GREENVILLE — The poultry barn was filled to standing room only with a growing list of mostly young, eager competitors. Everyone was excited and ready for the traditional human rooster crowing and human turkey calling contest at the 163rd Great Darke County Fair on Saturday.
The competition was held for all ages split into three categories – three to eight years old, nine to fifteen years old, and sixteen years old to adult.
The goals were clear — out crow or gobble the competition — and every competitor had their preferred method.
The contest started with the human rooster crowing contest. For some competitors, preparation required a quick clearing of their throats while others took to cupping their hands around their mouths to give a boost behind their crow. A few went up to the mic and simply went for it with a few good-natured laughs.
Each contestant was given two chances with Amy Addis at the mic, introducing each competitor to the crowd, and making sure they were pleased with their crow.
Competitors were feeling positive and self-assured. Everyone pleased with their first crow, leading to a quick succession through each category.
At the start of the contest was the youngest in the bunch for the human rooster contest with Paislee Riffell, Easton Riffell, and Channing Powell vying for the best crow. The next human rooster contestants were those ages nine to 15 with Gage Lochard, Evan Addis, Shelby Fennig, Maia Wisner, Joshua Murphey, and Mason Kendig.
Finally it was up to the sixteen to adult human roosters to give it a shot (with a little nudge between friends) with Taycie Powell, Grace Fee, Chase Powell Landon Bundenthal, Leanne Lavender, Brenden Stiver, Haleigh Powell, Grant Baye, Kelsie Long, Justin Powell, Rachael Powell, Marina Mahaffe, and Caitlin Miller.
The last competitors were not let off too easy given they were tasked with entertaining the audience with a quick chicken dance before the winners were announced. It wasn’t an easy decision to make as the judges — Karla Bashore, Addison Bashore, and Brittani Harrod — poured over scores and debated the results.
The winners of the human rooster crowing contest:
Ages 3 to 8
First place went to Channing Powell, Easton Riffell in second place, and Paislee Riffell in third place.
Ages 9 to 15
First place went to Gage Lochard, Mason Kendig in second place, and Joshua Murphey in third place.
Ages 16 to adult
First place went to Landon Bundenthal, Brenden Stiver in second place, and Leanne Lavender in third place.
Bundenthal shared a story with those in the crowd after his winning. He explained how the contest began due to his mistake.
According to Bundenthal, he mistook a competition for chicken crowing as a human contest. Realizing his mistake upon entry when he hadn’t a chicken a new competition was born that is now a well-attended tradition.
Next up were competitors in the turkey calling contest and similar to the chicken, each individual had their method. Whether it was simply going for it, utilizing a finger to make that distinctive gobble-gobble sound or even flapping their arms, each technique was quite individual.
Once again the youngest went first with Jamie Finkbine, Easton Riffell, Paislee Riffell, Shelby Fennig, and Ryker Harrod giving it a fair shot. Next were those ages nine to fifteen with Evan Addis, Mason Kendig, Gage Lochard, Joshua Murphey, Hannah Kendig, Maia Wisner, Noah Finkbine, and Alexis Finkbine. And last but certainly not least went those ages sixteen to adult with Dylan Finkbine, Regan Tassell, Frank Herzog, Joe Finkbine, and Landon Bundenthal.
The winners of the human turkey calling contest:
Ages 3 to 8
First place went to Shelby Fennig, Easton Riffell in second place, and Jamie Finkbine in third place.
Ages 9 to 15
First place went to Gage Lochard, Hannah Kendig in second place, and Noah Finkbine in third place.
Ages 16 to adult
First place went to Regan Tassell, Dylan Finkbine in second place, and Joe Finkbine in third place.
Reach reporter Bethany J. Royer-DeLong at 937/548-3330 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more news, features, and sports at DarkeCountyMedia.com.