HARMONY — Thirteen-year-old Lia Herrick may well be one of the town’s chicken experts, though Saturday was her first foray into showing poultry in the livestock show at the 68th Harmony Free Fair.

Herrick waited outside the livestock barn with her mother, Amy, just before the show started, a little nervous but confident that her 3-month-old Buff Orpington rooster, Reggie, was ready for the spotlight.

“The main point is, you try to get the chicken into the kennel, which is a bit difficult sometimes,” Lia said. “I try to make sure his feathers are in shape and none are missing.”

She said she has four chickens at home, including Reggie, who is sort of like the barnyard protector and likes to herd the other chickens around.

“We started out with a whole flock of ducks and chickens, but our neighbor’s dog got out and got a few of them,” she said. “Reggie has started to kind of crow, and he’s gotten a lot better at it. There’s a rooster down the road that crows. I always like to think they’re chatting back and forth. My three other chickens are Teeny, Helen and Sarah. Teeny is timid; she’s a lot smaller than the others. Helen is kind of a secondary rooster. She’s started to get a comb. She’s kind of the rooster deputy – she’s not one to back down – and Sarah’s calm most of the time. She lets you pick her up occasionally.”

The sun was hot and the air dry Saturday morning as the poultry show kicked into gear.

Lia and five other children lined up in the ring, holding their chickens, all eyes on them. The judges, Mike and Michele Cabral, of Medford, and livestock show coordinator Shannon Salley asked the children questions, including how old their chickens were and how many others they have. While Lia didn’t win a ribbon Saturday, she said she had fun showing Reggie, and the other children did a good job. Not winning was OK, she said, adding, “There’s always next year.”

Marissa Muncey, 15, of Lincoln, took second place in the larger livestock show with her donkey, Max, 9, who competed against Scottish Highlander bulls.

Before the show started, Marissa said her friendly, brownish-red donkey was a gift from her grandfather, who bought it for her at an auction they attended a year ago.

At the fair last year, she and Max won a first-place ribbon in the show, as well as a first-place win in the parade. She loves animals, she said.

“I have goats, pigs, chickens, ducks and geese — a small mini-farm.”

After winning second place Saturday, Marissa said she had fun talking about Max to the judges.

“I don’t care about winning anything. It’s more about showing him around and having people get to know him,” she said. “I’m pleased with anything.”

Her grandmother, Sharon Libby, also of Lincoln, said she was proud of Marissa’s performance and found the show interesting.

“I like to watch all the animals,” she said.

Other animals at the fair included two Clydesdale horses, Tony and Gerry, whose owner, Robin Robinson, of Dover-Foxcroft, was using them to give wagon rides.

Goats, pigs, ducks and a llama were among animals on display at the fair, where visitors were munching on dough boys, cotton candy, candied apples, sausage, onion rings and french fries. A demolition derby, live music, games and rides including the merry-go-round, Swinger and Tempest were featured.

Gerald Brown, 76, of Madison, and his sister, Sonja Clark, 77, of Anson, strolled onto the fairgrounds late Saturday morning and checked out the roster of events. They said they had not been to the fair the last few years and looked forward to being there Saturday.

“It’s small fair. it’s nice little fair,” Brown said.

Clark concurred.

“You get to see a lot of people you know,” she said.

The fair, which charges no admission, continues Sunday with a full slate of activities, including a fireworks display at dark; Monday starts with a Labor Day parade at 9:30 a.m.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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