanning of Chestnut, Caleb Awe of Elkhart, Ridge Leinweber of Emden, Cole Baker of Emden, Cody Conrady of Hartsburg, Riley Allspach of Mount Pulaski, James Carter of Lincoln, Janson Cooper of Mount Pulaski and Troy Rawlings of New Holland.

Riley focused on winning the top prize, and in short order he clipped the wings of the only black chicken among the white ones.

Six goats and 12 contestants, ages 8 and 9, took part in the goat scramble. Three of the goats were dairy goats, weighing 25 to 30 pounds, and the other three were pygmy goats at 8 or 10 pounds. The dairy goats had to be haltered, while the pygmy goats could be picked up and carried back to the truck.


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The goats made a few tactical errors right at the start, giving the contestants a clear advantage. First, they began following one of the assistants around the arena, perhaps hoping for a treat or a way out of the playing field. Then, when the contestants came after them, most of the goats piled up in a corner of the field where they were easily captured. A couple of the dairy goats resisted the halters at first, but they were eventually subdued.

Winning the dairy goats were Ryan Huffer and Timmy Carter, both of Lincoln, and Austin Burris of Sherman. Taking home the pygmies were Max Buse of Beason, Sarah Fuller of Lincoln and Jordan Cooper of Mount Pulaski.

Like the pig scramblers, the calf scramblers came dressed for dirty work, and they got it. The nine calves were nimble and quick, ducking and dodging and making tight turns that left more than one of the scramblers flat out on the dirt. According to a couple of contestants, some of the calves got in some good kicks before they were haltered.

But the persistence of the scramblers was able to overcome even the fleetest of foot among the calves, though a lot of the haltering was done only after the contestant had wrestled his calf to the ground. The maximum weight for the calves was 350 pounds -- some were under that, but a few were close -- so muscle definitely played a part in this contest.

Taking home calves this year were Kendall Turner of Atlanta, Landon Hinkle of Elkhart, Justin Deters of Mason City, Gary Rademaker of Emden, Matthew Wrage of Emden, Clint Turner of Atlanta, Clint Garey of Atlanta, Michael Jones of Mount Pulaski and Nick Reinhart of Hartsburg.

Winners of the calves and goats will show their animals next year at 4-H goat and cattle shows and parade their animals in front of the grandstand before next year’s scramble.

Last year’s calf scramble winners showed their animals at the scramble this year and were judged on grooming, showmanship, conformation and record keeping.

Joe Allspach of Mount Pulaski had the champion steer from the 2000 scramble, winning the grand prize trophy and also the awards for grooming, showmanship and conformation.

Holly Ingram of Lincoln came in second, Caleb Garey of Atlanta third, Israel Sandel of Lincoln fourth, Kasey Hoerbert of Delavan fifth, Brad Colantino of Chestnut sixth, Josh Poffenbarger of Mount Pulaski seventh and Matt Duckworth of Emden eighth. Kasey won the prize for record keeping.

The scramble has evolved over the last 40-plus years, Fulton says, becoming one of the most popular grandstand events. It started out as a pig and calf scramble and a parade of new and antique farm machinery. New farm machinery eventually got so big it wasn’t feasible to parade it in front of the grandstand, so then the pig and chicken scrambles were added.

Fulton thinks the event got started in 1956 or 1957 and says the goat and chicken scrambles are at least 10 years old by now. He’s getting second and even some third generation participants in the calf scramble.

Not many county fairs have the number of scrambles Logan County does, Fulton says, and spectators come from far afield to watch. All contests are sponsored by the 4-H clubs, and contestants, except in the chicken scramble, must be 4-H members or agree to join 4-H clubs.


[Joan Crabb]

Smiles highlight Kids Day events at fair

[AUG. 3, 2001]  The events of Kids Day at Logan County Fair ended quite fittingly with lots of smiles. The smiles abounded as about 50 kids 2 years old and up were coaxed by parents on the sidelines to give it their best.

[Click here to see photos from the smile contest]

Each contestant had his or her own style, some wrinkling their noses, a few tilting their heads, all presenting their best toothy and sometimes toothless smiles, often giving way to giggles, always pulling onlookers into the same condition, a smile.

The corners of your mouth are curling upward right now, right? Wait till you look at the pictures. You’ll want to move this to your favorites folder for a bad day.


The four judges from local dental offices had the difficult but happy job of declaring winners. As one judge approached the second-place winner for boys K-7, she held a blue and a red ribbon, and though Zachery Podunajec really liked the blue ribbon more than the red one, he still kept smiling when she handed him the red one.

The girls K-7 division had the largest number of contestants.

All contestants received dental goodie bags donated by local dentists.




