GREENVILLE — The implements were set out on the stage, a collection of pom-poms, googly eyes, feathers, pipe cleaners, yarn, knick-knacks, trinkets, and more for the decorating a freak vegetable contest at the 163rd Great Darke County Fair on Saturday.
Three contenders were vying for first place: Gabe McGlinch, 9, Evan Addis, 9, and Oliver McGlinch, 6, and they had 30 minutes to decorate their freak vegetable.
The elder McGlinch arrived with a squash while the younger cherry tomatoes, and Addis a potato.
Each had a theme from several straw hats for the squash to multiple, bright-colored pipe cleaner legs on the potato, and many-a-googly eye for the tomatoes.
The crowd was quiet as the three contestants concentrated over their chosen vegetables using push pins to create their masterpieces. The judge for the event, Marty Schlechty, approached the table periodically to check over their work.
At the end of the allotted thirty minutes, it was time for the judge to make her decision.
“This is always the hard part,” said Schlechty. “They all had fun, and I think that’s the most important thing.”
Gabe McGlinch was awarded first place for what he described as a man finding a diamond. He told the audience he chose the squash due to its shape and scars.
Addis was awarded second place, and Oliver McGlinch took home third place.
According to Schlechty, each contestant had to bring a vegetable from a garden home. It was noted how difficult it was in the vegetable garden given the weather this year. When asked about the judging criteria, she stated it was based on creativity and, “Did they make it look like something?” She added with a chuckle that sometimes when a contestant finds they have more time, they keep adding to it.
Schlechty has judged this fun and unique contest for a number of years.
Be sure to stop by the Youth Building for revues, contests, displays and more by area 4-H club and FFA members at the Great Darke County Fair.
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.