Arts & Entertainment

Somerset County 4-H Fair Returns: Look for Warren Residents and Library Superheroes

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SOMERSET COUNTY, NJ -  The 2015 Somerset County 4-H Fair will be held this week on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, August 12, 13, and 14. Since 1948, the Fair has recognized the accomplishments of 1,000 Somerset County 4-H members.

Visitors can see a variety of 4-H projects in action and many traditions remain the same — no admission or parking fees and no midway or carnival rides.

Look for Warren 4-H'ers in the Science Tent- robotics division, the Small Animal Tent and in the Prep Tent. 

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The Clover Ensemble, the 4-H acting club, will produce a musical for the first time. See Warren's own Ben Strasser in an adaptation of "Peter Pan" in the Prep Tent at 5 p.m. each night with an extra show at 8 p.m. on Friday.

The fair is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at North Branch Park, 355 Milltown Road, Bridgewater, located between Routes 22 and 202. To make getting in and out of the fairgrounds as easy as possible, free shuttle buses run from 9:30 am to 10:30 pm each day of the Fair from Raritan Valley Community College Rt. 28, North Branch. Maps and schedules of daily events such as dog, horse and livestock shows are available in the information tent. 
"Avoid the fuss, enjoy the bus!" 

Go karts, rockets, magic, line dancing, model airplanes, R.C. cars, twirling, model trains and other 4-H clubs compete and perform. The Arts Tent, Science Tent and Prep Tent (for the youngest 4-H'ers) are packed with exhibits, activities for visitors, demonstrations and performances. 

Ten other 4-H tents house a variety of animals including dairy cows, alpaca, horses, dogs, herpetology, sheep, goats, chickens, rabbits and other small animals. Most animal tents have a petting area and information about how to join 4-H. 

Attendees of all ages will be invited to find out about all the superpowers that Somerset County Library System of New Jersey's 10 library branches have,  at the SCLSNJ ‘Be Super Superhero Academy’ station located in the library tent. Be sure to visit SCLSNJ early: there will be reusable SCLSNJ tote bags given away on a first-come-first-serve basis.

SCLSNJ’s ‘Be Super Superhero Academy’ will feature different crafts every day for children and teens (and adults, too!), ranging from superhero belts and shields to masks and headbands. Once the superhero crafts are completed, fair attendees will be invited to strike a super pose for SCLSNJ’s ‘Be Super Superhero Academy’ photo booth. The photos will be on display on a digital screen at the 4-H Fair.

“We’re really excited about bringing a photo booth to the 4-H Fair this year,” said Rich Loomis, SCLSNJ’s digital services manager. “We’re also bringing along maker crafts and Ozobots for fair-goers ages 7 and up to create and play with. We’ll be teaching kids how to use some fun and new technologies while using new technologies ourselves to make the photo booth possible for an innovative, interactive table at the fair.”

SCLSNJ’s super staff will be on hand to talk about the incredible resources and services available, including Playaway Launchpads, a brand new learning tablet for children available for patrons to check out at all 10 SCLSNJ library branches. Patrons will have an opportunity to see the Launchpads and test them out at the 4-H Fair. Playaway Launchpad expert Donna Destefano will also be available to answer questions and give hands-on training, and will be handing out giveaways on August 12, 12-3 p.m.

SCLSNJ’s partner, Literacy Volunteers of Somerset County, will be a super special guest in SCLSNJ’s tent on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings and on Thursday, August 13 from 6-9 p.m., discussing ESL classes, English conversation groups, tutoring opportunities and more.

On Wednesday, August 12, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., SCLSNJ Librarian Carol Simon Levin will host Farm Frolics in the County tent. Children of all ages are invited to listen to a story and sing songs with SCLSNJ for an udder-ly good time.

SCLSNJ will also be celebrating its 85th anniversary on Friday, August 14 with an opportunity to create an anniversary hat and eat cake.

The Fair is sponsored by the Somerset County 4-H Association and the Board of Chosen Freeholders in support of the 4-H Youth Development Program of Rutgers Cooperative Extension. 4-H Members, volunteer Fair Managers, 4-H Club Leaders and parents work together, making this the largest event in Somerset County. Other partners include the Somerset County Park Commission and Raritan Valley Community College. Stevenson- D'Alessio American Legion Post #12 and Johnson & Johnson Ethicon, Inc. are major donors. For more information about the Somerset County 4-H Fair, visit http://somerset.njaes.rutgers.edu/4hfair/.

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