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Kids flip for fun events at the Washington County Fair

Kids flip for fun events at the Washington County Fair

Waylon McCoy, 3, right, leads a heifer during the Pee-Wee Showmanship event with the help of his cousin, Macie Smith, at the Washington County Fair. (Photo by James Dobbs)

MARIETTA — The Washington County Fair continued on Monday, with the 4-H Flippin’ Breakfast and Show, Dairy Showmanship event and Mr. Puppet, a comedy entertainment show.

Hal Epler, a caterer that specializes in fundraising events, has traveled across Ohio doing pancake breakfasts for almost 20 years with Chris Cakes of Ohio.

This is the fourth year he has visited the Washington County Fair for the 4-H Flippin’ Breakfast and Show. Epler cooks the pancakes in front of everyone and creates a show by flipping the pancakes off his spatula and on to a plate. Fairgoers expressed shock, excitement and joy as they saw flying pancakes land on their plates.

“It’s the look of shock on a little kid’s face when he actually catches it,” he said, when asked what he likes about flipping pancakes. “There’s that certain moment where the kids totally stunned that the pancake is on his plate. Those are the entertaining ones.”

Epler said the pancake breakfast is important to the fair because it instills a sense of community within attendees.

Hal Epler, with Chris Cakes of Ohio, flips pancakes for the 4-H Pancake Flippin’ Breakfast and Show in the Junior Fair Building at the Washington County Fair. (Photo by James Dobbs)

“The biggest reason you have any type of pancake breakfast, whether it’s for raising funds, whether it’s in somebody’s backyard, whether it’s in a school, it’s to create that sense of community,” he said.

Cadence Griffin, 7, and Lynnlee Holland, 7, attended the breakfast and said they enjoyed the show.

When asked if they caught their pancakes, Griffin replied, “I caught the second one,” while Holland, her cousin, said “I caught both of them.”

Jeremy Barth, chairperson for the 4-H Endowment Committee, said the breakfast grows a little more every year as people encounter the fun show.

“Yeah you get to eat breakfast, but I think the interaction with the pancake guy (Epler) makes it a fun experience,” he said. “He does a great job of interacting with the crowd that comes in.”

Waylon McCoy, 3, practices roping in the Multi-Purpose Building at the Washington County Fair. (Photo by James Dobbs)

Barth said the breakfast helps raise money, which goes back into the program to help pay for workshops, project books and scholarships for 4-H members, as well as helping purchase much-needed items for the fair, like an ice machine or new tables.

Barth said he chooses to volunteer at the fair and with 4-H to give back to the community. He has been volunteering with 4-H for 21 years and has previously been on the fair board for 12 years. He said he was in 4-H as a child and now gets to work alongside community members who taught him when he was in the program.

“That’s what 4-H is about, community,” he said. “We’re a community.”

Macie Smith, with the Decatur Buckeyes 4-H group and Warren FFA, received first in her market class for her dairy beef showing. She grew up surrounded by cattle, on a market beef farm and has been showing animals at the fair for nine years. Smith said she enjoys the companionship between her and her animals and was excited to receive a blue ribbon.

“I definitely take it to heart. It shows how much hard work I’ve done throughout the years of showing,” she said. “I actually grew up and had the role model of my sister, Morgan, she’s taught me what I know. It makes me really proud of myself, because I worked hard for this.”

The stands were packed as fairgoers piled in the Multi-Purpose Building to view the Dairy Showmanship event on Monday. (Photo by James Dobbs)

Smith acted as a role model for her cousin, Waylon McCoy, 3, during the Pee-Wee Showmanship event. She helped him lead her heifer around the ring in the Multi-Purpose Building.

Bob Abdou, also known as Mr. Puppet, performed Saturday, Sunday and Monday at the fairgrounds. When asked how he got into puppetry, he explained how adults from the 50s, 60s and 70s grew up with puppets in their lives, due to puppets appearing on television and in theater.

“So I was 34 years old, I decided I wanted to make a switch in my life and I remember having a puppet as a child,” he said. “And so I got a puppet to use on my job as a salesman in my printing business.”

Abdou realized that he was getting more work from his clients, by making them happy and filling them with laughter. Later, he closed his business to go into puppetry full time.

