Wyoming Fair carries on the success

Babbling Brooks Column
By: 
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     The Express (Pete Temple and myself) covered the 83rd Annual Wyoming Fair over the weekend, July 14-16.

     This was our first time covering the sacred small-town fair in southern Jones County. Shirley Jones with the Midland Times had always heavily covered the fair in the past, and did an exceptional job at it, despite being a one-woman show at the newspaper.

     I spent four hours at the Wyoming Fairgrounds on Saturday, and witnessed so many dedicated volunteers coming together to make sure this fair went off without a hitch.

     My first stop was the Horse Show where the arena volunteers made sure all 4-H exhibitors were ready to enter the ring when their class was called. The parents on hand also congratulated every 4-H youth member, whether from Jones County or not, as they exited the arena.

     Then I made my way to the Goat and Sheep Show. After learning it was going to start roughly a half-hour late, I wandered through the grounds. I saw many 4-H kids and their families working hard to wash, brush and clean their steers and heifers for the popular Steer and Heifer Show at noon.

     Waiting for the Goat and Sheep Show to start, I noticed a bit of commotion going on near the horse arena. A heifer from the cattle barn got loose and despite numerous Wyoming Fair board members and others cornering it, the stubborn animal refused to be corralled. They finally “convinced” the heifer to enter the horse arena, and temporarily suspended the Horse Show until the owner could pull his truck and trailer around to the opposite side of the fairgrounds and get the heifer loaded into the trailer.

     In the meantime, a few fair volunteers stood inside the arena gate, keeping an eye on the animal. It ran around the arena at first then clearly got tired of being confined and started making its way to the gate. It bucked a few times when one of the workers fell to the ground. That’s when the animal started going after the man in the dirt. The others frantically ran to his aid, distracted the animal and helped the man up and to safety. I’m sure he’s no doubt a bit sore and bruised today, but he was up walking around after that incident.

     After some effort the heifer was contained in the trailer and taken out of the fairgrounds.

     It was back to the Goat and Sheep Show for some photos of the exhibitors.

     From there, I headed to the Cattle Show. Boy did that show attract some viewers!

     Again, I witnessed some great Wyoming Fair Board members and volunteers lending a hand, especially when the steer or heifer decided it didn’t want to parade around the ring. Kris Gobeli and Jason Zamastil were working the ring and came to the quick aid of the 4-Hers.

     Bravo to the Wyoming Fair for yet another successful fair! It was timed perfectly before the temperatures started surging into the high 80s and low- to mid-90s, just in time for the Great Jones County Fair.

I’m half Lillibridge

     My mom grew up in Greeley, or the Oneida area, deepening on your generation. (Some people today call it “Greeley.” Some still refer to the unincorporated town as “Oneida.”) She had five siblings; there were three boys and three girls. They were raised on a farm my grandparents owned; today my uncle and aunt own and operate the family farm.

     Ever since I started working at the Express, I occasionally get the question: “Are you a Lillibridge” (my mom’s maiden name)?

     Some people here know my mom’s family. They all attended school in Delhi. I obviously resemble my mom, and I’ll gladly take that trait.

     Over the past month or so, I was asked three random times in three different settings if I was a Lillibridge. I tell them they are half right, obviously. Some of these people attended school with my aunts and uncles at Maquoketa Valley and have since relocated to the Monticello area. Some are mutual friends of friends. Either way, believe me it’s an honor to get asked this question. My grandparents definitely raised great children, and now the third and fourth generations (in some instances) are trying to carry on that legacy.

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