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Smile contest results J

Best sibling smiles

1. Austin and Rebecca Brooks

2. Brady and Carolyn Walsh

Boys K-7

1. Dane Eimer

2. Zachary Podunajec

2. Colin Antoine

3. Brandon Glenn

4. Kyle Klockenga

Girls K-7

1. Jessica Plummer

2. Lexie Tibbs

3. Rebecca Brooks

4. Maiya Glenn

4. Asia Glenn

Boys 8-12

1. Christine Sandel

2. David Read

3. Andrew Cook

4. Jacob Hyde

Girls 8-12

1. Kelsie Plummer

2. Lindsey Boerma

3. Carolyn Walsh

4. Kia Glenn

[Click here to submit your name for a Saturday morning drawing for two tickets to "The Wiz."]

Dancing duo, 9-year-old vocalist
win fair’s talent contest

[AUG. 2, 2001]  The fast-moving feet and original choreography of two Lincoln girls, Brandi Montgomery and Kirsten Gandenberger, earned them the first-place ribbon at the Logan County Fair’s Senior Talent Contest Wednesday evening. Nine-year-old vocalist Kayla Kubinski from Morris took first place in the Junior Talent Contest.

Brandi and Kirsten, both 16, wearing overalls and T-shirts, clogged their way to first to the country music tune, "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." The dance, which they choreographed together, told the story of the Georgia country boy who could out-fiddle the Devil.

Brandi and Kirsten have been dancing together for nine years, and their flawless footwork and excellent coordination, along with the sense of humor shown in the choreography, demonstrated how well they work together. However, they recall that at the beginning of their dance lessons, when they were much younger, they couldn’t stand one another and even got into hair-pulling contests. That bit of their history was relived for the audience when they came onstage pushing and shoving each other.

They were not novices at the talent show, having won first place in 1999 for another dance number. Since first-place winners can’t compete the next year, they were not in last year’s show. The girls are members of the Flying Feet Cloggers and also study ballet, tap and Celtic dancing with Audra Turley’s Studio of Dance.

Kayla Kubinski, in a wine-colored dress, sang "I Believe" in a surprisingly mature voice. The 9-year-old is no newcomer to singing before an audience, having started to sing in public when she was 2. She’s been taking vocal lessons for seven years and has competed in other county fairs this year, taking second place at Princeton.

However, the Logan County win was her first first-place ribbon, and she found it "awesome."

The blue ribbons, which brought prizes of $100 to the winners, also give them the chance to compete in Springfield in January with other county fair talent winners. Brandi and Kirsten danced there in 1999 and said they were competing with about 65 other county fair winners.

Second-place winner in the senior contest was a local group called Star Revue, who sang "Amazing Grace," the five voices blending and harmonizing very pleasantly and skillfully. The girls, all wearing black outfits of different styles, were Samantha Serena, Paige De Chausse, Caitlyn Stoeckley, Chelsea Farrell and Jill Fonck.

Third place in the senior contest went to another ensemble, Siasma, four girls who ably demonstrated their skill in Celtic dancing. Leila Ballinger, 16, Rachel Franklin, 13, Allicent Pech, 12, and Annie Sheley, 11, all study with Audra Turley.



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In the junior division, second place went to another pair of dancers, Wesley Tucker and Jillyn Cross, also members of the Flying Feet Cloggers. Wearing silver outfits, the two young dancers worked smoothly together, demonstrating their proficiency and stage presence. Wesley, 13, is from Mason City, and Jillyn, 11, attends Hartsburg-Emden schools. They have studied dance for the last six years.

Third place in the junior division went to Allison Maske, 13, for a vocal number, "Look at Me." Wearing a red top and black skirt, Allison put feeling and understanding into her number.

Fourth place in the junior division went to Casey Calentine, 11, wearing a traditional costume and clogging to "Pride of the Celts." Fifth place went to Justin Thompson, 13, of Lincoln, who danced his own interpretation of Janet Jackson’s "It’s All for You." Justin, self-taught, also created his own choreography.

Other contestants in the senior division were Jason Seelow of Lovington and Megan Malerich, 15, of Lincoln, each with vocal numbers.

Contestants in the junior division also included Alexis Groves, age 3, vocal number; Max Pozsgai, 12, guitar solo; Hannah Rea, 10, Bethany Rea, 9, and Shelly Johnson, 10, dance routine; Lindsey Boerma, 13, vocal and gymnastics; Katelyn Green, 13, vocal number; Alex Poole, 12, banjo solo; and Laura Auckenbaugh, 10, and Leah Shirley, 10, vocal duet.

A special treat for the audience, between the junior and senior division performances, was the appearance of tiny 3-year-old Darria Campbell, who sang "Jesus Loves Me" and got a round of applause.