Abdou said his inspiration came from the Uncle Floyd Show, a sketch comedy show featuring Floyd’s right hand, Oogie. He eventually met and had the chance to perform with Uncle Floyd and Oogie during a dinner theater show.

Bob Abdou, also known as Mr. Puppet, performs his comedy entertainment puppet show, alongside Stinky, at the Washington County Fair. (Photo by James Dobbs)

Abdou said his life changed five years ago while performing at the fair. He said he realized that Washington County is a “poor area” and some of the kids here are being raised by their grandparents due to their parents being incarcerated, in rehab, or even deceased.

” So I realized that instead of making these children laugh, which is my ultimate goal, I want them to feel special,” he said. “I realized that I want to turn my spotlight on my audience and make them shine, because the children here need it.”

James Dobbs can be reached at


The fair concludes today. The remaining schedule includes:

Macie Smith received first in her market class for her dairy beef presentation. (Photo by James Dobbs)

* 3 p.m.: Buyers Reception

* 4 p.m.: Midway Opens; Junior Fair Livestock Sale

* 6-8 p.m.: Booth Tear Down

* 7 p.m.: KOI Drag Racing

* 11 p.m.: Midway Closes

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A vacant building near Washington Park is to be converted into an events venue. It would be the latest in a series of nearby developments. – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

A vacant building near Washington Park is to be converted into an events venue. It would be the latest in a series of nearby developments.  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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Washington Black events aim to connect production crew with Black Nova Scotian communities | CBC News

Washington Black events aim to connect production crew with Black Nova Scotian communities | CBC News

The showrunner of a TV series based on Esi Edugyan’s novel Washington Black says shooting in Nova Scotia for the past few months has felt like coming home.

Selwyn Seyfu Hinds, who is also a writer and executive producer on the Disney+ series, called Nova Scotia “one of the most gorgeous places” he’s ever shot. He also said the cast and crew have particularly appreciated connecting with local communities.

“Being able to tangibly touch and feel the Black Nova Scotian community here, which is such an important part of the book and important part of the show,” he told CBC Radio’s Information Morning on Friday.

“A barber cut my hair one day and just casually mentions that his family have been here for 500 years.”

Listen to Selwyn Seyfu Hinds’s full interview with Portia Clark:

Information Morning – NS10:17Washington Black production wraps in NS

The novel Washington Black follows a young Black man, George Washington Black — Wash for short — on an extraordinary series of adventures after he flees his former life as a slave on a sugar plantation in Barbados.

Wash’s journey takes him all over the world, but one of his first stops is Nova Scotia.

The TV adaptation of Edugyan’s story began shooting in the province in March, including in Lunenburg, The Ovens, Mount Uniacke and Halifax. It’s expected to wrap up production here next week.

Edugyan told CBC News in a recent interview that she wanted to show the complexities of Black settlement in Nova Scotia.

Esi Edugyan is the author of Washington Black. (CBC)

The character of Wash expects Nova Scotia to be a haven for him, given Canada’s connection to slavery as being the last stop on the Underground Railroad.

“He’s going into it, expecting to find that he’s fully accepted and greeted,” Edugyan explains, “and that ends up not being the case. He finds that this is a place of great fractiousness.”

The migration of Black Loyalists during the American Civil War made Shelburne, the town where Wash takes refuge in her book, the site of the largest colony of free Black people outside of Africa at the time.

However, as a result of the racism and discrimination the Black Loyalists faced, Shelburne was also where Canada’s first recorded race riots took place in 1784.

Will the Black community benefit?

An open letter written by Shekara Grant, a founding member of the Change is Brewing Collective, and posted on Instagram in February expressed concerns about people profiting from this difficult history without sharing the benefits with, or addressing the current problems facing the community the story is about.

Grant’s letter questions the inclusion and consultation of Black Nova Scotians in the show’s production planning. She wrote that while it’s important to share their stories of historic inequality, the Black community of south Shelburne is still dealing with environmental racism.

Since 2016, a group called the South End Environmental Injustice Society (SEED) has been lobbying unsuccessfully for access to uncontaminated drinking water.

