To many 4-H participants, the fair is the Super Bowl. Their time to shine. The chance to earn championships and see their hard work pay oﬀ .
What about those that aren’t in 4-H or the ones that can’t be? That is where open class comes into play.
Open class gives those that aren’t of the proper age to be in 4-H a chance to showcase their talents in various ﬁ elds. Many open class entrants come in the horticulture, welding and other display categories. However, there are still a few each year that prefer to exhibit their showmanship abilities in the animal events, such as the case of Bonnie Seboe of Tilden.
Seboe took part in the rabbit competition at this year’s Antelope County Fair. It was her ﬁrst time taking part in the event and she had a very simple reason for wanting to do it.
“Because I got the rabbit and it’s so cute and I decided I wanted to show him,” she said matter-of-factly.
When she decided it was her desire to show oﬀ her cute companion, she looked into the open class at the fair. Open class gives everyone a chance to compete that doesn’t meet the 4-H requisite of ages ﬁve through 18. Seboe, who is now in her 70s, decided it would be the proper opportunity to show oﬀ her rabbit.
“Most of the time you don’t get anyone much under ﬁ ve because they are too small to do the projects,” explained Alice Morrison, chairperson for open class. “We get people as high as 89 bringing stuﬀ in.”
The fact that few people, such as Seboe, participate in the showing events is an added joy for the fair.
“We maybe get three or four people a year,” Morrison said. “It’s nice for the younger kids especially to take and be able to show their own calf and not have to be in 4-H.”
While the participant list wasn’t quite as large in the open class as it was in the 4-H competition, that didn’t make the event any less exciting or nerve-wracking for Seboe.
“I don’t know, I just was nervous,” she explained.
The fair wasn’t Seboe’s ﬁrst attempt at showing. She participated in 4-H as a young kid in Madison County, but then lost contact with the group as her kids and grand kids didn’t participate themselves. She explained this year’s event as one more hurrah.
“It’s like my second childhood,” she said with a smile.