Gingerbread Showdown

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Fourth-generation Ionia 4-Her competes on Food Network’s ‘Holiday Baking Championship’

Desiree Gorby, a Lowell resident whose family has participated in 4-H at the Ionia Free Fair for four generations, recently competed on the season premiere of the Food Network program “Holiday Baking Championship: Gingerbread Showdown.”

The show is a baking competition in which three teams comprised of two individuals construct elaborate, edible scenes out of gingerbread, candy, frosting and other delicious goodies. Gorby’s episode aired on Nov. 4 and is titled “Christmas 2999” because each entry was required to have a futuristic, space age theme.

Ionia Free Fair 4-H Sweepstakes winners divulge the secrets to their success

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The most prestigious and nerve-wracking competition at the Ionia Free Fair is when the contestants who already won in the various animal categories get together and learn how to show all 11 fair animals.

It’s called “Sweepstakes,” and winning that competition is extremely difficult.

Ionia woman is first 4-Her to show every single animal at the same Ionia Free Fair

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At this year’s Ionia Free Fair, a young Ionia woman aged out of her 4-H career in tremendous style: She ran for queen, she entered homemade jams and a quilt and she was the first person ever to show every single animal during fair week.

And Trish Powell’s immediate and extended family were there every step of the way to cheer her on, wearing special matching T-shirts.

Following 3 sheep owners through Ionia Free Fair week

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For most people, the Ionia Free Fair equals 10 days of food, rides and carnival games.

For the youth involved with 4-H, however, the fair is the culmination of a year of filthy, difficult work caring for livestock, all leading up to an auction where they sell their beloved animals to the highest bidder.

PUBLIC FORUM: 4-H millage deserves to be renewed

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Dear Editor,

Our Montcalm County 4-H program provides an opportunity for young people to follow their passions, practice life skills, and build relationships.

Montcalm County 4-H’er wins Grand Champion at National Junior Shorthorn Show

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Sitting alone on an airplane 40,000 feet in the air, adrenaline ran high for 15-year-old Celina Eldridge knowing that once she landed she’d be swamped with work.

Just showing pigs the day before, at the Montcalm County Fair, Celina would be landing in Kansas City, Missouri, to show the most prized steer she’s had in her seven-year 4-H career.

A 4-H family legacy

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London Eldridge wins showmanship sweepstakes at the Montcalm County Fair, cousin places 4th

Aiming to make her mark on what might be the closing chapter of her 4-H career, all London Eldridge had to do Saturday to unearth some needed inspiration was look up. 

Competing in the Showman Sweepstakes Championship — the culmination of a week of 4-H’ers showing their animals throughout the Montcalm County Fair — the North Central 4-H Club member glanced at the large banners hanging within the livestock arena. 

‘Kids’ arrive on Kids Day at the Montcalm County Fair

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The Montcalm County Fair’s annual Kid’s Day caused some commotion in the animal barn this week.

With “kids” being the term to define newborn goats, it only seems appropriate that Kids Day at the fair on Friday saw four new baby goats to add to the 4-H family.

Beating the heat at the fair

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4-H’ers take precautions — and continue to have fun — during hot, dry conditions at Montcalm County Fair

A year ago this week, local 4-H’ers struggled at times to show animals, ride horses or even enjoy each other’s company as day after day, rain came down without an end in sight. 

At this year’s Montcalm County Fair, however, 4-H’ers — and their animals — likely wouldn’t complain if a few rain clouds drifted overhead. 

4-H Performing Arts & Style Show returns from two-year hiatus

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Although the Montcalm County 4-H Performing Arts and Style Show was canceled for two years due to COVID-19, it made a return on Tuesday.

Performing Arts Director Laura Thompson noted that participation suffered as performers aged out of the show during the hiatus.