From left: Actors Sterling K. Brown and Iola Evans, showrunner Selwyn Seyfu Hinds, Dwayne Provo with the Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs, director Wanuri Kahiu and actor Ernest Kingsley Jr. (Adams Photography)

When asked about these concerns, Hinds said, “I wanted to be able to come to this community and make and leave a tangible difference as much as I could.”

Hinds said his team has hired Black Nova Scotian background actors and crew members. In order to engage and involve the community, the production is hosting a series of events called Washington Black Talks.

“No single production can change the entire face of things, but I certainly think we’ve been able to have a substantial impact here,” Hinds said.

Washington Black Talks

Hinds said the events are open to the public, and a chance to meet and have open conversations with himself, other Black writers, actors and co-executive producer and star actor Sterling K. Brown.

While not exactly consultation events, he hopes having direct access to Black people who are making a living in Hollywood will make the dream more accessible for Black Nova Scotians who are also interested in careers in the industry.

“[It’s] just us talking to the community,” Hinds said. “I can tell you personally that my own path, what I’m doing now, didn’t come about until I met a director, Mr. Reggie Hudlin, who looked like me.”

The next Washington Black Talks event is Sunday, June 19, at the Black Cultural Centre in Cherry Brook from 1 to 3 p.m. AT.

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.

Being Black in Canada highlights stories about Black Canadians. (CBC)


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Roy, O’Connor win events; Generals finish second at ODAC Championship – Washington and Lee University

Roy, O'Connor win events; Generals finish second at ODAC Championship - Washington and Lee University

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Senior Joe O’Connor (Henrico, Va. / Douglas Freeman) and sophomore Adam Roy (Bedford, N.H. / Bedford) posted one win each on the second day of the 2022 ODAC Outdoor Championship, as the Washington and Lee men’s track & field team finished second.
Highlights from the meet:
-O’Connor’s win came in the pole vault at a mark of 4.85m (15’11.00″), and he also added a fourth-place finish in the 110m hurdles (15.65). Roy’s win came in the javelin (51.43m [[168’8″]).
-First-year Connor Lehman (Weston, Mass. / Weston) and sophomore Mark Waller (Mountain Brook, Ala. / Mountain Brook) came in next for the Generals with a second-place effort and personal record each. Lehman’s new high mark came in the javelin (49.24m [161’6″]) and Waller’s came in the 400m hurdles (55.57).
-First-year Jaylen Day (Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. / Harve de Grace), junior Doug Dracon (Matthews, N.C. / Weddington) and first-year Luke Avigliano (Madison, N.J. / Seton Hall Prep) rounded out the Top 3 finishers for the Generals. Day placed third in the 110m hurdles (15.50), Dracon was third in the 400m (48.93) and Avigliano took third in the 800m (1:54.32).
Top 8 Finishes (Scoring Places):
Joe O’Connor – 1st place pole vault (4.85m [15’11.00″]); 4th place 110m hurdles (15.65)
Adam Roy – 1st place javelin (51.43m [168’8″])
Connor Lehman – 2nd place javelin (49.24m [161’6″])
Mark Waller – 2nd place 400m hurdles (55.57)
Jaylen Day – 3rd place 110m hurdles (15.50)
Doug Dracon – 3rd place 400m (48.93)
Luke Avigliano – 3rd place 800m (1:54.32)
James Dixon – 4th place 800m (1:54.86)
-Marable, Avigliano, Moore, Dixon – 4th place 4x400m relay (3:23.29)
George Marable – 5th place 400m hurdles (56.34)
Ryan McKenna – 6th place 400m hurdles (56.65)
Hayden Roberts – 7th place 1,500m (4:00.80)
Zach Moore – 7th place 800m (1:56.81)
Row Sterne – 7th place 5,000m (15:30.76)
Evan Novak – 7th place javelin (43.21m [141’9″]); 8th place discus (39.20m [128’7″])
Isaac Barber – 7th place triple jump (13.06m [42’10.25″])
Josh Fingerhut – 8th place 1,500m (4:01.59)
Connor Verrett – 8th place 5,000m (15:32.70)
Personal Bests:
Connor Lehman – javelin (49.24m [161’6″])
Mark Waller – 400m hurdles (55.57)
Jaylen Day – 110m hurdles (15.50)
Doug Dracon – 400m (48.93)
Luke Avigliano – 800m (1:54.32)
James Dixon – 800m (1:54.86)
George Marable – 400m hurdles (56.34)
Ryan McKenna – 400m hurdles (56.65)
Hayden Roberts – 1,500m (4:00.80)
Row Sterne – 5,000m (15:30.76)
Evan Novak – javelin (43.21m [141’9″])
Josh Fingerhut – 1,500m (4:01.59)
Jake Symonds – 1,500m (4:02.30)
Thomas Kallen – 1,500m (4:09.06)
Stevan Bajski – javelin (39.20m [128’7″])
Team Scores:
1. Lynchburg – 202 points
2. Washington and Lee – 123 points
3. Bridgewater – 122 points
4. Shenandoah – 97 points
5. Eastern Mennonite – 74 points
6. Roanoke – 65 points
7. Virginia Wesleyan – 51 points
8. Ferrum – 35 points
9. Randolph – 10 points

