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Leah Street
Extension Program Coordinator - 4-H Youth Development, McLean County
University of Illinois Extension
1615 Commerce Parkway
Bloomington, IL 61704
Phone: 309-663-8306
FAX: 309-663-8270

McLean County 4-H Fair

McLean County 4-H Fair

General Projeact Fair Tips and Things to Remember

Having a great fair is as easy as 1...2...3!

Ideas for you and your family on how to make your fair the best.

Plan Ahead:

  1. Read the Fair Book pages that discuss all exhibits you entered when you get your Fair Verification.
  2. Go on line and look at your score sheet before the Fair so that you know what your project is being judged on.
  3. If you have multiple projects and/or children, create a schedule or an organized plan for check-in.
  4. Have box of "emergency supplies kit" with you such as: zip lock bags, paper plates, scissors, glue, tape, safety pins, and markers.

The week before the fair:

  1. Read the Fair Book pages that discuss all exhibits you entered once more the night before check-in
  2. Make sure of project requirements, by missing a requirement, a 4-Her may be lowered one rating.
  3. Pack projects in laundry baskets or rolling suitcases for easy transport and protection.
  4. Make your "emergency supplies" kit.
  5. Pick up your wristbands before Friday, July 30 at the Extension office. After that they may be picked up during check-in at a designated area near 4-H fair office.

Preparing for Conference Judging

  1. Check out your project manual to learn more about your project area.
  2. Check the fairbook to see if your exhibit will be conference judged.
  3. Read the exhibit requirements in the fairbook to see what is required of your exhibit.
  4. Understand what your exhibit is and know how to explain it to your judge.
  5. Practice with another 4-Her, parent, grandparent, leader…and tell them about your project.
  6. Some questions you might practice with are:
    1. Tell me a little bit about your project?
    2. What did you learn from making this?
    3. If you had to do it all over again, how would you make it better?
    4. Who helped you with the exhibit?
    5. What was your favorite part of making the exhibit?

Check In Tuesday Night, 5-8 pm:

  1. Check in your projects by project areas - LOOK UP.
    1. Signs are overhead designating major project areas – Visual Arts, Plant Science, Food, Nutrition & Health etc.
  2. Bring big items in early…check in begins at 5:00 PM and goes to 8:00 PM.
  3. A majority of people check in from 5:30-7. Try to avoid "the rush hour".

During the Fair

  1. People to ask for help are people wearing name badges with green ribbons…4-H Show Directors usually wear green shirts.
  2. Remember, all people (aside from Extension Staff) wearing a name badge are volunteers that want to help, please be nice to them.
  3. If you lose your 4-H Fair wristband…go to the 4-H office and request another. Be ready to tell them your club name…and bring $5.
    1. If your wristband breaks, bring it to the 4-H office and we'll exchange it.

Conference Judging

What is it? – Conference judging helps 4-Hers build their communication skills… and further increases their knowledge about their project area, as they plan for next year's project. It aids you in your evaluation process.

  1. When signing up for conference judging, list your cell phone number so that you can be notified if the judges are running ahead of schedule.
  2. Know your availability on Wednesday before check in for your conference judged exhibits. Most judging areas are flexible and know that kids are being judged in other areas.
  3. IMPORTANT: Youth are not marked down for not being present for conference judging. It aids you in your evaluation process.

Easy Check-out Sunday Noon-2 pm:

  1. Checkout starts at noon, after an announcement is made following closing ceremonies.
  2. Do not try to check out before the announcement, should you walk out with your exhibit before that time, you may not show in that exhibit area the next year.
  3. Re-pack your project like you did when you packed it for check- in.
  4. If you come near the end of checkout on Sunday to pick up your project, it may not be where it was when you checked in. Look for a volunteer with a "green ribbon" on their name tag and they will direct you.
  5. If you are unable to pick up your project, try to find a friend or 4-H leader to get them for you. The fewer projects left at the fair the better. Left over projects are taken to the Extension office.

Things everyone should remember:

  1. Ask for help!
  2. Support your fellow 4-Hers while they show their projects, attend other 4-H activities and shows.
  3. Understand that this is a public place and we will do everything we can to protect your exhibit; however we are not liable for stolen or lost items.
  4. Your exhibit is on display for about 40,000-60,000 fairgoers, many of whom have never heard of 4-H. You are an ambassador for 4-H. Be able to share the good things you are doing as a 4-Her.

We welcome your feedback. Leave your suggestions in the "How Can We Make Our Best Better?" box at the 4-H office during the fair.