Hardy Murphy Coliseum was a flurry of activity Tuesday afternoon as participants entered their projects and livestock into the various competitions that will take place over the course of this week. One of the first groups of animals to be judged will be the rabbits with the awards ceremony Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. The students involved in the 4-H rabbit project are responsible for a great number of the rabbits being shown this year. Currently there are eight students involved in the group and each student will be showing at least one rabbit.
“We meet once a month to talk about the rabbits and find out about proper care for them,” said Teresa Norton, director of the rabbit project. “This past meeting we talked about what you have to do to show at the fair.”
The program also teaches the students about responsibility.
“I encourage all the kids to come up daily to take care of their rabbits while they are showing at the fair,” Norton said. “They refill their food and water and clean out the cages, but they don’t absolutely have to. I want to show the kids that it’s not someone else’s responsibility to care for them.
In addition to showing at the Carter County Free Fair, the group shows all around the state, particularly those sponsored by the American Rabbit Breeders Association. At ARBA shows, rabbits are judged based on a “standard of perfection” for each breed. There are currently 50 breeds of rabbits recognized by the association.
In addition to rabbits, poultry will also be judged Wednesday. The indoor exhibits as well as the petting zoo will open to the public at 3 p.m. The official opening ceremonies will be held at 6:30 p.m. with free watermelon compliments of the Carter County Commissioners. The pet contests will begin at 7 p.m. with contests that include the terrapin derby, best dressed pet and weenie dog races.