By Melanie Yingst
August 13, 2014
MIAMI COUNTY — Nine-year-old Braden Zekas’ beef project “Popeye” playfully pleaded with the audience to “Eat. More. Chicken.” during the first Barnyard Olympics at the Miami County Fair on Wednesday afternoon.
Miami County 4-H exhibitors got creative with the animals for a light hearted, laugh filled afternoon when they dressed them up in various costumes for the “Beef Fun Day” at the fair.
Zekas said he and his grandmother Mary Kay Hughes came up with the theme which included his very own chicken costume as a homage to the popular Chick-fil-a commercials.
“I was talking with my grandma and we came up with chickens for the cow,” he said, sweating under a his feathered costume.
Zekas won the junior division of the costume contest and received a gift card and certificate. It is his first year of 4-H and he exhibited market chickens and a beef feeder.
Kaitlyn Thompson, 18, of Troy, said she gleaned inspiration from a fair favorite for her market steer “Thunder’s” costume. Thunder’s sunglasses and Hawaiian lei and grass skirt was the overall favorite of the costume contest in the show ring.
“I was just sitting there sipping on my strawberry lemonade and I thought something tropical would work,” she said. “We ran to Wal-Mart real fast and got him ready in five minutes.”
Thompson’s steer Thunder stole a few sips of the cold drink as he stood in the show ring.
Miami County Beef Queen Brianna Ellish, 16, of Bethel High School and Miami Valley CTC helped announce all the show participants which was started to help promote the beef show at the county fair.
“I think it’s fun and creative,” Ellish said. “It’s just a fun day out here with your cows and relax with your cows before the fair is over.”
Other events included, “Cow Hole” and bobbing for apples “Steer Style” and other fun activities. Many businesses and junior fair supporters donated items for prizes for the winners of the fair’s first “Barnyard Olympics.”
The following 4-H members participated in the costume contest: Katelynn Wallace, Garrett Warner, Brenna Newton, Alex Ford, Vanessa Ford, Caitlyn Cobb, Emma Sutherly and Sam Sutherly.