FARM ANIMAL ENTHUSIASTS — Lower Valley Critter Sitters 4-H members, Skyler, Dylan and Cindy Southwick, Marley Pena, Alex Southwick and Jack Pena are ready to show their decorated critter entries and livestock animals at the Yakima Valley Fair and Rodeo beginning Wednesday, Aug. 7 - 10.

SUNNYSIDE — Pulling out their crafty talents, the Lower Valley Critter Sitters, along with valley 4-H and Boy and Girl Scout club members, created a variety of animals for this year’s “Decorated Critter Contest” for the Yakima Valley Fair and Rodeo.

The decorated creatures contest, sponsored by Yakima Valley Fair and Rodeo Foundation, will be on display at the fair from Aug. 7-10 at the Country Park and Fairgrounds, 812 Wallace Way, Grandview in the horticulture and 4-H buildings.

“The critter contest is just one of the ways we try to promote the fair and rodeo each year,” foundation member and contest chairman Jake Van Pelt explained.

The contest is open to individuals, ages 5 to 18 and older.

Created on small two-and four-legged sawhorses, the finished farm animals are put up on display at local businesses in the weeks leading up to the fair, to draw attention to the fair.

Winning designers will be awarded cash prizes and ribbons, funded by the Foundation. All participants will receive ribbons.

Winners in each of the three age divisions will be awarded $100 for first place, $75 for second and $50 for third place, Van Pelt remarked.

“My entry is a flamenco dressed as a water buffalo member, like in ‘Fred Flintstone’ cartoons,” Critter Sitter designer Jack Pena, 11, described.

His little sister, Marley, 7, named her horse entry “Diamond” in the contest.

In addition to the handcrafted animals, Lower Valley youngsters will also be showing their pigs, lambs, steers, dairy cows chickens and other small animals in the ring prior to the livestock auction on Friday, Aug. 9.

Julia Hart can be reached at 509-837-4500, ext. 123 or at

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