Julie Hannan’s fair experience will be different this year.
For the past 10 years, Hannan and her family have been involved with the Lake Harvesters 4-H club and have camped out at the fairgrounds. Her two daughters have shown goats and pigs during that time.
This year, Hannan will be working during the fair as the junior fair coordinator. She will see a side of the fair that is unfamiliar to her.
“We’ve done this before, but this part of it is all new. I’ve never realized the other side of what goes on,” Hannan said.
Hannan said she heard there was a job opening as the junior fair coordinator from her friend who is on the senior fair board. She figured the job was up her alley and applied.
Now, she is in charge of all of the livestock projects. Hannan said her responsibilities mainly involve contacting clubs about the weigh-in days for the livestock and coordinating with the junior fair members.
Hannan said there are about 55 kids on the junior fair board. She praises the members for the work they do managing the events themselves.
“They’re awesome. They run the shows. They are phenomenal kids. They do a lot of that, so I have to coordinate to make sure everybody is where they should be,” Hannan said.
Hannan works with the members a lot about a month before the fair. She said they met every Saturday in July to start setting up the barn for the livestock show. The pre-planning helps with making the day of the show run smoothly.
On top of working with the members, she also attends the senior fair board meetings.
Hannan said the senior fair board has been a good support team for her.
Learning on the job has been a challenge for Hannan. She said the senior fair board has been a tremendous help for her while she goes through her first year.
So far, Hannan’s favorite part of her job has been working with the kids. She said getting to know them has been fun.
“They’re fun. If you get to know them and take the time to spend time with them, they’re goofballs. When it’s time to work, they’re good workers. They will work hard for you,” Hannan said.
Hannan still plans on trying to have a normal fair experience with her family. She said she will try to find a balance between her responsibilities and family time.
Hannan’s new job has not affected her normal fair routine yet.
Her daughters will still show goats and pigs this year. Hannan said her daughters are old enough, 10 and 16, and have enough experience showing to handle their livestock projects on their own.
Hannan’s work should still let her experience one of her favorite parts about the fair. She said she likes watching the kids show their animals.
“I like watching the kids, especially the youngsters coming up for their first time showing and how excited they get,” Hannan said.
With the fair going back to normal, Hannan hopes the camaraderie of the fair returns.
She said it has been fun for her family to meet new people at the fair. She also said there is a unique bond formed with other 4-H families.
Hannan is more excited for the kids to interact with each other in a normal fair setting. She said her kids have made new friends while at the fair.
Whether it’s hanging out at the barn or walking around the fair, Hannan thinks a less restricted fair will be more relaxing for the kids.
“I’m looking forward to the kids being able to do what they are used to doing. They don’t have to worry about the extra stuff. They can just have fun, do their thing, show their animals and have a good time.”