Fair Events for Youth

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Calling men, women, and children of all ages; the Lee Regional Fair is taking place this coming week and you don’t want to miss out on the fun! The Lee Regional Fair offers more than just good food and thrilling rides for young people. There are plenty of fun and educational opportunities for everyone at the fair. Here are a few of the special youth-related events coordinated by N.C. Cooperative Extension and other local youth organizations.

Healthy Food Demonstrations: N.C. Cooperative Extension, Lee County Center will present healthy food demonstrations in the Commercial Exhibit Hall. Visit Sarah Perry, EFNEP Educator, on Friday evening to learn about the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and sample a nutritious class recipe. EFNEP is a federal nutrition education program that helps address the challenges families face when introducing healthy changes through nutrition education, cooking classes, physical activity strategies, and shopping on a limited budget.

Did you know that eating like those who live in the Mediterranean region has been shown to promote health and decrease the risk of many chronic diseases? Alyssa Anderson, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent with N.C. Cooperative Extension, Lee County Center will have prepared recipe samples to taste and additional resources from NC State Extension’s popular “Med Instead of Meds” program. Stop by the commercial hall to learn more about this delicious way of eating.

The Agricultural Exhibit Hall will be open all week and offers many opportunities for youth and adults to display their talents in a variety of areas including garden vegetables, flowers, artwork, crafts, baked goods, scarecrows, and much more. Educational Booths will also be set up in the exhibit hall by a number of local youth and non-profit organizations. Each of the booths present an educational message in a fun and creative format.

Tobacco Looping Competition: Looping was once considered an art…the string had to be tight enough to hold the tobacco onto the sticks while it was curing and not so tight as to cut the leaves so they would fall off during curing. Tobacco is looped on wooden tobacco sticks, and then hung in the barn to cure. Once the barn was loaded, a wood fire would cure the tobacco for about a week. The Adult and Youth Tobacco Looping Competitions will have three-person teams, competing to see who can string a stick of tobacco the fastest and the best. Central Carolina Antique Power & Equipment Club (C-Cape) will host this event and prizes are sponsored by Carolina Farm Credit. The public is invited to try their hand at looping and help fill the authentic log tobacco barn at the Sanford Lions Club Fairgrounds. Tobacco grown and provided by Lee County’s Steve Thomas Farms. This event takes place on Wednesday, September 15, 2021.

Tobacco Tying Contest: Tobacco tying is the art of bundling multiple leaves together by banding the top stems to form a “hand.” The public is invited to help tie the tobacco into hands that has been cured in the old log tobacco barn at the Sanford Lions Club Fairgrounds during fair week on Sunday, September 19, 2021. The Tobacco Tying Contest is hosted by Central Carolina Antique Power & Equipment Club (C-Cape) and prizes will be sponsored by Carolina Farm Credit.

FFA Truck and Tractor Driving Contest: Open to FFA members, the youth truck and tractor driving contest at the Lee Regional Fair is a qualifying event and winners advance to FFA State competition. The purpose of the tractor driving contest is to demonstrate safe and efficient operation of farm tractors and equipment. FFA members will also compete in a Truck Driving Contest at the Fair. Also, a qualifying event for the State competition, the truck driving contest promotes interest, awareness, and safe operation of pickup trucks. All contestants must have a valid North Carolina driver’s license. The Tractor Driving Contest is hosted by Southern Lee and Lee County High School FFA chapters and N.C. Cooperative Extension, Lee County Center.

Are you an animal lover who would like to learn more about various local livestock and other animals right here in Lee County? If so, then these two events should be right up your alley. The Meat Goat Show will be held on Wednesday, September 15 at 6 p.m. in the Arena Barn and the following night the Steer and Heifer Show will be held at 6 p.m. in the Arena Barn.

4-H Traditional Latin Dance: The Magetsi 4-H Club performing a number of traditional Mexican dances, in full regalia standard for a celebration or fiesta. This performance will take place on Saturday on the amphitheater stage. The group is made up of Lee County students and led by Myrna Rodriguez. Magetsi 4-H Club has performed at numerous venues throughout North Carolina including the annual “La Fiesta Del Pueblo” in Raleigh.


Make sure to come out and join us at the Lee Regional Fair for these wonderful youth and family-friendly events! If you have any questions about the events listed here please call North Carolina Cooperative Extension of Lee County at (919) 775-5624.

Bill Stone is the County Extension Director for North Carolina Cooperative Extension in Lee County.