SIDNEY — Fair-goers are taking advantage of the cooler weather as the Shelby County Fair reaches day 4 of the weeklong event. Wednesday, July 25 was Industrial Day Two, sponsored by Detailed Machining-Silveus Insurance Group.
The day’s entertainment and activities included nature crafts, the Dino Roar Show, harness racing, ninja warrior practice and competition, and DJ Dancing, along with trivia and prizes.
Rides opened at 1 p.m., and concessions, games, and merchant stands were open all day.
Scott Schulze, of Sidney, is a merchant who set up shop at the fair this year. His business is called Swings N’ Things.
Born in Hamilton, Schulze said he moved to Sidney in 1951 and has lived here since.
He and his wife of 36 years, Suzy, opened their outdoor furniture business 25 years ago after experiencing a flood that left a foot of water in their home, and swept away all of their patio furniture.
“We built a house 35 years ago, and two years after we built it, we flooded,” Schulze said. “My wife came home one day and said she’d found some stuff she wanted (to purchase) to replace our furniture. This is after we’d gotten the house back in shape. We went and looked at it and I thought it was a little too expensive and said, “I can build that for cheaper,’ and she said, ‘Well, do it.’”
Scott said Suzy’s father used to sell wooden furniture, so the couple contacted his supplier and began purchasing wooden furniture pieces, which they would then assemble at their home.
“It was cheap and affordable,” Schulze said. “I was still working full time, so (Suzy) would do the sanding and the finishing and put it out in the yard to dry. I came home from work one day and she said, ‘You’ll never guess what happened; someone pulled in and wanted to know if we’d sell this.’”
“I thought, ‘No, it’s for us!’ Well, the rest is history,” he said.
The couple began selling wooden furniture pieces out of their house, and it wasn’t until five or six years later that they learned about a new material called Polywood.
Polywood is an affordable, maintenance-free wood alternative.
“It’s ground-up number two plastic with polymer binder that glues it all together, good quality dye, and UV protectant extruded into lumber sizes,” Schulze said.
The Schulze’s furniture is now made solely of Polywood, comes in 17 different colors, and is made to last for generations.
To learn more about the Schulze’s business, visit www.swings-n-things.net.
Wednesday at the junior fair entailed several showings, including the poultry show and showmanship, the market barrow show and market gilt show, the llama and alpaca show and obstacle course, the horse show costume contest, the clothing style review and creative writing awards, beef showmanship, and the modeling contest.
Winners from the Tuesday showings were announced and included Regan DeMotte, who showed the grand and reserve champion pygmy goats, as well as the grand champion wether goat, and Maycie Verdier, who showed the reserve champion wether goat.
Brandon Pollock showed the grand champion doe in the champion drive, and Reese Heilers, showed the reserve champion doe.
First place in the dairy steer showings included Ethan Hollenbacher, of class one; Max Bohman, of class two; and Denton Homan, of class three.
First place in the beef steer category included Zachary Shaffer, of class one; Kyle Evans, of class two; Gentry Barga, of class three; Riley Huelskamp, of class four; Macey Huelskamp, of class five; and Olivia Monnin, of class six.
Swine showmanship winners included Madison Snider, junior showmanship; Makenna Snider, intermediate showmanship; Jacob Fogt, senior showmanship; and Micah Smock, showman of showmen.
Thursday morning, July 26, junior fair participants will take to the horse arena for the English and versatility horse show. The showmanship and horsemanship show will take place Friday morning.
Simiana, 13, and Taylor Nelson, 11, of Sidney, daughters of Jason and Toni Nelson, will both be participating in the shows.
“They set up some obstacles and you complete them in a specific order,” Simiana, who’s competing for the second year in a row, said of Thursday’s show. “If you knock one down, you don’t get (a good score).”
Both Taylor and Simiana also participated in Tuesday’s horse show. Taylor was awarded a fourth and fifth place ribbon, and Simiana was awarded third place.
The Nelson family has one horse, named Richard, and have leased two horses, Decker and Otis, to compete with this year at the fair.
According to Jason Nelson, the family has had Richard for about two years. He is one of multiple horses the family has had throughout the past five or six years. Simiana and Taylor’s sibling, Kiera, 9, also helps take care of the horses, though she’s not yet old enough to start riding.
It all began when Simiana made a deal with her father that if she got all As in school, she could have a horse.
“(I rode) a long time ago,” Nelson said. “Back in my younger days. And, not only did (Simiana) get all As, she didn’t miss a day of school in two years.”
Simiana and Taylor learned horse English and versatility skills from a family friend, Nelson said. They are also part of the 4-H club Equus Unlimited.
Thursday is Kids Day at the fair, with the Kids Program beginning at noon in the free entertainment tent. A kiddie tractor pull is scheduled for 2:30 p.m., north side of the old bathrooms, and free nature crafts, the Dino Roar Show, and ninja warrior practice and competition will take place throughout the day.
Thursday through Saturday, a band will play each night in the free entertainment tent from 7 to 10 p.m.
Shelby County Line band will perform Thursday, Karma’s Pawn on Friday, and Haywired will perform Saturday.