4-H to ‘Round-Up’ some fun and flavor

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 15, 2003

The smell of barbecued chicken will be wafting up from Bloch Park this Saturday amid sounds from loud tractors and cheering crowds.

The park will be the site of the annual Dallas County 4-H Round-Up, where children aged 9-19 will face off in competitions of skill and talent.

The event begins at 8 a.m. with a cooking contest to see who can make the best barbecued chicken.

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County Extension Agent Edward Johnston said he will provide the chicken and lighter fluid, but participants must bring everything else &045;&045; including their own homemade sauce.

Contestants will have three hours to prepare and cook the food.

Four judges will then decide on the winners, based on equipment, controlling the fire, skill in barbecuing and preparing the chicken for cooking.

One hour after the cooking competition starts, a bicycle rodeo will begin. Riders will have to successfully complete four obstacle courses to prove they are champion cyclists.

These contestants will be judged on their ability to ride in a straight line, handle an emergency turn and stop, pedal and brake, and turning in a circle.

If participants want more of a challenge than cooking or bike riding, they can join the compact tractor event.

Once again, they will have to successfully complete a complicated obstacle course. Contestants will have to maneuver their riding lawn mowers around sharp turns without knocking over any orange cones.

Johnston said he oversees the 4-H clubs in 14 city-and-county schools, but other students can join in the

competitions as well.

The day-long competitions will be divided into two age groups, with children 9-13 composing the junior division. Those 14-19 will compete in the senior division.

First and second place winners of each division will go on to district competition this summer. Senior division winners at district then go on to state competition at Auburn University.

Johnston said children involved in 4-H clubs can eventually go on to bigger and brighter things.

Interested in participating in Saturday’s contests? Call the County Extension/4-H office at 875-3200, or sign-up with your 4-H teachers.