By Karen Kin
Seneca County Junior Fair participants will get to experience some fresh ideas during this year's fair week.
This year's theme, "You're Invited to a Country Homecoming at the Seneca County Junior Fair," will give Junior Fair participants the opportunity to be creative with their displays and decorating.
Each barn will highlight a homecoming theme. Sheep exhibitors will decorate in black and white, the horse barn will have a Hollywood theme, poultry exhibitors will have a Hawaiian look, llamas will be "under the sea," the booth building will get to choose any homecoming theme, pigs will be "a walk in the clouds," goats are "a walk in the park" and rabbit exhibitors will decorate for "winter ball."
Winners of Junior Fair events will be awarded fewer trophies this year.
Instead of traditional trophies, event champions will receive a canvas bag chair that says "2011 Seneca County Junior Fair Champion." Reserve champions will receive duffel bags, and miscellaneous project winners will be given sling backpacks.
Valerie Hohman, Junior Fair coordinator, said kids will receive something for winning that they actually can use. Sewing participants will receive sewing baskets, she said, and cookbooks will be given to cooking participants.
Hohman said the sheep department changed its awards two years ago, and the kids on the Junior Fair Board asked if other departments also could award fewer trophies and change to more useful awards.
While the star search event won't take place this year, Junior Fair participants still will have a Junior Fair Fun Night, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday. The style revue will take place at 6:30 p.m. during fun night.
The sub-eating contest, sponsored by Subway, will be at 6:30 p.m. July 31.
Scholarships again will be available to Junior Fair participants this year.
A $250 Elchert Family Scholarship will be awarded to the winners of the king and queen contest, and a $1,000 Cathy Margraf scholarship will be awarded to a high school senior who is a Junior Fair 4-H exhibitor and who applies for the scholarship.
A significant change for the fair king and queen is the time they are expected to spend at fair events.
Hohman said fair royalty no longer will be expected to attend every show through the week. Instead, they only will be committed to certain events, to allow them some extra free time for fair fun.