The Okaloosa County Fair is a very busy time for Okaloosa County 4-H. There are just so many things to prepare for. Animals need baths, and their hair and nails must be clipped. 4-H youths are busy polishing off their skills in show and project delivery.

It is the best time of year to come out and see all of what our kids have been working on all year long. The youths have been raising farm animals that range from chickens and cows to other smaller animals such as rabbits and cavy. They have also been perfecting skills such as cooking, sewing, and even canning.

The best part of the annual fair is its diversity of project areas. Local 4-H members are able to display anything from photography to robotics and show animals ranging from steer to turkeys. Throughout the event, they will participate in competitions to demonstrate their knowledge in animal science and showmanship techniques. We even have a dog show on Thursday night which includes some of the best dressed dogs around! It is a fun and eventful time.

Okaloosa County clubs will also have booths available to provide extra information about current 4-H offerings in our area. Nightly demonstrations in the 4-H building are scheduled to give the public a small idea of what these amazing youths are learning throughout the year, so mark your calendars and come visit us at the Northwest Florida Fair this year.

It will be open from 5-10 p.m. Sept. 25-29, and 2-10 p.m. Sept. 30 at the Northwest Florida Fair Grounds in Fort Walton Beach.

This year our fair is open to all Okaloosa, Walton, and Santa Rosa County 4-H members. Contact the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences' Okaloosa County Extension Office at 689-5850 or email me at graham.v@ufl.edu for registration information if you are interested in participating.

All registration is due by 4:30 p.m. Sept. 15 at the Crestview office. Premium booklets and registration forms are available at http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/4hy/okaloosa-county-fair/.

Visit http://www.nwffair.com/fair/index.htm for more information on the Northwest Florida Fair.

Veronica  Graham is an agent at the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension office in Crestview.