Mercer County’s annual 4-H Fair will shine again at Howell Farm

Eric Sucar
Twelve-year old Sean Levens of Middletown watches two of the large cows on hand at the Monmouth Livestock tent at the 40th Annual Monmouth County Fair held at the East Freehold Park show grounds on July 24. The Fair was presented by the Monmouth County Park System and the Monmouth County 4-H.

Mercer County’s 4-H Fair is a tradition that will be celebrating its 101st year in 2019.

The annual fair is returning to the Howell Living History Farm for a two-day event on Aug. 3-4.

“The 4-H Fair is the showcase for all of the club work the 4-H members have been doing throughout the previous year. We have a variety of 4-H clubs throughout the county who work with volunteer leaders and learn new things,” said Chad Ripberger, a Mercer County 4-H agent. “They develop, grow or raise new projects. The fair gives them an opportunity to showcase their project work to the public.”

According to officials, 4-H is a youth development program operated by Rutgers Cooperative Extension, that provides research-based, hands-on learning experiences for youth in Mercer County.

The fair will be held on Aug. 3 from 10 a.m -8 p.m. and on  Aug. 4  from 10 a.m -4 p.m. Admission and parking are free.

There are “Open Division” categories for public entries from the community. According to 4-H officials, people do not need to be a 4-H member to exhibit during the fair. People can showcase arts and crafts, photography, foods, gardening, clothing and woodworking in the open division.

“We have always had this open division allows the public to have an opportunity to win a blue ribbon at the fair. This is our biggest public event for the year,” Ripberger said. “If we have pleasant weather over the two days we can easily draw 5,000 attendees.”

He said the big red barn at the farm is fully filled inside with the projects from 4-H members and the public.

This will be the 12th year the fair is being held at the Howell Farm in Hopewell Township.

“This is just a terrific setting for the type of activities that attract young families. This is great partnership between two county organizations,” Ripberger said. “We compliment our resources with Howell Farm.”

Officials said Mercer County is also providing a free round-trip shuttle service to the fair from the Mercer County 4-H office at 1440 Parkside Ave. in Ewing.

During the fair there will be children’s activities, hay rides, animal shows, music, farm tours and exhibits will all take place on both days.

“I hope people walk away with a better scope of things that Rutgers Cooperative Extension offers to the public. We have some many clubs a part of 4-H and is neat that we get to showcase so many during this fair for the community,” Ripberger said.

For more information about 4-H or entering projects in the fair, contact Altaira Bejgrowicz at 609-989-6830 or [email protected].