First prize in each division was $100, second prize, $75; third prize, $50; fourth, $35; and fifth, $20. The talent contest was sponsored by the Kroger Company. Cindy Howard was contest coordinator. Judges were Andy Avery of Burlington, Iowa, and Nancy Schaub and Ginny Campbell of Lincoln. Master of ceremonies was John Howard of West Burlington, Iowa.

[Joan Crabb]

Nicole Fink chosen
Logan County Fair queen

[AUG. 1, 2001]  It was a unique birthday present, one she says was a surprise. On the day she celebrated her 20th birthday, Nicole Fink of Beason was chosen Miss Logan County Fair, 2001.

"I did not expect to get it. I am very surprised," the blonde, blue-eyed newly crowned queen in the shimmering blue evening gown said as she hugged her bouquet of red roses.

"Every single girl here deserved this crown tonight," she added, and then named two other contestants who she thought had a better chance to win than she did.

The three judges, however, chose Nicole, daughter of Mike and Brenda Fink of Beason. The new fair queen is a Lincoln Community High School graduate who will be a sophomore this fall at St. Mary of the Woods College in Terre Haute, Ind., and wants to become a large animal veterinarian.

Nicole, who owns a quarter horse and loves to ride, also wants to own and operate a therapeutic riding facility where she can help young children overcome problems and disabilities through horseback riding. She has been a 4-H horticulture judge and while in LCHS was on the dean’s list and appeared in the "Who’s Who" publication for high school students.

She had entered the queen contest last year but did not win. She said her parents and friends encouraged her to try again.

The final choice was difficult, though, according to one of the three judges, Martin Green of Springfield. "They are all six very talented young ladies. It was not an easy decision."

"I think the judges had a very hard decision this year," added Penny Kilhoffer, pageant director.

First runner-up was Katheryne Stoll, 18-year-old daughter of Kenton and Marcia Stoll of Chestnut and a sophomore at University of Illinois. Katheryne is studying food science and nutrition.

Second runner-up was Erin Wind, 19-year-old daughter of Richard and Deloris of Lincoln. Erin is a sophomore at Lincoln College and her goal is to be a nurse.

Mary Wood, 19, daughter of Robert and Elizabeth Wood of Lincoln, was chosen by the other five contestants as "Miss Congeniality." She is a sophomore at Eastern Illinois University and a pole-vaulter who qualified for the national Olympics.

The other two contestants were Anna Schmidt, 19, daughter of Gary and Kathy Schmidt of Lincoln, a sophomore at Lincoln College and a nursing major; and Ginnifer Sparks, 19, daughter of Steve and Patricia Sparks of Emden, a sophomore at Greenville College, where she is training for the youth ministry.


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To choose the queen, the three judges, all from out of town, interviewed contestants before the pageant, then judged them on swimsuit and evening gown competition. Contestants also gave a one-minute speech, either about the most memorable moment in their lives or the most influential person they have known. They were also required to answer a question they had not heard ahead of time. This year, the question was: "If you were loading Noah’s Ark today, what three things, besides the animals, would you include?"

As 2001 queen, Nicole will take over the duties of last year’s queen, Elizabeth Stoll, who said goodbye to her crown and her fans at the pageant. Elizabeth, daughter of Kenton and Marcia Stoll, is Katheryne’s sister.

"I have loved every minute of serving as your Logan County Fair queen," she told the crowd. "There’s no place like Logan County." She thanked friends, family and the members of the pageant crew and got a round of applause as she left the runway.

Nicole will preside over events during the rest of the fair and travel to other county fairs as well. In January she will go to Springfield to compete with other county fair queens for the title of Miss Illinois County Fair. The winner will be hostess for the Illinois State Fair and the ambassador of the state of Illinois at all county fairs in 2002.

More than a dozen queens from other county fairs attended the pageant, including several Junior Miss and Little Miss queens. Two former Logan County fair queens, 1998 winner Shannon Sandel and 1982 winner Kimberly Crane (Kim Manning), also attended the pageant.

Pageant director Penny Kilhoffer described this year’s contestants as "a wonderful groups of girls, very easy to work with and very supportive of each other."

Preparation for the queen contest started in June, with the six contestants visiting other county fairs. They attended three workshops and held three rehearsals, learning modeling skills and practicing speeches, she said.

Members of the pageant crew include Rochelle Johnson, Valerie White, Helen Miller, Georgia Nutt and Nina Westen. Escorts for the contestants were Joe Farris of Mount Pulaski and Bradley Stoll of Chestnut. Derek Long of New Berlin was master of ceremonies.

[Joan Crabb]

[Click here to read Monday, July 27, article:
"Six great contestants prepared for Logan County Fair queen contest," with photos]



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