Residents are invited to see the results of hours of hard work put in by local youth and adults alike.

The Benewah County Fair kicks off officially at 8:30 a.m., Thursday, August 19 with junior showings and the opening of all indoor exhibits.

This year comes after a record-breaking auction year which resulted in more than $150,000 in bids going towards the youth who put their time into raising various livestock.

Money earned from selling livestock has proven to be instrumental for teens gearing up for college or students and their families who are preparing for the upcoming school year.

“The buyers want to support the kids, and the kids have used those funds in the past to buy their first cars, for some families it’s back to school money, college tuition and so on. They definitely don’t waste it,” UI extension educator Gail Silkwood said. “They are learning good financial skills and learning to be contributing community members as they grow older.”

“We’ve also had kids who have used the money to start their own herd or flocks of beef cattle, sheep or goats. It’s neat to see they’ve re-invested that money back into their future,” Silkwood said.

The fair has been an annual tradition for youngsters for decades, showing their skills in a variety of projects from raising livestock to arts and crafts, and even outdoor sports like archery.

No matter what category local youngsters participate in, they are contributing to a long list of success and entrepreneurship by participating in this year’s fair.

“This is for the kids, for the county, for the town and keeping tradition alive,” fair board member Kristi Cooper said. “I want to see it keep going and see my grand kids have what I had.”

The traditional style of the fair has also garnered the fair board praise over the years from various visitors and judges. Board secretary/treasurer Jodi Dundas said she hears the county fair is like stepping back in time.

“Unlike a lot of other county fairs, we don’t have a carnival here,” Dundas said. “It’s just about being proud of what we do, what we enter in the fair, and being proud of our kids. It’s that step back in time, small town kind of county fair.”

“We have judges that come from different places, and they brag about our fair every time,” she continued.

At the time of this publication, fair organizers will be wrapping up the entry of all livestock exhibits. Those interested can enter their livestock from 8 a.m. to Noon and 2 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, August 18 (today) at the Benewah County Fairgrounds.

Thursday, August 19 and Friday, August 20 will feature multiple categories of livestock showings. Friday will feature the Round Robin event as well as awards. The buyer’s appreciation breakfast, livestock auction, dog show, horse exhibition and youth barn dance will be on Saturday, August 21.

Sunday, August 22 will feature Cow Patty Bingo and exhibits will be released.

For more information, contact the Extension office at 208-245-2422.

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