Racing (sort of) to the fair: Walworth County Fair opened Wednesday

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Catherine W. Idzerda
Wednesday, August 28, 2013

ELKHORN--It was too hot to do anything fast Wednesday.

At the Walworth County Fair, however, the theme for the week is "Race to the Fair," and that means races of all kinds, all over the grounds: pig races, duck races and even vegetable races.

For children, Wednesday's speed event, and the first of several food-eating contests, was a corn on the cob eating contest. Later in the week, kids will race through pie, pickles, cream puffs and watermelons.

Sweating and droopy, kids sat in the Kiddieland bleachers, waiting for the contest to begin. A slight delay of game was caused while organizers searched for more paper towels. Eventually, about 15 kids lined up at the table, each seeking kernel-related glory--or at least something to eat.

But here's the thing about 3-year-olds: They prefer to do things in their own time.

Do not tell them to stop eating corn because the race hasn't started. This will cause scowling.

Don't make matters worse by telling them to pick up their cobs after the announcer says, "Go!" This will cause crossed arms, defiant looks and a refusal to do anything.

After gently being instructed to wait, Miranda Delalyna, 3, of Delavan gave her mother a look that would have made a grizzly bear cower. She retained her anti-corn stance throughout the contest.

Talon Wildermuth, 3, Whitewater, was more bemused by the instructions to eat or not eat. Here was corn, on a plate, right in front of his nose, and his uncle Scott Wild was telling him not to eat it. Now he was supposed to eat it? What? Why?

His sister Cosette Wildermuth, 7, also of Whitewater understood and went at her cob like a serious competitor.

In the next two rounds, which featured older children, the competitors understood exactly what they were supposed to do, and the cobs were devoured with competitive spirit.

Meanwhile, inside the Kiddieland tent, Anthony Reczynski, 7, and his dad, Joe Reczynski, both of Pell Lake, were manning the vegetable races. 

Even though he had been working for several hours, Anthony was excited about watching vegetables on wheels go down a ramp. As a one-man pit crew to all of the cars, Anthony was concerned about the fate of each of his “drivers.”

“Noooooooo! Not the potato!” Anthony said, when potato car tipped over right out of the gate.

Although he treated all of them the same at the race track, Anthony confessed that he didn't much care for either green peppers or onions.

The Walworth County Fair continues through Monday with plenty more for kids—and their families—to do.

Along with the “racing” in Kiddieland, harness racing starts Friday and the “speed show” for horses that includes barrel racing is Sunday and Monday.

For something a little slower, look for the racing theme throughout the grounds, everywhere from the animal exhibits to the junior art displays.

The National Weather Service is predicting temperatures in the mid-80s for the next few days, making racing at the fair an optional—rather than a required—activity for fair visitors.

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