COLUMBUS, Kan. —
Hogs, sheep and goats at the Cherokee County Fair had been judged earlier in the day.
In the evening, it was all about people — and dessert.
Wednesday night is a highlight for many people at the annual fair, with the dessert auction, fashion show, fair coronation and ice cream social.
Nick Meyer, of Weir, had vanilla, chocolate and another flavor of ice cream that he couldn’t immediately recall.
“It’s pretty damn good,” he said.
Meyer said the ice cream social and livestock sale — the latter starting around 6:15 p.m. Saturday — are two events he never misses at the fair.
“A lot of people, this is all they think about when the fair comes,” Meyer said.
Ken and Helen Kelley, who live outside of Columbus, were in line for ice cream Wednesday. They said they look forward to the fair each year and come several nights.
“I like seeing the 4-H exhibits,” Ken Kelley said.
The dessert auction is a fundraiser for the 4-H scholarship fund, said auctioneer Tom Wimmer. He said he and Clark Hall held a similar auction at their church several years back and they thought it would work well at the fair.
Terry North, of Columbus, paid $80 for cookies. He was asked if the expense made the cookies taste better.
“You bet,” he said. “It always does.”
He said the 4-H scholarship fund was a good cause.
During election years, there is a political dimension to the dessert auction — candidates who buy a dessert are given the opportunity to make a brief political statement.
Rick Schultz, running as a Republican for the 1st District County Commission position, bought two desserts, with bids of $70 and $90. Wimmer offered some good-natured ribbing.
“Wasn’t he running to cut taxes?” Wimmer asked, without waiting for an answer. “That’s what I thought.”
A cake made by Ronda Herrenbruck received a lot of attention.
“We got a minute and 30 seconds to get this bought, or else it will get all melty,” Hall said. “It’s chocolate-strawberry delight. Low-cal.”
The audience laughed at the obvious fib. It sold for $300.
After 30 years helping to organize the Cherokee County Fair, this is the last fair for Phyllis Kriesel, with 4-H. She is retiring later this year and moving to Nebraska. A display in the 4-H building recognizes her contributions and she also was honored with a cake served at the ice cream social.
The dessert auction was interrupted for the fashion show and naming of 4-H fair royalty. Zoie Bressee, 9, of Columbus, was named fair queen, and Bryce Davis, 8, of Columbus, is fair king.