Harvey County Fair participants brave the heat

Chad Frey
The Kansan

Jackson Wendling  was working hard the morning of July 30, preparing his three entries in the cattle shows at the Harvey County Fair. But make no mistake, even as the sweat was dripping from his brow the 13-year-old from Halstead was happy to be in the livestock barn on west First Street in Newton during a hot summer day. 

Kids enjoyed visiting kids at the Harvey County Fair on July 29

"I am so glad that we are able to have a fair this year," Wendling said. "We did not get to have one last year."

And he's been working towards this moment for more than a year, raising Angus cattle to show at the fair. 

That heat that had him sweating July 30 was expected to hit more than 100 degrees — just as it had the day before during livestock checkin. The forecast contains more of those 100 degree days for the fair. 

Part of the hard work Wendling, and other show participants, will have to do this weekend will be finding ways to keep their animals cool. The sun may not shine inside the livestock building, but the metal building on west First Street can get pretty hot. 

"Me, I can drink water and stay hydrated." Wendling said. "For the livestock, it is rinsing them down and making sure they have a lot of water."

Wendling is showing three animals at the fair — two angus steers and an angus Heiffer.  

4-H Livestock checkins were July 29 for the Harvey County Fair.

"I am trying to win showmanship," Wendling said. 

Enrollment in most categories at the fair is a little down this year. That has happened for a number of reasons — the pandemic is a part of that. In the area of livestock, however, there are more factors at work. 

"We are down a little bit but we are close to average," said Ryan Flaming, Harvey County Kansas State Research and Extension Agent. "A lot of it varies on when kids age out of 4-H. Kids come in and out. I have heard of a couple of kids that decided to just not come this year."

Woodworking project for 4-Hers were entered and judged July 29 at the Harvey County Fair.

He said some animals did not gain enough weight, and the recent heat wave may have played into that. Each class of livestock has a minimum weight for sale at the end of the fair. 

The fair will continue through the weekend, with evening events of the annual Newton Saddle Club Rodeo on July 31 and the Demolition Derby on Aug. 1. 

The Harvey County Fair parade was downtown July 29.

Remaining fair calendar: 


9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.   Harvey County Market in the Park 

9:00-11:00 a.m.  Ag Fest, Athletic Park  *Know Your Farmer – Know Your Food* Harvey County Farm Bureau

9:15 a.m.;  Pedal Pull Registration

10:00 a.m.; Pedal Pull starts

10a.m. -2 p.m.; 4-H Project Talks and Demonstrations – Commercial building

10:30 a.m.; Registration for Turtle Races, Athletic Park 

10:30 a.m.; Ag Fest – Dairy Presentation 

11:00 a.m.; Turtle Races sponsored by Harvey County Farm Bureau

11:00 a.m.; Cornhole Tournament Registration

1:00 p.m.; Cornhole Tournament begins

3:00 p.m.;  Charity Tug O War / Mud Volleyball Tournament – Next to demo pit

3:00 p.m.; Dog Costume Contest / Bucket Calf Costume Contest

5:00 p.m.; 4-H/FFA & Open Sheep Judging, Showmanship and Sheepless Sheep Showmanship; 4-H/FFA & Open Breeding Meat Goat followed by 4-H Market & Showmanship 

8:00 p.m.; Newton Saddle Club Rodeo  – Adults $10-Children $5 (6-12)-(Children 5 & Under FREE) 


8:00 a.m.; Farm Bureau / MKC Breakfast (tentative)

9:00 a.m.; Church Service – Band Shell – The Gathering

9:00 a.m.; 4-H/FFA & Open Dairy Goat Show; 4-H/FFA & Open Dairy Show

9 am – noon; 4-H Project Talks and Demonstrations – Commercial building

10:00 a.m.; 4-H Bucket Calf Interviews

Noon;  4-H Bucket Calf Show

1:00 p.m.; 4-H/FFA & Open Beef Show; Youth Horticulture Judging

6:30 p.m.; Demo Derby  — Adults $10 • Children $5 (11 & under) • Kids 3 & under are free 

8:00 p.m.;  Non-Sale Livestock released


8:30 a.m.; Poultry & Rabbit Cleanup

9:00 a.m.; Livestock Judging Registration

9:30 a.m; Livestock Judging Contest

11:00 a.m.; Round Robin Practice

1:15 p.m.; Registration for Barnyard Olympics

1:30 p.m.; Barnyard Olympics

4 – 6 p.m.; All other exhibits released

5:30 p.m.; Round Robin Showmanship Contest

6:00 p.m.; Watermelon Feed 

7:00 p.m.; 4-H Livestock & Champion 4-H Food Auction