County fair brings eccentric mix of entries
March 2, 2012 at 5:04 p.m.
Updated March 1, 2012 at 9:02 p.m.
From the boot-themed mosaic made entirely from buttons to the freestanding mailbox shaped like a giraffe, and even Fruit Roll-Up sushi, entries in the 2012 Victoria Livestock Show county fair went far beyond Grandma's apple pie.
Half the fun of running the fair is catching a glimpse at the entries, said Traci Shadle, the event's chairwoman.
"You get excited to see what people bring in," she said, pointing out a pair of metal, welded chaps that brought the Placedo Blacksmith shop a best of show award. "And this is a way to get the whole community involved in the stock show. There is no age limit."
In the education category, Erin Reynolds' grand champion science fair project took a look at that melt-in-your- mouth-not-in-your-hand favorite, the M&M.
On her colorful display, she noted that while all colors melted and cracked when nuked in the microwave, the blue candies did so first.
Joseph Palacios' photo of an alligator entering the water at the Texas Zoo brought the first-time participant a grand champion award. It was one of eight pictures he submitted for the contest.
The 9-year-old offered a bit of advice for aspiring photographers.
"Remember to align your camera and take your time," he said. "Don't click right away."
Vicki Hauschild's daschund-themed tote bag wasn't even originally bound for the fair.
The wiener dog race chairwoman created the denim bags, which feature a wrap-around daschund design, for the race winners. Persuasion from friends changed her plans, however.
"I guess I'm glad I entered," she said with a smile and glance at her reserve champion ribbon. "This was fun."
Heat and humidity presented problems for Michelle Lassere, whose "cookies-n-cream cake" garnered a grand champion win. She wound up icing the confection at Jaycee Hall the day she dropped it off.
"It was what I had to do," she said with a laugh. "At home it just didn't work. It was too sticky."
She wasn't the only one who faced obstacles.
The county fair committee had trouble determining exactly which category Casey Reynolds' farm animal cake pops fit into, but finally settled on convenience foods.
"They're on sticks, so they don't require a plate or anything to eat them with," Shadle said. "So that's where they went. But it was difficult because cake pops are kind of a new thing."
That isn't the only new addition.
A silent auction enters the mix Saturday, allowing grand, reserve and best in show winners to sell their creations to the highest bidders.
"It's a chance for these participants to make a little bit of money," Shadle said. "What they do is no less important than what the kids raising animals do."