Fun year at NCW Fair

Pam Wright of Waterville holds the floral piece that won her a ribbon for a senior entry in the Floriculture exhibit. (Empire Press photo/Karen Larsen)


By Karen Larsen
Empire Press Correspondent

Adelaide Mathison, a Wenatchee FFA member, escorts her pig through the arena during the livestock sale Aug. 26. (Empire Press photo/Karen Larsen)

Adelaide Mathison, secretary of Wenatchee FFA, was all smiles as she led her pig Little Miss around the arena to the sound of excited calls from the auctioneer.

When she returned him to his pen several minutes later she still had that smile on her face as she reported her earnings to her fellow FFA members: $6.75 a pound.

Mathison said that a pig would typically sell at $3 a pound.

“I’m ecstatic,” she said.

Mathison planned to use her earnings either to help pay for next year’s pigs or for college.

She is one of many youth who demonstrated her animal husbandry and handling skills during the 4-H and FFA Livestock Auction at the NCW Fair the morning of Aug. 26.

It was standing-room only around the arena that morning as family and bidders watched or participated in the action.

The exhibit barns were quieter, but still saw a steady stream of visitors, young and old.

In the Fiber Arts barn, needlework Superintendent Jill Thompson was making a pair of sandals from worn out T-shirts. She found the idea on Pinterest and thought it would be good for a repurposing demonstration during the fair.

Needlework superintendent Jill Thompson creates a sandal out of worn t-shirts. Thompson brought the project to demonstrate re-purposing to fairgoers. (Empire Press photo/Karen Larsen)

Thompson said that a highlight of this year’s exhibit was a set of brightly colored crocheted stuffed animals entered by Ellen Park. The animals were especially eye-catching for the younger crowd.

Another highlight was embroidery of four lighthouses on a quilt submitted by Douglas County Clerk Tristen Worthen. Worthen received Best of Show in embroidery on this and Best of Show in knitting for a striped scarf with varied stitching.

A notable entry in the nearby sewing exhibit was a wedding dress entered by Olga Lindsey.

The Floriculture exhibit decorated the other end of the barn. Superintendent Trina Clune said exhibits were significantly down this year, but quality was still good.

Pam Wright of Waterville was excited to have received a special award for a senior entry. The entry features a statue of a kneeling service man as the centerpiece with red, white and blue artificial flowers forming the base.

Wright said she often does flower arrangements for home and church, but has never done one for a more public exhibition like the fair.

Her son, Henry Wright, is a veteran and she wanted to do something to pay tribute to service people.

Brightly colored crocheted stuffed animals, entered by Ellen Park, sit on shelves in the needlework exhibit. (Empire Press photo/Karen Larsen)

Manthy Salcido, Arts and Crafts superintendent, said that this is her first year to serve as superintendent but she helped at the exhibit last year. She said that entries were down this year and she is trying to think of ways to get more people involved.

Salcido’s personal favorite in the exhibit was a set of village buildings created by Austin Love, who is 18. The buildings were very detailed and were worth spending a few extra minutes to view.

Salcido also loved a set of knives made from ball bearings and files that were entered by Ted King.

Patt Ott was in her second year serving as superintendent of the Photography exhibit. This year she served jointly with Steve Kaminoff, who headed up the exhibit for many years. She said that entry numbers were about the same as last year. She was most excited to see the number of student entries.

One of these was a photo by Waterville School student Emily Thomsen showing Highway 172 with the Farmer grain silos behind it. The angle of the photo and the use of a telephoto lens make it look as if the silos are on the highway. Ott said that many people were fascinated by the photo.

“It’s a real unique perspective that she saw that and made that happen,” Ott said.

Isabela Timentwa, 10, of Omak and Mane Pakootas, 11, of Nespelem get ready to take part in the kids’ pony relay Aug. 26. (Empire Press photo/Karen Larsen)

Canning Superintendent Marla Madsen said that the number of entries was down this year, but quality was very good.

She especially remarked on a fireweed apple jelly submitted by Vickie Moore that won a Judge’s Choice award. She said it is fun to have entries that are a little unusual.

