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County fair features food, photography, furniture, more

By BY ALLISON MILES - AMILES@VICAD.COM
March 2, 2013 at 10:03 p.m.
Updated March 1, 2013 at 9:02 p.m.

Ryan Olguin, 11, talks  about his chairs and table that he built himself for the County fair at Jaycee Hall.

To some, the red wooden chairs and matching table might be a nice addition to the yard - or maybe the porch.

To Ryan Olguin, however, they were something a little more than that.

The furniture set was the mark of a job well done.

The 11-year-old took grand champion honors - and junior best in show - in the 2013 Victoria Livestock Show county fair's crafts and horticulture division.

"I'm happy," he said with a glance at his creation. "It makes me feel really proud."

This year's county fair inside Jaycee Hall drew fewer entries than usual, said Traci Shadle, the event's committee chair. But where quantity lacked, the quality improved.

"We had a hard time judging," she said, noting the food category was particularly tough. "I was really impressed with the things people brought in this year."

Entries included everything from photographs to scrapbooks, to a metal "ropin' dummy" and more.

Shadle's own creation, a cake with marzipan pigs in a pool of chocolate "mud," proved a bigger challenge than expected.

Although she found pictures online, no one had the recipe. She eventually tracked it down, she said, only to find it written in Dutch.

"I used Google translator to figure it out from there," she said with a laugh.

Donivan Vecera ventured into the fair Friday to survey the artwork. He's participated in the past, he said, but ran out of time this year to create anything.

Still, he said, the artwork was good. One drawing in particular, a horse standing in front of a sunset, caught his eye.

"I like this one," said the 12-year-old artist who enjoys drawing deer and snakes. "Next year, I'll probably do something."

Looking ahead, Shadle said she'd like to get word out about the county fair and to see the event grow.

Last year brought the addition of the silent auction, she said, while a horticulture exhibit was new this time around.

The event is open to the general public, she said, and to all ages.

"From 1 to 99, everybody can participate," she said. "A lot of people don't realize that."

Ryan said he'll likely be back next year, and the wheels in his head are already turning on a project. The kid whose father, Chris Olguin, said has an entrepreneurial spirit, plans to build a wine rack.

"Everybody likes wine," Ryan said with a grin.

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