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Jackson County Youth Fair opens

By Jennifer Lee Preyss
Oct. 5, 2011 at 5:05 a.m.

The Jackson County Youth Fair kicked off Wednesday at Brackenridge Main Event Center in Edna. Livestock animals were weighed in, sifted and judged for Saturday's auction. The Heart of America Carnival opened to the public Wednesday night, featuring new rides and entertainment.

IF YOU GO:

WHAT: Jackson County Youth Fair

WHEN: Wednesday-Saturday, times vary each day. Check website for times

WHERE: Brackenridge Main Event Center, 284 Brackenridge Parkway, Edna

COST: Daily admission, $5 adults and students; children under 5 are free. Carnival wristbands can be purchased for $25.

MORE INFO: 361-782-3337, or jcyf.org

EDNA - The scent of savory carnival fare wafted through the Brackenridge Main Event Center on Wednesday. The grounds were abuzz with eager children and teens waiting to weigh in, sift and judge their livestock projects.

And to the right of the pavilion, the sprawling "Heart of America" carnival was set up and ready for its grand opening Wednesday night.

It's official. Fair season has begun.

The 62nd annual Jackson County Youth Fair kicked off at 8 a.m. Wednesday, with judging of fryers, rabbits, turkeys and commercial heifers.

"It's been running very smooth today, miraculously. We're excited for the rest of the day," said Dee Darilek, president of the fair board. "We've tagged in 200 entries, and they'll all sell Saturday.

Darilek, who has worked as a volunteer board member for the Jackson County event for the past 15 years and served as president for six years, said much attention is put into the Jackson Youth Fair each year to make sure attendees and participants of the livestock show are well entertained.

"It takes a lot of people to make it happen, but it's all for a good cause and it's run entirely by volunteers," she said.

Throughout the day, judging continued for goats, lambs, steers and swine. And festival-goers enjoyed access to specialty apparel and gift venders, and entertainment acts such as the Artistry in Wood chain saw sculptor Dayton Scoggins, and the Rhinestone Roper. Erick Kand's Comedy Hypnosis Show will debut Friday and Saturday night.

Colby and Colton DeBord, 10-year-old twin boys and fifth-graders from Vanderbilt, said they were relieved to finally get their rabbits judged after working on their livestock project all year.

"I'm glad it's over, but I can't wait until next year," Colby DeBord said, picking up a cheesy chip from his plate of nachos.

The boys' mother, Becky DeBord, said the start of the Youth Fair was bittersweet.

"It's the first time we've shown rabbits, and now it's over," she said. "But this is the second or third year they've had the fair here, and it's a really nice facility."

"Good food, too," Colton added.

Colleen Rozsypal, of Vanderbilt, said she decided to attend the festival because her grandchildren were participating.

"I had to come out; my granddaughter Kylie Rozsypal is Little Miss," Rozsypal said, smiling. "I also have two grandsons showing rabbits, and they earned sixth and eighth place today."

Rozypal said she enjoys the fair, and believes Jackson County has the best one in the region. And she always makes sure to test out the festival food.

"I have to have a funnel cake ... and 4-H hamburger and cotton candy," she said.

Carnival rides and the petting zoo, which opened to the public at 6 p.m., will continue through Saturday.

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