This year sisters Kendra and Liz Bourton helped Horticulture Superintendent Marjorie Wood. Their grandmother, Janell Bourton, who passed away last year, was the superintendent of the exhibit for many years. Kendra Bourton said that the number of entries in the exhibit has been a bit low the last few years, partly because some families that usually bring many entries haven’t been able to come.

Linda Daling, superintendent of the Baking barn said that this year entries were also down in that exhibit. Youth entries took up a higher percentage of the total entries than usual.

Daling said on the evening of Aug. 27 that once again children of all ages enjoyed making playdough at a table in the barn and went through 20 pounds of flour.

This year’s Barnyard Buddies and Country Extras, the fair’s petting zoo, was well-stocked with sucking goats, kittens, piglets, rabbits, guinea pigs, chicks, a calf and ducks.

Julia Goodman and Debra Schneider said on Aug. 26 that it had been very busy and that lots of raffle tickets were sold.

Barbara Firoved, daughter Bobby Ann Willms and Elaina Thomsen volunteer in the Wheat Wives booth. (Empire Press photo/Karen Larsen)

Late in the afternoon it was time for the first day of the Big Bend Roundup Rodeo. The grandstands were well-filled with spectators for a large number of rodeo events and races.

Behind the scenes, cousins Isabela Timentwa and Mane Pakootas were sitting on their ponies waiting for the kids’ pony relay. Asked if they have ever raced before, Pakootas said, “Plenty of times.”

Timentwa didn’t have too much trouble thinking of what she liked about the races.

“I just like the part where you win!” She pointed to Pakootas and said, “I beat him.”

Oliver Williams, a 2017 Omak High School graduate, swung his lasso to warm up for the calf roping event at the rodeo.

Asked if he was nervous, Williams said, “If you ain’t nervous it means you aren’t into the sport good enough.”

Williams roped his calf by the time he reached the far side of the arena. Still, he wasn’t entirely pleased with the performance. He said his horse got nervous in the stall and that slowed them down.

Race director Becky Matthiesen said on Aug. 28 that over a 100 horses participated in the races this year. The horses filled the 75 stalls at the fairgrounds and another 23 pens that were set up across the street by the county shop. She said there were more participants than ever before, making for very exciting events.

“Every race was good; they were all just awesome,” Matthiesen said.

She was pleased with the crowds on both Aug. 26 and 27.

Mother and daughter Barbara Firoved and Bobby Ann Willms volunteered in the Wheat Wives booth on Aug. 26, along with Pat Ludeman, Peg Schmidt and Elaina Thomsen.

Willms joked that the greatest part of volunteering is getting a free cinnamon roll.

“I just am glad to help out,” Willms said more seriously.

The Wheat Wives was one of many concessions run by either nonprofits or businesses. Fairgoers took obvious enjoyment in not only cinnamon rolls, but also ice cream cones, pieces of pie, gyros, tacos and much more.

The lawn area was covered with inflatable toys as well as farm equipment for kids to play on. It was a different scene than the usual carnival, but didn’t seem to diminish the fun of the fair for the younger crowd.

On the morning of Aug. 27, the Community Hall was filled for an interdenominational worship service. The band Sam Buckingham and King Biscuit provided worship music. United Lutheran Church Pastor Jim Robinson provided a message, and Federated Church Pastor Seth Normington said a closing prayer. Normington prayed for the fair, for the community, and for the needs of so many around the world, including those communities devastated by Hurricane Harvey. As the group said the Lord’s Prayer together in the versions of their diverse traditions, there was a sense of unity and gratefulness for the chance to come together at the NCW Fair.

The end of the day on Aug. 27 was, as usual, an extremely busy time for everyone involved. 4-H and FFA members and their families worked to clean out the stalls and get their animals ready to pack home. People came to collect their entries.

Fair board member Margaret Viebrock had a smile on her face. She described the weekend as hot, but fortunately not windy. A blustery day on Aug. 24 had people a little nervous about that. She said attendance had been up and the animal barns were full, especially the poultry and rabbit barns.

Viebrock saw that as a good sign that younger kids are getting involved in showing animals.