The change in the Alpena County Fair's date hasn't reduced what local 4-H members will be doing the summer.
The Alpena County 4-H Council has decided to have a youth expo July 31 through Aug. 4. The expo will include a market sale on Aug. 2 and will feature 4-H members fitting and showing their animals.
"Because of the time schedule for fair this year, it did put some restraints on some 4-H members who were working on projects five or six months ago," 4-H council member Leslie Davis said.
In October, the Alpena County Fair Board announced it was moving the fair to the first week of September because it couldn't renew a contract with Skerbeck Brothers for a carnival. The board signed on with Schmidt Amusements but Sept. 1-6 was the only available date. The fair previously was held early in August.
When announced, the date change was particularly concerning to those involved with 4-H. They said animal weights would be affected by the later date, which also would conflict with Labor Day and school for kids.
Davis said there are some anticipated benefits to having the youth expo separate from the fair. She said 4-H still will participate in the fair. Youth still can bring their animal to fair, breeds will be judged and there will be grandstand entries, craft projects, science projects, canning, baking and woodworking.
Not having the activities that will take place at the youth expo during the fair can put more focus on those activities, Davis said.
"It will actually free up our kids to do more with the community during fair week," she said.
The fair board's contract with Schmidt is only for one year, so a carnival - and subsequently a fair date - for 2011 is unknown. Davis said the 4-H council will decide the direction the organization takes next year when more information is available.
"We don't know what next year holds," she said.
Sean Harkins can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5688.