The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

September 5, 2013

A family tradition: Woman, daughters bring 67 food, craft entries to fair

By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Taking entries to the county fair is a family tradition for Jeanne Mann of Drummond.

She entered the open food category at the 105th Garfield County Fair for her two daughters and herself, bringing 30 food entries and 37 craft entries to the fair. And she did it with three children between the ages of 7 and 21 months.

Mann is passing on a family tradition that started with her mother, when she lived in Sharon in Woodward County.

It takes several days to prepare the food. “I pick the girls up from school and we go home and bake for three hours,” Mann said.

This year was a little more difficult because her 21-month-old son Cort likes to put on an apron and “help.” But Mann believes making and entering crafts is good training for her children. “They love baking and coming to see if they have a ribbon,” she said. They also like the prize money that comes with winning. That money goes into their saving account for college, Mann said.

Entries in the open food category are up this year. Linda Sader, a fair volunteer, said there are quite a few junior division entries. There were 157 adult cooking entries,  64 entries in the junior division and six decorated cakes Thursday morning. Judging is today. There are 2,920 total displays in the Coliseum building of the Garfield County Fairgrounds.

Mann started entering in the county fair as a child in Woodward County. Her mother entered exhibits in food and craft categories and Jeanne also enjoyed entering. She got the love of entering from her mother and when her daughter Kate was 3, she began making things for the fair. When Jeanne was younger, her goal was to go to the state fair and win sweepstakes ribbons. She is passing that along to her children.

Mann has a younger brother, who is an attorney in Oklahoma City, who she called “a phenomenal cook.”

“I give the kids the opportunity to see if they like it. If they want to continue to do it, you have to give them the opportunity to see if they like it,” she said.

Her kids like it. They ask-ed when summer started when they could start making crafts. Kate, 7, Lexi, 5, and Cort stay busy during the summer. Cort makes things more challenging, but Mann believes making and entering the exhibits is important. The process prepares them for when they are older and have busy lives. She said they learn time management early, they learn to balance their time and do well in all aspects.

“These are good life lessons and we have fun at the same time, and earn some money to save for college,” Mann said. Crafts teach hand-eye coordination and skill sets.”

The 105th Garfield County Fair started Wednesday at the Garfield County Fairgrounds and will continue through Sunday.