STURGIS — The Meade County Fair & 4-H Achievement Days is returning to a more normal schedule this year after a virtual fair during the pandemic last year.
The event is scheduled for July 30-31, at the Meade County Fair Building and Sturgis Brown High School east of Sturgis.
“We’re pretty excited that it is going to look like a normal fair for us again this year,” said Jenny Voight, 4-H youth program advisor for Meade County.
To celebrate the return to an in-person fair, Voigt secured a dunk tank.
“One thing the kids always wanted at the fair was a dunk tank. To celebrate the end of the COVID era, this year we have a dunk tank and it will be set up throughout the weekend,” she said.
Organizers are working to find some desirable “targets” to schedule for a stint in the tank, Voigt said.
Last year because of the pandemic, 4-H youth submitted entries and were judged via Zoom video.
“They were bummed that they couldn’t exhibit in person, but it went surprisingly well,” Voigt said.
The fair is also an opportunity for youth in the county to spend time with other 4-Hers.
“Meade County is so big and diverse so they don’t get to see each other that often. This is an opportunity to get back together and see each other again,” Voigt said.
Friday activities include registration for 4-H and open class exhibits. Those exhibits open to the public at 3 p.m.
Other Meade County Fair traditions will continue in the afternoon with the frog jumping and turtle race competitions as well as watermelon eating contest.
This year the Meade County Master Gardeners will be available at their booth in the high school from 2-4 p.m. July 30to answer any gardening questions. There will be a special presentation on growing roses at 2:30 p.m. July 30.
The annual Ag Appreciation meal and Northern Hills Ag Fest will be July 30. Entertainment during the dinner will be offered by the Sturgis Center for the Arts.
Following the meal will be the mutton bustin’, calf scramble, Dress-a-Calf and Dress-a-Sheep contests.
Showmanship for the livestock divisions will be July 31.
An ice cream social is scheduled for 3 p.m. and pie auction at 4 p.m. will round out events on Saturday.
The fair and NH Ag Fest are a way for the community to gather and celebrate before the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Voigt said.
“We love to see the community pull together from rural and town people to celebrate agriculture and our youth. These kids are proud of what they have done and they like to share it with others,” she said.
For the full fair schedule go to: www.meadecountyfairsd.com.
Meade Co. Fair dedicated to Johnson
STURGIS — Mike Johnson grew up in Minnesota and participated in 4-H in Pipestone County, showing livestock, for many years.
Both he and his wife, Ginger, were 4-H members throughout their childhood and both served as 4-H leaders when their children were members both in Yankton and Meade counties.
Mike Johnson helped organize and facilitate the Yankton County 4-H Horse Program. He also showed horses at local and state quarter horse shows during his early years.
Mike and Ginger supported their children; Joel, Dustin and Jordyn, when they successfully competed in 4-H horse show and rodeo events at the local and state levels. They also went on to compete in high school and college rodeo at both state and national levels.
Mike Johnson has had a 42-year career in ag-banking, the last 28 years being in Sturgis with 1st Interstate Bank.
Those who nominated Johnson say he has always possessed a love of agriculture and believed the rural way of life builds strong and responsible character.
Mike Johnson has been involved with horse and cattle programs throughout his life including organizing the “Pen of Three” event and the annual 1st Western Team Roping event.
Mike Johnson served on the Meade County Fair Board for many years, including two years as chairman. He said some of his favorite memories at the fair involve the children’s “Frog Jumping” and “Turtle Races.” He especially enjoyed the year there were no frogs and they made the parents jump.
Mike and Ginger Johnson say they have fond memories of their 4-H experiences, and they say they value the lessons they learned and the life lessons their children learned as 4-H members.
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