by Carson Gerber For the Pharos-Tribune
---- — PERU – What do you get when you bring together a hog, a barrel and a giant pit full of mud?
For starters, you get a big mess. Second, you get a new event at this year’s Miami County 4-H Fair.
It’s called hog mud wrestling and it’s poised to be a big hit with spectators.
Four-person teams attempt to wrestle down a hog and dump it inside a barrel sitting in the middle of the mud pit. Whichever team does this the fastest wins.
If you’re looking for a little less rowdy event, though, there’s plenty of other stuff to do throughout the week-long fair.
The annual fair kicks off Sunday and runs through Saturday, offering lots of activities, music, 4-H projects and food.
“The fair schedule is similar to past ones, but that doesn’t mean it gets old,” said Miami County Extension Director Gary Horner. “There’s lots of good events and lots of fun.”
Extension educator Kimberly Frazier said more than 600 kids enrolled this year to participate in a slew of 4-H projects ranging from cooking, crafts, photography and livestock.
Some new student projects this year give kids a chance to think up rules and regulations for a sport of their own creation.
“We’ve got a world that’s fanatical about sports and this project gives 4-Hers a chance to make up their own,” Frazier said.
Then there’s the new project called “People in My World.” Frazier said students choose a country or culture to study and then create a display documenting it.
Frazier said one of the highlights at the fair for her personally is the crazy cookie contest, where anyone can pay a small fee to enter one of their wild cookie concoctions.
“We have some very zealous cookie bakers out there, so it’s always pretty competitive,” she said. “It’s a fun contest.”
Money raised at the event goes towards a program that provides books to children, she said.
Frazier said she anticipates thousands to swarm to the fairgrounds this year for nightly concerts, shows and demolition derbies.
“It actually seems like millions come, but I’m sure it’s not that crazy,” she said with a laugh. “It’s an awesome time. We’re always exhausted by the end of it, but it’s always worth it.
“There’s literally something for everyone at this fair, so come on out,” Frazier said.
Carson Gerber can be reached at 765-854-6739, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.