The Fair Flash
News, views and more from this year's Island County Fair
Fair-goers eager for a barbecue pork sandwich can be assured ShoNuff will have ample meat for its hungry clientele. The last few fairs, the popular stand has run out of its tasty offerings early.
Barb Bennett, part owner of ShoNuff with her husband, Fred, said they prepared better this year and bought far more pork than the usual 400 pounds.
How much more remained a mystery.
“I really don’t know,” she said.
Along with two other workers, including her sister Cassandra Henderson and Lindsey Buckle, the crew of the ShoNuff tent kept busy through the afternoon preparing for a dinner rush.
It was a full day. The crew arrived Wednesday night about 7 p.m. and started cooking beef briskets and pork shoulders. Then they were up 12 hours later and began grilling and smoking the ribs and chicken at 7 a.m.
Bennett said they began with 100 pounds of potatoes and 200 pounds of sweet potatoes, and will get more as needed during the weekend.
The judges have announced the first winners in this year’s Island County Fair.
Here are the initial open class special award winners; more open class winners and other awardees will be posted soon.
Food Preservation – Adult
Carrie McLachlan: Other Jam, Best of Variety
Christine Williams: Fruited Vinegar, Best of Variety
Christine Williams: Other Vegetables, Best of Variety
Colleen Nollette: Apple Jelly, Best of Variety
Colleen Nollette: Other Pickles & Relishes, Best of Variety
Erin Kristek: Other Pickles & Relishes, Best of Variety
Rhonda Permenter: Marmalade, Best of Variety
Tarey Kay: Other Meats & Fish, Best of Variety
Tarey Kay: Pie Filling, Best of Variety
Carrie McLachlan: Herb Vinegar, Best of Variety, Best of Show
Christyn Johnson: Dried Vegetables, Merit
Jan Gross: Syrups, Merit
Jennifer McGrath: Other Jelly, Merit
Jim Hicken: Other Pickles & Relishes, Merit
Molly Kay: Cucumber Relish, Merit
Baked Goods – Adult
Erin Peek: Bar Cookies, Best of Show
Erin Peek: Dark Bread, Best of Show
Rhonda Permenter: Other Candy, Best of Show
Sherilyn Bloch: Fruit or Vegetable Cake, Best of Show
Tarey Kay: Pecan or Other Nut Pie, Best of Show
Carrie McLachlan: Gluten-free, any cookie, Merit
She didn’t see that one coming.
Kaitlin Ellerby-Muse burst into a wide smile as her name crackled through the speaker at the horse arena. She had rode her quarter pony Hercules to grand champion honors in the intermediate division for equitation (horsemanship).
“I was surprised,” Kaitlin said. “English is my better class. I’m better in English riding and I ride English more.”
A small fan club gathered as the 12-year-old rode out of the arena. As soon as she dismounted, Kate Sharkey scooped her with a nearly suffocating bear hug.
Though it’s been a big fair already for Kaitlin — she collected a bunch of blue ribbons in the Western category on Wednesday — she wasn’t expecting to do well Thursday morning. Hercules had a few frights the day before, she said.
“I was nervous about riding him. He was really spooky,” she said. “But he was really good today.”
The Island County Fairgrounds looks like an upended ant hill today as exhibitors, 4-H club members, vendors and carnival workers get ready for the start of the big show tomorrow.
Near one end of the horse arena, sisters Alexxis and Melissa Otto were busy filling buckets with wood shavings before heading back over to the cavie barn to get the cages ready for their guinea pigs.
Alexxis, 12, brought two of her guinea pigs: Buddy and Elvis.
“He has like a little spike on his head,” explained Melissa, 10.
It’s the first fair for the two girls, members of the 4-H club Cavies and Company.
“We thought it’s be fun,” Alexxis said.
“It’s pretty much work,” she added with a laugh.
“Elvis” – the other one of the two-legged variety – takes the Midway stage Friday. Fair favorite Danny Vernon returns with his “Illusion of Elvis” show at 8 p.m.
The Rock-n-Doodle Poultry 4-H Club is raffling off a handmade chicken tractor as a fundraiser for its upcoming Whidbey Island Chicken Coop Tour on April 24.
The Coop Tour is an all-island driving tour of interesting and captivating chicken coops from Oak Harbor to Langley.
The custom chicken tractor is made of high-quality teak wood. Raffle tickets are on sale at Skagit Farmers Supply in Freeland and Oak Harbor for $5. Included are two live chicks and a chick starter kit, compliments of Skagit Farmers Supply.
The prize is valued at $1,500; the drawing will be on Saturday, March 6.
Simon the golden retriever isn’t too thrilled about helping her owner Taylor Tangeman, 10, of Langley finish the dog agility course at the fair.
Yes, we know the fair is so last week (actually, the week before last).
But we’ve been going through some of the photos from this year’s extravaganza, and decided to share some of our favorites, including some that never made it into the paper. Enjoy!
Langley was a blue-ribbon winner at the Island County Fair this year.
The city won first place for its parks and open space display, Kathleen Landel, assistant to Mayor Paul Samuelson, told the Langley City Council at its meeting last week.
The prize-winning display features a series of stations depicting events in the history of park and open-space planning by city officials and volunteer citizen groups, and their recommendations for the future. The display was unveiled this past spring, and has been shown at public meetings to gather input.
“It’s the city’s first blue ribbon,” Landel said.
“Next year we should enter our beans,” she added, pointing to the little garden outside city hall.
Ann Tuttle and Carol Coble of Freeland have two of the best seats in the house for the horse competitions.
Their RVs are parked on a little ridge right above the action, front-row center.
“It’s a blast, we love doing this,” Coble said Thursday.
They didn’t have to park outside the fairgrounds for three days to be first in line for the prime spots. The parking places are assigned to leaders of the various 4-H horse clubs, Tuttle said.
This year’s front row included vehicles owned by other horse-club leaders, with a couple of dog-club leaders thrown in down at the end, she said.
Tuttle and Coble are co-leaders of the South Whidbey Sat N Saddles Club. Coble’s daughter Missy and Tuttle’s daughter Megan are both 18 and in their final year of 4-H competition.
“It’s a lot of fun connecting and hanging out with our teenaged daughters,” Coble said.