Callaway Youth Expo returns July 9

Lydia Smithee, 4, of Kingdom City practices tipping her hat to grandfather Ron Smithee during the fun horse show at the 2013 Callaway Youth Expo. This year’s expo takes place July 9-12 at the Auxvasse Lions Club Park. The youth fun show is at 7 p.m. on July 10, with $1 entry per class.

Lydia Smithee, 4, of Kingdom City practices tipping her hat to grandfather Ron Smithee during the fun horse show at the 2013 Callaway Youth Expo. This year’s expo takes place July 9-12 at the Auxvasse Lions Club Park. The youth fun show is at 7 p.m. on July 10, with $1 entry per class.

Area young people once again will have the opportunity to show off their skills and interests at the second annual Callaway Youth Expo July 9-12 at Auxvasse Lions Club Park.

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Lydia Smithee, 4, of Kingdom City practices tipping her hat to grandfather Ron Smithee during the fun horse show during t the Callaway Youth Expo in July.

Local 4-H and FFA participants will show their agriculture and home arts projects and other area youth organizations will also be there sharing their programs.

“It showcases their projects and what they’ve accomplished all year,” Mike Musgrove, expo president, said.

Fulton FFA advisor James Rink said those projects — like raising a cow, hog or sheep; sewing a dress or building a bench; canning beans or decorating a cake — teach the students that complete them invaluable lessons.

“These projects give them a sense of ownership and pride, and they’re learning life skills, they develop leadership skills,” Rink said. “These are things that are going to help them down the road.”

In addition to the traditional agricultural shows held throughout the week, the schedule for the expo includes:

•Youth disaster training 3-5 p.m. July 10.

•Master Gardeners youth activity for ages 5-10 5 p.m. July 11.

•Garden Tractor Pull 7 p.m. July 11.

•Live music by the Edwards Family Band 7 p.m. July 11.

•Country Ham Breakfast 7:30 a.m. July 12.

•Petting zoo all day July 12.

•Youth leadership training sessions at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. July 12 in the Auxvasse Elementary School gym.

•Children’s small animal show 4 p.m. July 12.

Expo vice president Tommy Lee said he is particularly excited about the buyer’s dinner, which involves the live stock exhibitors serving the buyers a sit-down meal.

“It’s really changed the whole atmosphere. The kids are able to serve the buyers and get to know them better,” Lee said. “The sale last year was such a success, I think it was bigger and better than it had been in a while.”

He said he also really enjoys the shows and exhibits because “that’s what it’s all about — the kids exhibiting whatever their projects might be.”

Entry into the expo is free. For more information about the Callaway Youth Expo or to see a full schedule, visit the event website at callawayyouthexpo.org.

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