The happy screams of kids on spinning rides; the smell of fried onions, popcorn and lemonade; the cheers of people yelling for an eight-second ride at the rodeo and the calls of the auctioneer in the livestock ring are gone, but the happy memories remain of the 41st annual Verde Valley Fair.
More than 40,000 men, women and children of all ages, many in strollers, walked through the gate and enjoyed the five days of the fair with its flashing lights, fair foods, games, exhibits, animals and smiling faces, despite the high winds.
Nearly everyone in the Verde Valley looks forward to the first week in May. The fair is the premier event of the year.
While some enjoyed the rides, others walked around the exhibits seeing who won purple, blue, red or white ribbons for their animals, artwork,
homecrafts, photography, canned items, flowers and baked goods.
“It was a great fair. Everyone seemed to have a good time,” Linda Harrison, fair manager, said.
Some of the top winners in the barns were Tyler Johnson with his Grand Champion Market Steer. The Vaughn Law Offices bought the 1,300-pound steer for $6,825.
“I bought the steer for two reasons. I have nine children to feed and we’ll certainly use it. Most importantly, I’ve come to know Tyler [Johnson] and I wanted him to see the best result for the hard efforts he put in. I also knew whatever we paid for the steer, the money would be used responsibly,” Justin Vaughn said.
Winning Grand Champion Market Swine was Shayna Sterrett. Her 270-pound pig sold for $3,915 to the Cowboy Shop.
Gianina San Giovanni won Grand Champion Market Lamb and it sold to Climate Control for $2,234.
Nic SanGiovanni won Grand Champion Meat Goat. Larry Green Chevrolet bought San Giovanni’s goat for $810.
Reserve Champion winners were Eric Banuelos with his market steer, Anthony Ramos with his market swine and Cheyene Robinson with her market lamb.
“It was another great Youth Livestock Auction. The businesses and local families really come out and support the kids of the Verde Valley,” Harrison said.
This year’s auction brought in more than $290,000. The top five buyers were Climate Control, Salt River Materials Group-Phoenix Cement, Rocky Construction, Larry Green Chevrolet and the Cowboy Shop, according Karen Stearle, fair public relations director.
Other winners included Katie Radosevic, who won Senior Showmanship Caprine, Best of Show Angora Goat, Small Stock Senior Round Robin, Best Overall Educational Exhibit and Outstanding Public Speaking.
Marc Buy won Best of Show Rabbit. Cheyenne Robinson also took home the Large Stock Round Robin buckle. Raven Sauders was the winner of Poultry Best of Show. Rate of Gain winner was Tanner Rezzonico.
Best of Show awards went to Andrew Collins for his pigeon, Jenna Jones for her calf, Tony Garcia for his waterfowl, Summer Davis for her pygmy goat, Elizabeth Skornik with her breeding sheep, Seth Terry with his breeding swine, Laura Chandler-Lockett with her breeding beef, Victor Augilar with his dairy cattle and Josh Wheeler with his dairy goat.
Animal entries weren’t the only big winners. Children from all over the valley participated in the school art program. Each child was awarded a ribbon for their efforts.
Other winners include:
Best of Class – Floriculture: Tall bearded iris, Marge Larson.
Best of Class – Potted plants: Kaki Rowland.
Best of Show – Quick breads: Barbara Chavez.
Best of Show – Cakes [chocolate cake]: Doris Jenkins.
Best of Show – Canned sauce [sloppy joe sauce]: Phillip Kyle.
Best of Show – Cookies [chocolate chip]: Nicole Scranton.
Best of Class – Canned fruit juice [tomato juice]: Phillip Kyle.
Blue Ribbon – Bed-sized quilt: Raven Saunders.
Blue Ribbon – Christmas decoration [ornament]: Daniel Gillis.
Blue Ribbon – Jewelry: Lynda Pierce.
Best of Class – Digital photography: Susan Hallesy.
Best of Show – Fine arts ceramics: Wayne St. John.
Best of Show – Fiber arts [rug]: Linda Dettman.
Winner of the Crazy Eddie Award – Fine arts: Ron Saylars.
Although this year’s fair is now just a great memory and things are being put away, swept and wrapped up, Future Farmers of America and 4-H members are already planning for the 42nd Verde Valley Fair. It’s only a few days less than one year away.
“We’ll be back and so will the fun,” Stearle said.
For further information, call the fair office at 634-3