Courtney Sauter’s summer wouldn’t be complete without the Silvana Fair.
The 4-H competitions, potato-sack races and community atmosphere have a special charm for the 17-year-old Arlington High School student.
“I’ve never missed this fair — ever,” said Courtney, who is president of the Arlington-based Bark-N-Time 4-H Dog Club. “It’s very down-to-earth. It makes me very happy. My family sometimes come out. My grandmas come out and watch. Kids from school go to watch.”
Courtney will be one of about 200 kids from 4-H and Future Farmers of America competing in the free fair July 28, now in its 71st year, held on a field behind Viking Hall in Silvana. The fair is expected to draw about 3,000 people.
At the Silvana event, they get first-hand experience showing animals for judges as practice for larger fairs around the region, including the Stanwood-Camano Fair (Aug. 3-5), Evergreen State Fair in Monroe (Aug. 23-Sept. 3) and the Washington State Fair in Puyallup (Aug. 31-Sept. 23).
“We like to get judges who are willing to work with kids,” said Darlene Strotz, a member of the fair’s board.
New this year, llamas will be shown at the fair. Other judging groups include dogs, cattle, goats, swine, sheep, rabbits and chickens.
“Last year we had a few llamas on display,” Strotz said. “Now, there’s a llama group in the 4-H club. They wanted to have their own showing.”
About 50 volunteers help run, set up and break down the fair. A lot of 4-H kids also help by putting up tents, shaded areas and fences in exchange for waived entry fees.
While animals are the focal point of the one-day fair, there also will be more than two dozen vendors, food, including sno-cones and root-beer floats from the Silvana Fire Department, games, exhibits and live music from Salt Grass Dirt Band, a local country band.
Courtney will be showing her 1-year-old French bulldog, Flapjack, on Saturday. She’s won overall champion of the competition twice. Afterward, she plans to check out the greased pole contest for kids 14 and younger at 12:15 p.m. Children climb to be the first to reach coupons at the top of the pole.
As president of Bark-n-Time 4-H Dog Club, she’s helped train other members of the club, who range in age from 6 to 18.
“I’ve done a lot over the years,” she said, “but seeing the kids do well — the kids I’ve helped train — to me, that’s the biggest deal.”
If you go
What: Silvana Fair
Where: Viking Hall, 1331 Pioneer Highway, Stanwood
When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 28
Here are schedule highlights for this year’s fair.
9 a.m.: Opening ceremony, flag raising, kids games
10 a.m.: Livestock judging begins
12:15 p.m.: Greased pole contest
12:30 p.m.: Salt Grass Dirt Band
1 p.m.: Judging continues