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Contests test the limits of fairgoers

Article Date: 
9 August, 2013 (All day)

A multitude of volunteers show up every year to help pull off the best array of fair games in the state.  
The best thing about fair contests in Morgan is that most of them cost nothing to participate in but herald fabulous prizes.  
A variety of challenges were held in the contest tent including the Lego Challenge, Paper Clip Challenge, food eating contests, Puzzle Challenge and Straw Challenge.  These contests were held over the three-day period, some with specific ages and others open to all participants.  Each contest offered the winner amazing prizes like cash, Lego sets and Android tablets.  
Everywhere you looked the last three days of the fair there were smiling people running around trading up, taking pictures, tackling obstacles and chuckin’ cantaloupe.  Contests included: Trade Up Contest, Photo Scavenger Hunt, Cantaloupe Chuckin’, Fair’s Amazing Race, Family Obstacle, Free Throw, Geo Cache, Glider Throw, and Human Battleship. Each pitted fairgoers against one another in friendly competition. 
The Photo Scavenger Hunt was a new event this year and organizer Jennifer Vesper commented on how fun it was seeing people get really creative in accomplishing their goal.  Participants ran around asking random strangers for piggy back rides and found ways to fit the whole team into small spaces.  Teams were awarded with movie theater gift certificates.
Torrie Hawkins has been volunteering at the fair for the past six years and even though she doesn’t live in Morgan, she loves coming up to help.  Along with many other members of Kim Turner’s family, she spends hours volunteering to make our fair a success.  This year Hawkins helped with many of the contest tent events.  She laughed about many fun fair memories, but the memory that stands out most is when her dad threw up at a food eating contest.  Kim’s friends are also actively involved.  Amanda Hadlock says she got involved with the baby contest specifically to help her friend.  
The Turner family has overseen the fair activities for 12 years, and this year they are handing over the reins to a new family.  Turner began her years of volunteering at the baby contest.  She took her son Easton to the baby contest years ago and was disappointed with the lack of activities at the fair.  Turner saw the need for more activities, realized it would take a volunteer to accomplish this and stepped up to the plate.  Since then she has added activities each year to appeal to different ages and interests.  She sought to offer something for everyone and the fairgoers have appreciated her work.  
With a dozen years of experience, no single memory sticks out, but a conglomeration of happy memories of providing activities for families.  When Turner talks of bake offs or remembers “Fear Factor” contests with individuals eating grasshoppers, she fondly thinks of the fun the fair has brought over the years.  It seems each event brought some different reaction and entertainment.  
It has become a family event.  When Addie, Kim’s 8-year-old daughter, found out her mom would not be over the fair events anymore, she cried.  “It’s all they’ve ever known,” Turner explains of her years of volunteering.  Easton and Addie have volunteered for the fair their entire lives.  They work throughout the year helping their mom plan and prepare activities, often testing new crafts.  At the fair they proudly wear their volunteer shirts and carry boxes, sort items, hand out crafts and whatever other things they can find to help with.  The Turners have introduced volunteerism as a way of life for their children and encourage others to as well.  
Kim may be handing in her activities hat, but is not leaving the fair.  Kim and her husband Eric will now take on the challenge of being co-chairs for the livestock committee.  
The fair events will be split into three different parts.  Jessica Jorgensen will oversee the make and take activities and the contest tent.  Jamie and Gina Grandpre and their family will be in charge of the other events taking place throughout the fair.  Carrie Lane will oversee the kids’ games.  
Kim and Eric are already stepping into their new role identifying potential Junior Livestock participants for next year.  They are setting up mentoring for participants who are new and have little or no knowledge of what it takes.  Call them at (801) 781-0337 to get more information and to get started.  Steers need to be started in late September or October, so if you are interested, call them soon to get information.
Morgan County is very grateful for the years of service Kim Turner has given, as well as all of the other volunteers that made the 2013 fair a success.