HAMMOND The 73rd annual Hammond Fair began Friday with dairy and vegetable judging, an off-road soap box derby and an ice cream social.
One of the oldest in the region, the fair has no commercial rides or games, and that is just the way folks like it, organizer Joan V. Hadlock said Friday.
Its strictly for the kids, said Mrs. Hadlock. They have a good time, and they love to see the animals.
Throughout the day, children of all ages flocked from barn to barn to pet llamas, cows, chickens, goats, pigs and sheep.
I love the animals, said Zoe J. Babcock, 6, as she reached to pet a duckling. I especially love to show my cow.
Zoes calf, Jenna, participated in the showmanship and class judging at the fair. Born in March, Jenna was recognized as a standout in the Guernsey category.
I am very happy, Zoe said while proudly holding up her blue ribbon.
Many children came from outside Hammond to show their livestock.
Carter G. Pierce, 14, came from Heuvelton to show off his Suffolk sheep, Honey.
Carter said his family has raised sheep on their hobby farm since 1995.
This is his eighth year showing them.
You want to make them look as big as possible, so you square them underneath by holding their head so they have a nice straight back, but also making sure not to cover them up, he said.
There is a lot that goes into to training them. You have to prepare them to be comfortable with humans, wash them and clip them, he said.
Carter said the sheep like the washing least of all. They struggle and tire themselves out, he said.
But as a treat, the sheep receive better-quality hay at the fair than at home.
The fair continues today with poultry, rabbit, sheep and goat judging. There also will be a musical cake walk, a decorated-cake contest and an animal dress-up parade.
Admission is $3, and refreshments will be available at the food stand.
For more information, call Mrs. Hadlock at 324-5517.