LOCKPORT – A variety of smiling farm animals sporting blue ribbons, blue skies and a midway, all behind a fence sporting the vaguely reminiscent rap theme “This Is How We Do It”.
This design, the winner of the 2013 Niagara County Fair logo contest, was drawn by 11-year-old Samantha Chilcott of Lockport, a 4-H member who will attend North Park Middle School next year. The Niagara County Fair will be held from July 31 to Aug. 4. Cornell Cooperative Extension’s logo/theme contest for the fair attracted more than 30 entries from local schoolchildren.
Samantha is the daughter of John and Kelly Chilcott.
“I love 4-H because I have met a lot of great people and have made a lot of friendships,” Samantha said. “Also I have learned a lot about what I love to do, which is riding the horses and working with the miniature horses.”
Samantha’s family bought her a miniature horse, named Spunky, when she was 7, and she soon began participating in the 4-H Fair, showing her miniature horse and then moving up to a full-size horse, riding Western-style. This year she will add a new animal – a Red Satin rabbit named Buttercup.
“The best part of 4-H is working with all the animals I love,” Samantha said. “My horse, Dakota, is boarded at Little Creek Ranch, and my trainer, Adele Beatty, teaches me so much. She’s the best. I ride Western, and I am starting to ride English, but I love to do barrel racing.”
She is a member of the Unbridled and Wild 4-H Club. JoAnne Paxon, parent leader of the club, said, “Sam is a role model for younger members because she participates in and tries everything. I don’t think the words, ‘I can’t’ are in Sam’s vocabulary. She shows miniature horses and regular horses, and wins championships in both. She rides English and Western, but her true love is rodeo.”
Outside of school, Samantha loves being with Dakota, playing volleyball, swimming and camping with her family.
As this year’s winner, Samantha will receive a $100 prize, two tickets to the Farm-City Breakfast and two weekly fair passes.
Samantha’s winning entry, as well as the top nine entries in the logo/theme contest, will be on display in the 4-H Training Center during the fair. Her mother said, “When Samantha heard she won, the first thing she said was, ‘I’m going to go the Farm-City Breakfast – for free. She didn’t even know what else she won.”
“Just her love for horses got her involved in 4-H,” she said of her daughter.
Samantha said the best part of the fair is all the people showing all their beautiful animals and the Milk Bar, where she will be volunteering to serve food with her club.
“Everyone should come to the Niagara County Fair to see how we do it and all of our blue ribbons,” Samantha said.
Each year, 27,000 people visit the fair, which is held at the Cornell Cooperative Extension/Niagara County Fairgrounds, 4487 Lake Ave.
Local 4-H members compete for a number of prizes, displaying their animals, homegrown produce and homemade crafts. In addition, there will be entertainment, vendors, food, rides and a midway. Admission is $3 per person, and parking is free.