The Callaway Youth Expo got rave reviews its second time around.
Though final totals are still being tabulated, the event - which took place July 9-12 at the Auxvasse Lions Club Park and was free to the public - saw attendance and participation numbers go up after last year's initial run, according to Callaway County 4-H Clubs representative Pam Heimericks.
"We do know there was a significant increase all around in participation in events, spectators coming out to watch and projects entered," Heimericks said on Monday. "Everybody's been pleased with the success this year of how everything went."
The expo featured goat and sheep shows, a Fun Horse show, a 4-H Fashion Revue and a speech contest among other competitions. Heimericks noted the increase in participation, but hopes that even more youth will come out in ensuing years when they learn that 4-H and FFA memberships aren't just limited to those with animals or agricultural interests.
"...We're still trying to get information out to parents that you can learn anything from cake decoration to clothing to dog care, there's photography," Heimericks said. "There's so many aspects youth can learn about with leadership so (it's important) getting that information out to families to help them get youth involved."
Expo goers relayed their enjoyment of the the family-friendly atmosphere to Heimericks. She also said that there are always new wrinkles that pop up in yearly events, but nothing that prevented this year's expo from going smoothly.
The new barn at the Lions Club Park was built entirely through donations and was key in housing many of the expo events. Heimericks complimented the Lions Club for its support and said an agreement is in place for the expo to return to Auxvasse for "years to come."
She is hoping that more youth groups will get involved and that this year's turnout will be eclipsed in next year's third installment.
"I couldn't be more pleased," Heimericks said. "We have some notes for next year and we are starting to get to that.
"We're pleased with the community and thank them so much for supporting us and supporting the youth of Callaway."
Josh Mosley can be reached at (573) 826-2423, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.