Fair concludes on sunny note

Jolisa Canty Staff writer

October 12, 2013

LUMBERTON — For Dalton Sells, the fair is more than just a place to enjoy rides, munch collard sandwiches and socialize with friends and family, it’s a place to compete.

On Saturday, the ninth and final day of the 67th annual Robeson Regional Agricultural Fair, Sells and his lamb, Wise, won the Senior Division of the Regional 4-H Youth Lamb Show and took home the grand championship.

The 17-year-old high school senior traveled two hours from Oakboro to show off his lamb.

“This is a good show, a good arena and good competition,” said Sells, who has began competing in lamb shows about three years ago. “I’m happy I won; nobody likes getting beat.”

Along with a trophy and ribbons, Sells won $100 in cash that will go to his school, West Stanly High School.

This year’s show consisted of two categories, Showmanship and Lamb Premiums.

Showmanship is the an evaluation of how the trainer handles his or her lamb and the trainer’s knowledge of lambs. The Lamb Premium is about the quality of the meat.

Twelve-year-old Fiona Walsh has been participating in lamb shows for about two years.

Her lambs Elf and Nancy are mix-breaded Sulffolk and Dorper lambs. This year, she placed fourth in the Intermediate Showmanship Division.

“My mom made me come this year,” Walsh said.

But Walsh said training lambs is something that she might consider for a career.

“It’s such a good opportunity for kids to learn about the responsibilities of taking care of animals,” said Michelle Shooter, coordinator of the Region 4-H Youth Lamb Show. “They have to feed them and raise them.”

Shooter has coordinated the lamb show at the fair for seven years.

“It’s great to see them grow and learn from year to year,” Shooter said.

Other events from Saturday’s finale included the 19th annual Chicken Bog Cook-off, the Youth Steak Cook-off, the 37th annual Diaper Derby, the “U Got Talent!” show, Pedal Tractor Drag Racing and the American Racing Mowers Association Nation Championship finals.

Fair President Allen Faircloth said, despite all of the rain and the fair having to close for one day, he believes this year was a success.

“I was shooting for a goal of 100,000 attendance rate, but because of the rain, that’s not going to happen.” Faircloth said. “I hope to meet 75,000.”

The final numbers won’t be available until Monday, but Saturday’s crowd was strong with people enjoying mild temperatures and partly sunny skies.

One of the biggest success days was on Thursday when there was free admission for people who brought five cans of food to be donated to the Robeson County Church and Community Center Food Pantry.

All of the money raised at the fair will go back into support the event and the fairgrounds, or will be donated to community organizations such as the United Way of Robeson County.

“We appreciate all of the people who came out this year and we had a wonderful time participating in all of the events,” Faircloth said.