Animals take center stage at Kendall County Fair – Chicago Tribune

Animals take center stage at Kendall County Fair – Chicago Tribune

Kiley Tchevotarev of Plano had her hands full Friday morning in Yorkville as she was tending to more than a dozen rabbits on display at the Kendall County Fair.

The fair at the Kendall County Fairgrounds at 10826 Route 71 in Yorkville runs through Sunday.

“I’ve been raising rabbits since I was about 7 and when I was younger my grandmother got me two rabbits and I just keep getting them as gifts,” Kiley said as she cuddled one of her pets. “The last I counted I have about 14.”

The Kendall County Fair Association got into the late summer mix of festivals with the four-day celebration that opened Thursday and features music, food, a beer garden and more.

Programs featuring cats, rabbits, pigs, cows and more are featured at the fair, as organizers said the event has morphed into having an emphasis on 4-H activities.

Kesa Provancher, events manager for the Kendall County Fair, said the event has been held for 30 years and has been a four-day fair for some time.

Like many events, the fair was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic and returned last year “in a simplified form.”

“We are now more of a 4-H-focused fair – we don’t have a carnival anymore, but we still have plenty of activities for families and kids to do,” Provancher said. “The emphasis has always been 4-H but we did have larger scale activities with the carnival and such.”

New things added this year include a story event named “Stories with our Heroes” held Thursday afternoon where police and fire came out and read stories to kids while the children enjoyed snacks like popcorn and popsicles.

Two nights of truck and tractor pulls were scheduled for Friday and Saturday evenings which officials hoped to boost attendance.

“Last year, we only had one tractor pull and people come out by the thousands for that,” Kesa said. “We’re expecting to see about 8,000 people over the weekend.”

Other scheduled events include a craft fair and a car show on Sunday.

Friday morning’s activities included a pig show at 8:30 am followed by a rabbit show at 9 am where Tchevotarev and other were tending to their cages.

Folks watching pigs being paraded around included Dawn Barr from Oswego and her daughter June, 8, who stopped by to watch the program.

“My older kids did 4-H and they were in their 20s now, and so I thought it would be fun to bring her (June) and take a look at everybody,” Barr explained. “With my other kids being in 4-HI think it gives them a huge sense of responsibility to care for animals and get them ready for the show and just the day-to-day feeding and watering. It’s good to see people here and everyone is always helpful.”

June Barr said she is an animal lover herself and likes “that you can pet the animals here sometimes.”

“I have seven goats and 16 chickens and two cats and one dog,” June said. “My mom and I do this (take care of the animals) together.”

Tabi Blue of Sheridan was also watching the pig show with her children and came to see a friend of the family show off her animal.

“We don’t raise any animals ourselves but my daughter Grace is learning how to walk pigs,” Blue said. “She’s been watching her friend Courtney do it, and now she wants to do it too.”

Grace, 7, said she hasn’t even walked a dog before and couldn’t compare it to walking a pig.

“The pigs don’t really drag you around,” she explained. “They run away.”

Mike Homerding of Yorkville was looking after some heifers that owns to some of the fair’s 4-H members and said the cows would overall be judged on their condition and health.

“It’s all up to the judge which heifer or steer is the most favorable looking and they look for animals in good health and condition, the structural points in the animal that makes it desirable looking,” he said. “To me, the biggest thing about this is teaching kids about responsibility. Kids have to track their feed costs, the purchase of the animals and the day-to-day cost and at the end of the project which ends in 200 days they know if they made money or lost.”

David Sharos is a freelance reporter for The Beacon-News.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.