Start Planning Now for Open Class and Little Hands

Yes, it’s winter, but it’s not too early to start planning for the summer. Now is the time to make plans to exhibit in this year’s Open Class and Little Hands at the St. Joseph County 4-H Fair (June 28 - July 6).

Open Class is for anyone age 18 and older and not eligible for 4-H. Little Hands is for preschool age children (ages 3-5) and not yet in Kindergarten. Participants do not have to live in St. Joseph County (IN).

Children entering in Little Hands can make anything of their choosing. Some possible, but not inclusive, ideas include making a paper chain, sculpting with clay, painting a picture, or creating a pencil holder.

This year Open Class offers fourteen different categories for adults to exhibit.

Some of the categories include Baked Foods, American Heritage (antiques), Clothing Construction, Canning, Photography, Gardening, and Crafts. One category, Holidays at the Fair, has been expanded from last year. This year, participants can enter a themed or any holiday decorated, artificial tree.

There are rules to know about for all fourteen of the Open Class categories and information about Little Hands. Visit or send a request to have the rules and information emailed to you by sending a message to or

Participants, or those looking for more information, may also come to the following locations to pick up a copy of the rules and ask questions:

Friday, Feb. 15th between 4-6 p.m. at Centre Township Public Library (Butterfly Room), 1150 Kern Rd., South Bend, IN; or Thursday, Feb. 21st between 6-7:30 p.m. at Francis Public Library (The Silo Room), 526555 N. Ironwood Rd., South Bend, IN.

An Open Class Committee Member will be available at these locations during the days and times listed. Entries for Open Class and Little Hands should be brought to the fairgrounds the week before the fair takes place. See rule book for details on what days and times.

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