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DECATUR - University of Illinois Extension Macon County and its 4-H program were pleased in making Kids Day a success at the Macon County Fair on Saturday.

And there were plenty of fun activities and animals to see.

"We made it bigger this year," said Amy Leman with the Extension, noting this was the first year that 4-H has been involved with the kids activities at the fair.

A small designated area for children has been a mainstay over the fair's many decades. However, this year it was decided to enlarge children's activities with additional entertainment and Scovill Zoo's mobile zoo, said Ayn Owens, the fair's marketing manager.

Before torrential rains flooded the fairgrounds, children enjoyed the water balloon toss, bean bag toss, Candy Land and fish pond games and face painting.

Two-year-old Calvin Cook had a hard time sitting still on his mother's lap as Gerald "Binky" Woods tried to paint a basketball on his cheek.

Calvin's twin sister, Callie, was a little more patient and liked the apple that was painted on her arm.

"We're out here doing the face painting as a way to give back to the community," said Woods, who is with Sullivan American Business Club and Shot Gun Manor Haunted House.

Something else that was new was the Readers Are Leaders Bookmobile parked outside the 4-H Building at the fairground.

Deb Zack, after losing hearing in one ear, started her bookmobile nine years ago, traveling between Indianapolis and St. Louis. "It's a fundraiser, where all the books are marked off 60 percent, and then I give back 30 percent of what I sell to the organization that brought me to their event," she said.

What was once a school bus was remodeled with shelves and filled with children's books and all kinds of stuffed animals to add to the decor.

Children also delighted in seeing the animals from Scovill Zoo.

There was the Madagascar hissing cockroach that was several inches long, Rufus the ferret, Latte the guinea pig, Poli the hedge hog, Sophia, a black and white rabbit, a blue tongue skink and several snakes.

"We've been drawing in the crowds, and the children love touching the snakes and lizards and asking a lot of questions about the animals," said Ken Frye, assistant zoo director.

Caden Henneman, 3, strolled over to see the animals as his final stop before leaving the fair.

He had other things to do, considering that he had just won first place in the cutest male baby contest in the 3-year-old category. The baby contest ranged from infants to age 4.

Justin Henneman, 25, remembers going to the fair when he was a child and wanted to bring his son, Caden, out on Kids Day.

"The fair hasn't changed much, but it's still fun and something to do," he said.

Today is the final day of the fair.

Today's highlights

Noon - Harness racing

1 p.m. - Mud volleyball tournament, East Arena

1 p.m. - Ron Ingram Memorial Pinewood Derby, ADM Building

2 p.m. - Park Singers, Midway

2 p.m. - Integrity Tae Kwon Do, Talent Town

3 p.m. - Kiddie Tractor Pull, Midway, FFA

3 p.m. - GAW Wrestling, Beer Garden

4 p.m. - World record attempt water gun fight, East Field

4:30 p.m. - Auction of soybean art, speeding paintings and other items, Grandstand

5 p.m. - Demolition Derby, Grandstand

5 p.m. - Mariah Henderson, Talent Town



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