The Huron County Fair has an extra heartbeat.
No doubt, many will tell you the fair's heartbeat is the many 4-H youngsters who prepare and execute projects, as well as the many fair directors junior and senior who run the operation.
But this year, the extra pumping comes courtesy of Luke Tucker, Brad Rospert and other drummers who are members of the newly formed Huron County 4-H band. It made its debut this morning at the fair, playing the "Star Spangled Banner" and "God Bless the U.S.A." to open the festivities.
The band, which will be playing music throughout the fair this week, was organized by Western Reserve High School senior Maria Zimmerman.
"We're really going to show off how hard we've been working," she said, adding this morning served almost like an extra practice.
The 19 band members have been doing just that this summer, to the tune of an hour-and-a-half practices every Monday.
Apparently the sessions have paid off.
"That sounds good for such a tiny little band," a fair-goer remarked.
Actually, it's not little: Band conductor Shelli McGue said several players could not participate because they had other projects that were being judged. The biggest challenge, she said, will be trying to schedule performances when little or no judging is taking place. The band will continue playing at 6:30 p.m. today outside the FCS building.
Rospert, a St. Paul freshman and Tucker, a recent Western Reserve graduate, were excited to be part of the band.
"It's kind of exciting because you get to play in front of people," said Rospert, who has been playing the instrument since fifth grade.
Tucker, a 7-year drummer, said he likes what he does.
"You keep the beat for everyone," he said. "You are the heartbeat."
While one could hear the thumping of drums and sounds of other instruments outside the senior fair office, moooing took center stage in a barn. There, South Central freshman Evan Warrick was cleaning up after Bubba, his dairy feeder. The youngster said he is used to the chore: He and his brothers nave been showing calves for five years.
The best part: Receiving the check after the livestock sale toward fair's end. Warrick said after his parents put the money in the bank, they give him $150 to spend.
Warrick did not have to worry about Bubba acting up this morning the teenager said the animals tend to relax at the fair because it is hot and they are lazy.
Under another roof, South Central freshman Logan Palm seemed cool and collected even though he had about five minutes before rabbit judging. Palm was wearing a white dress shirt and dress pants.
In addition to rabbits, Palm made a top out of an old sewing machine for his woodworking project.
Does he think it's a winning piece?
"It's more about the experience," said Palm's father, Duane.