GRANTS PASS, Ore. -- For most children involved in 4H, the fair is one of the biggest events of the year. However, once you get to the fair, the challenge you often face is trying finding a safe and secure area to store their gear.
This year the 4H board found a way to turn their storage problems into a western themed town using storage sheds. The collection of 20 themed buildings is known as the Wild West Frontier Exhibit and features sheds ranging from an old-time general store to an apothecary. However, behind the doors 4H kids are using these sheds to store their tack for this year’s fair in a creative way.
Jen McGowan, the fair board liaison for the 4H and FFA says, “The last 30 years we’ve been using old horse stalls and tacks that are really falling apart. Things would get stolen of them and you couldn’t lock them. So, these all have locks on them, we can keep our stuff in them. The kids love it, they’ve bought in on all the wild west things that we got. We’ve got a bathhouse, a firehall, we’ve got a cemetery and an undertaker.”
With the fair starting on Wednesday, many of the 4H children have already had a chance to break in the new wild west themed storage sheds and are excited about them.
“The kids came down here the last couple days moving their animals in and they’re like oh my gosh I have the church, I have the firehall or we’re the undertakers,” says McGowan.
While the sheds main purpose is storage for the 4H kids during the fair, the sheds are also proving beneficial to the Josephine County Fairgrounds. They will serve as a new attraction that the fair can use year-round to display.
When building the sheds, the 4H volunteers and children wanted to ensure that they looked true to the western time period. They devoted a lot of time and effort ensuring that the details just right before displaying them at the fair.
“A lot of the 4H kids have gone above and beyond to kind of make things look like it did back in the Wild West,” says McGowan.
The sheds would not have been possible without the help of Community Credit Union who donated 20,000 dollars towards the project and volunteers like Jim Cunningham who helped build the 20 sheds. The wild west frontier exhibit will be on display during the Josephine County fair and is located at the back end of the midway next to the animal barns.