WILMOT — It was all about the kids at the Kenosha County Fair Friday morning as the annual children’s costume parade kicked off the day and 4-Hers took part in the Horse and Pony, Dairy and Rabbit shows.
Amos and Walt Robinson, ages 5 and 2, respectively, were able to take part for the first time in the parade, which gets children age 14 and younger who are in costume free admission to the fair.
“I’ve known about the parade, but we never had the opportunity to participate until this year,” said Kathy Robinson, their grandmother. “They just moved back from Utah.”
The siblings, from Twin Lakes, were dressed in milk and cookies costumes. Amos’ father, JT Robinson made the Famous Amos cookie box and Kay Francoeur, their maternal grandmother, made the milk bottle costume.
“They just love to wear costumes,” Francoeur said.
Cate DeBell, 14, arrived early to groom her Swiss dairy cow named Midnight before the show.
“This is my first year,” DeBell said as she combed the animal’s coat and used hairspray to create a straight top line desired by the judges. “It’s a good way to learn more about the industry that is part of Wisconsin’s culture.”
While DeBell lives on a dairy farm, you don’t have to be from a farm family to take part in 4-H animal projects. Many local farmers offer to keep animals for youths and some municipalities allow kids to keep sheep, goats and other animals on residential properties as long as they are part of a 4-H project.
The Horse Project also has a “horseless horse” division, which pairs a youth who does not have a horse with one who does. Shelby Serritella, who was named Champion Western Showman Friday morning, helped Mackenzie Fraher learn about horses by sharing her quarterhorse named Lacey.
Serritella said Lacey is easy to work with. Both Serritella and Fraher were champions in their respective divisions.
“We’ve been together for five years,” Serritella said of her relationship with Lacey. “We’ve bonded and are a very good team. She’s learned to read my body language. I really don’t have to tell her what to do, she just knows. We are very connected.”
Small animal show
There are also ways within 4-H to show dogs, rabbits and other animals more easily cared for at home. Daisy Deaton, 15, had the only satin Angora rabbit at the fair this year. Deaton said it is a bit more work to take care of the breed.
“The judge gave me a lot of interesting feedback and a couple of pointers about how to check for injuries and how to pose my rabbit correctly,” Deaton said after taking part in the showmanship division. “They are hard to keep because of their longer wool.”