Although the Kansas State Fairgrounds were less crowded over the weekend then in previous years, the pens were full, as were the arenas.
For those who raise animals, showing them is important. Youth competitors throughout Kansas look forward to the Grand Drive at the end of each summer. Although most of the fair shut down, the Grand Drive continued.
"Some kids like doing sports," said Macey Lewis, 13, of Douglass, Kansas. "To me, this is my sport."
Macey, who is a part of 4-H, brought Princess with her to the breeding heifer showcase. This 20-month-old Angus was listening to Macey as she walked with her through the arena.
"It’s fun," she said. "I get to work with my animals and see my friends, who I call family."
Princess showed in the breeding heifers category. In addition to Angus, there were Chianina, Gelbvieh, Maine-Anjou, Charolais and others.
"We were a little concerned that it (the Grand Drive) would be shut down," said Laura Wingert, 14, of Ottawa. "But I am happy it wasn’t."
Jenn Galloway, the Kansas State Fair’s competition and exhibits director, said there were quite a bit of new competitors.
"We’re getting a lot of complements," Galloway said. "We combined everything into three days."
According to Galloway, competitions are important for youth.
"It teaches them a lot of life lessons and life skills," she said.
This year’s show included beef, meat goats, sheep and swine. There was breeding and market as well as showmanship for each animal. This weekend, more than 800 youth showed 3000 animals in the fair’s arenas.
Chloe Voet, 17, of Home, Kansas. has shown at the Kansas State Fair for ten years.
"It’s a blast," Chloe said as she primmed Squirt, her Charolais heifer. "I love getting to see all my friends."