I usually try to formulate my thoughts about my next blog in my head before I actually sit down to write it. However, after checking Facebook tonight before writing this blog, I decided I needed to go in a totally different direction with my fair recap than I had originally planned. Let me explain that and the reason behind the title of this blog.
The 2013 Lincoln County Fair week began on Saturday, July 6th with the crowing of the fair queen and her court. McKenna Wilmes, daughter of Joe and Kelly Wilmes of Silex not only won the title of 2013 Lincoln County Fair Queen but also won first place in the evening gown, resume and speech competitions. Now I have to admit, winning the title and those awards is outstanding in itself. But after reading the front page article in the most recent edition of The Lincoln County Journal, I realized there is a lot more to McKenna than winning the queen contest. She has been involved at the county fair level since the age of 9, both through 4-H and FFA and has been involved with many activities through school. After fracturing her back in a horse accident on St. Patrick’s Day of 2012 – the time spent in the hospital and physical therapy proved what strong determination this girl is made of.
McKenna and all the queen contestants reigned over the fair beginning with the parade on Sunday night. Thornhill Real Estate and Auction Company again took the Reserve Grand Champion Adult Float! I’m not sure who had more fun – Dave driving the truck or the Shields’ girls sitting with their feet in water on the paddle boat. If you were the lucky recipient of a cool spray of water from one of the girls, then now you know where the water came from!
While the fairgrounds were closed to the public on Monday, it was busy with all the activity that goes on behind the scenes. The carnival was finalizing its setup while the 4-H, FFA and Open Home Economics were being checked in at the Exhibit Hall. If you enjoy gardening, baking, photography or crafting, consider entering an item (or two) into the Open Home Economics Show next year! It’s a great way to showcase your talent and hobbies!
Tuesday morning began bright and early with the Junior Rabbit and Poultry Shows. Tuesday night was Kids Night and included the Dock Dogs Training Seminar and Youth Handler Fun Jump, Carnival Rides and Arcadeland, as well as the Open Youth Horse Show & Pony Show. Dan and I headed over to the Junior Hog Show as we have done for the last three years. It’s always refreshing to see these young exhibitors, including our very own Morgan Shields and Olivia Hoelting, demonstrate what it takes to be a true showman…acknowledging those who win to those who judge and doing so with a smile and a handshake!
Wednesday included the Horticulture Show along with the Junior Lamb Show and the 4-H/FFA Livestock Judging Contest during the day and the Junior Steer Show that night. If you aren’t into livestock, you could have easily found something else to do – from the Classic Tractor Pull to the ATV Super Cross to the M.B.R.A. Horse Show Speed Events. Don’t forget the entertainment in the Beer Garden! One of the members of the band, NeXchapter, actually lives in Moscow Mills and works with Dan. I’ll have to admit – I thought they were pretty good!
Thursday, as always, is one of the bigger nights of the fair with the Jr. Livestock Auction, the KFAV Texaco Country Showdown and the Open Western/English Pleasure Horse Show. While Dan and I head to the horse show, the crowd is always at the livestock auction and with good reason. This night is when the exhibitors can have their rabbit, chicken, lamb, hog or steer auctioned off to the highest bidder(s). Last year’s auction raised approximately $277,000 for the youth of Lincoln County…the total for this year topped that by just over $39,000 with a grand total of $316,581.15!!
A portion of that grand total of over $316,000 is part of the reason I had to change the direction of this blog. Because of some other things that I am involved in, I follow many of the local newspapers and communities on Facebook and when I got home tonight and checked Facebook, as many of us do, I read an article from The Elsberry Democrat that was just one reason why Lincoln County should be very proud of our young adults. The article, which you can read at http://www.elsberrydemocrat.com/?page_id=2975, tells the story of a young man from the Elsberry FFA named Nathan Stone. This young man of just 15-years old decided to donate the proceeds from the sale of his hog at the livestock auction to the Jillian Young Memorial Scholarship Fund. For those of you who may not know, Jillian was another young member of the Elsberry FFA…she was killed in an automobile accident earlier this year. The nicely written article explains how Nathan came into the ring Thursday night with his hog which sold for a record $31 per pound or a total of $8600. After being convinced to keep at least the amount Nathan had invested in the hog, he donated the balance of $7800 to the scholarship fund. The good news doesn’t stop there – the buyers donated the hog back to Nathan and he plans to either market or auction the hog and donate that money as well to the fund. Please read the story – you definitely won’t be sorry!
Friday night is my favorite night of the fair by far. I am a huge tractor pull fan and this year, was lucky enough to have Dan’s nephew and his son and daughter with us – their first time ever at a tractor pull! In addition to the tractor pull, you could also have enjoyed the Mule Jump and Fun Show (something I’ve never seen) or the Dirt Bike Supercross.
I’m sorry that I missed all the fun on Saturday morning and afternoon. I hear that the kid’s events – the athletic events, frog & turtle races, pedal tractor pull, watermelon contest and greased pig scramble – were full of fun! Thornhill Real Estate and Auction Company proudly sponsor the Frog & Turtle Races but Dave & Dusty donate their time to announce all the kid’s events during the day. There was over 170 turtles for the races and over 90 frogs. Some of Lincoln County’s finest raced to the finish. Even Grace, Dave & Brenda’s granddaughter won her heat in the turtle races. I hear Morgan gave the guys a run for their money! The Menne family puts on the watermelon eating contest and if you’ve never experienced that, you’re missing out. The fair wrapped up on Saturday night with the Demolition Derby and Jerrod Niemann and Rodney Atkins, two country stars, on the Main Stage.
Regardless of what your favorite part of the fair might be, it’s always a highlight of the summer…from the carnival rides to the Dock Dogs to the exhibits and entertainment. It’s a long week, but we feel it’s a great event to donate our time and talents to support our local youth. Even though our county fair is over, there are other local counties getting ready to hold their fair – including St. Charles County and Pike County. And as much as we enjoy the fair, it’s back to the auction schedule for us.
This past Sunday we held two auctions – something we normally don’t do – but it just worked out that way. We started in O’Fallon, MO with a real estate and small household sale before moving heading on to Foley for a real estate sale that included a 3-bedroom, 2 bath manufactured home and metal building on 3.23 acres along Hwy. 79.
We hope you’re prepared to come join us in Palmyra, MO on Saturday, July 20 for a complete sell out of the Late Charlie Brown and Eleanor Griffith Brown Trust. This sale not only includes two tracts of real estate (one with a ranch home and one empty lot) but it also includes a very nice collection of antiques & collectibles, Waterford crystal, Lalique, antique glassware, Belleek, and more! The coins & currency, jewelry, sterling and collector toys will be sold in a separate ring so come prepared by bringing a friend! You won’t want to miss this sale for the couple who started Browns Furniture in 1951!
And be sure to mark your calendars for Friday, July 26th and Saturday, July 27th as we head to the Wright City Lions Club for the auction of the Hazel B. Colley Estate. Dave has estimated that there are well over 2,000 pieces in Hazel’s collection of Staffordshire figurines, Nippon, English Copper Lustre, Majolica, furniture, glassware and 1950’s soda coolers. A complete list of the items and which day they will be sold can be found on our web site at www.thornhillauction.com.
So enjoy your county fair, support your local youth and join us at our auctions. We’re sure to have something for everyone!
Clerk and Cashier