By: Melissa A. Kay
This July marks the impressive 49th year that the Morris County 4-H Fair has been delighting local residents with a wide array of amusement, activities, action, and sheer appreciation for the 4-H. Their motto of “Making the world a better place one member at a time” is something those personally involved take to heart, and this fun-filled Fair is a celebration of this sentiment in all its splendor.
From July 18-21, folks can come on down to Chubb Park in Chester, New Jersey for wholesome family-friendly fun, lots of activities and attractions, and enough food to fill ‘em up for the day. According to Kelly Dziak, the Morris County 4-H Program Associate, “The Fair typically attracts about 20,000 people from all over New Jersey and the surrounding areas.” With so many people coming together and celebrating, it is no surprise that the 4-H means a great deal to the community. “Hundreds of volunteers come together to make the Fair possible each year,” says Dziak, so it is a community effort resulting in entertainment and enjoyment for all.
As per Dziak, “The Fair is run by the Morris County 4-H Association which is made up of 4-H volunteers, club leaders, and parents. Chris Hallihan is a Board member for the Association, a proud parent of two active 4-H club members, and the Entertainment Coordinator for the Fair.” Dziak’s role is to advise the 4-H Association, oversee and manage the many volunteers, coordinate the various events happening during the Fair, and provide office support in set-up, running, and take-down of the Fair. The Morris County 4-H office is also supported by Kathy Murarik (4-H Program Associate), Bridget Cirillo-Kratt (Administrative Assistant), and several summer interns. It takes a village, as they say, and Morris County proves just that as they execute this extraordinary event.
So, what can visitors expect this July at the Morris County 4-H Fair? The summer scene will be spectacular, with amusing and educational animal shows (dog, goat, horse, poultry, rabbit, cavy, small animals), live music and other performances and demonstrations, tasty food including BBQ chicken and root beer floats, rides (hot air balloon, pony, hay), petting zoos, contests (watermelon eating, cake decorating, dress-a-pet), and much more. This year, some never-before seen attractions include the new 4-H clubs showcasing their projects, including the Busy Bees 4-H Beekeeping Club and the World Exploration 4-H Culture Club. Plus, a local woodcarver will be demonstrating his artistic skills to the public, a real must-see. The specific events schedule can be found on the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station website at www.morris.njaes.rutgers.edu/4h/fair/ and at the 4-H information booth on the days of the Fair. Rain or shine, the Fair will run as planned, so don’t worry if the weather’s a little wet. Fun can be found under the sun or an umbrella!
The Morris County 4-H Fair is a special summer event that is truly important to the community, as it has been for nearly half a century. As Dziak explains, “The Morris County 4-H Fair reflects the interests of our county’s youth residents. At the Fair, visitors will see our kids’ passion for community service, science, animals, arts, engineering, and much more. The Fair is a celebration of the hard work our 4-H members have put into their projects over the past year. It also serves as a way for the wider community to connect with these passionate youth, learn from them, and discover a new passion for themselves. The Fair offers summer family fun, but it does not stop there. 4-H is a year-long program that is built on the interests of youth and the passion of adult volunteers to help youth achieve their goals.”
Admission to the Morris County 4-H Fair is free with a $5 donation suggested for parking if possible, $10 on Friday after 6PM for the fireworks display. For more information about the 4-H Fair, 4-H clubs, or about becoming a 4-H volunteer, visit the 4-H Fair website or contact the 4-H office at 973-285-8301 or firstname.lastname@example.org. All 4-H programs are offered to all youth, grades K-12, on an age-appropriate basis without regard to race, color, sex, national origin, or disability.