Ivy Ensminger, 16, of Seven Valleys will show her guinea pig, Checkers, on Saturday at the York County 4-H Fair. The annual event features animal judging,
Ivy Ensminger, 16, of Seven Valleys will show her guinea pig, Checkers, on Saturday at the York County 4-H Fair. The annual event features animal judging, family fun and a variety of displays and demonstrations. (Bil Bowden photo)

With round bodies and a name synonymous with test subjects, guinea pigs might not be the first animal to come to mind when thinking of Best in Show.

But Ivy Ensminger, 16, will show off her prized rodent, Checkers, at the York County 4-H Fair's rabbit and cavy show on Saturday. The Seven Valleys resident has been involved with 4-H for four or five years, and showing animals at the fair is a fun time, she said.

"I like the spirit of it," Ensminger said. "It's very close, and there's not a lot of pressure. This is very relaxed and open."

The Spring Grove Area high schooler will also bring in some chicken eggs to be judged, she said, but she insists she doesn't run a farm.

"We have six chickens, but I wouldn't call it a farm," she said.

Animals will be featured in the rabbit and cavy, lamb and dairy beef shows. Thursday's alpaca show is canceled because not enough club members could attend, said Mary Jo Kraft, 4-H and youth development educator. There is also a goat show at 3 p.m. on Friday and a swine show Monday at 9 a.m., and both are open to the public.

'Anything you can imagine': In addition to animal showings, the 33rd annual 4-H fair will feature a little bit of everything, such as insects, photography and, of course, "really good food," Ensminger said.

Cakes, breakfast foods and a chicken barbecue are on this weekend's menu, as well as her favorite treat: peach sundaes.

"It's just anything you can imagine," Kraft said.

This year's theme is "Stay Green in 2013," and members will conduct recycling activities and other environmentally focused events to go along with that, she said.

More than 700 exhibits created by 4-H members will be on display throughout the weekend, and admission is free, she said. It's usually a busy affair: On average, about 1,000 people attend on Saturday and 300 to 500 attend on Sunday, Kraft said.

Family: Students age 5 through 18 may join 4-H, and York County has almost 500 members in its 35 traditional clubs and more than 1,800 members in its nontraditional program, Kraft said. Nontraditional students don't attend regular meetings but participate in other enrichment activities through their school, she said.

Any student can join, no matter where he or she lives, she said.

She stressed that the fair is geared toward families, especially with activities such as face painting and old-fashioned games and treats, she said.

"It's definitely a fun time," Kraft said. "We have so much to offer to families."


The 33rd annual York County 4-H Fair features family-friendly animal shows, face painting, balloon art, games, spin art, dancing dogs and more.

The fair runs from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at the York County 4-H Center, 771 Stoverstown Road in West Manchester Township.

Admission and parking is free. For a schedule of events, visit www.extension.psu.edu/4-h/counties/york.

-- Reach Mollie Durkin at mdurkin@yorkdispatch.com.