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Events happening in ENC on Saturday

Events happening in ENC on Saturday

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Today, there are a variety of events taking place across Eastern Carolina.

In Greenville:

  • The Cub Scouts are hosting their Bicycle Rodeo to help teach kids the elements of bike safety. The event will be in the parking lot of Dick’s Sporting Goods from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be food, an obstacle course and the chance to sign up to be a scout. Registration is required. Masks are required at the event. The event address is 3500 Galleria Drive.
  • The Pitt County Senior Center’s Springfest runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Homemade goods and crafts like jewelry, clothing and home goods will be for sale. Food trucks will also be on-site during the event. The event location is 4551 County Home Road.
  • The Spring Fling Community Event will feature 50 vendors in the hopes of introducing the community to local businesses and entrepreneurs. Shazia Thomas, owner and creator of SJ Made It Studios, will host the event. It runs from 1 to 5 p.m. at 406 SW Greenville Blvd.

In Washington:

  • The Kiwanis Club of Washington will host its first Golf Ball Drop Fundraiser starting at 11 a.m. at the Washington-Warren Airport. A helicopter will drop 500 numbered golf balls in a target area at the airport at 11:30 a.m. The three closest balls to the target’s center will win cash prizes; $1,500 for first, $1,000 for second and $500 for third closest. Winners do not need to be present. Profits from the event will benefit Bright Futures of Beaufort County and Kiwanis service projects and scholarships for youth in the county. Golf balls can be purchased online here starting at $25 per ball. Deadline to purchase tickets online is today at 10 a.m.

Copyright 2022 WITN. All rights reserved.

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Track & Field Gears Up for Two Events This Weekend – George Washington University Athletics

Track & Field Gears Up for Two Events This Weekend - George Washington University Athletics
WASHINGTON – George Washington track & field is back in action this weekend, splitting the squad up between the Virginia Challenge on Friday and the Hopkins/Loyola Invitational on Saturday.

The Colonials have gotten off to an impressive start in their outdoor campaign, breaking six school records in the first four meets of the year. 

On the men’s side, Ryan Fowkes and Miles Grant broke GW records in the 800m and long jump, respectively. The men’s 4x1500m relay team also set a new school highmark. 

As for the women’s team, Kathryn Nohilly has been a force in the 1500m, setting a new school record in the event twice already this year. Additionally, the women’s 4x1500m relay team etched their names in the GW record book this season. 

A full participation schedule for this weekend’s events can be found below:


Women’s 5000m

Ryan Fowkes

Women’s 3000m Steeplechase

Kathryn Nohilly


Men’s 800

Luke Peterson

Pierce Kapustka

Pat Castellano

Men’s 1500m

Kevin Conlon

Pierce Kapustka

Pat Castellano

Men’s 5K

Alex Longeway
Lucas Brown
Thomas Sand
James Glockenmeier 

Men’s 3000m Steeplechase

Logan Broedner 

Long Jump

Miles Grant 

Women’s 800m

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Events Celebrating Chicago’s First Black Mayor Harold Washington, on His 100th Birthday

Events Celebrating Chicago's First Black Mayor Harold Washington, on His 100th Birthday

Friday would have been the 100th birthday of Chicago’s first black Mayor.

April 12, 1983, Harold Lee Washington was elected the first African American mayor of Chicago. He was also the first mayor to bring a vote for LQBTQ+ protections to the council floor.

A trailblazer in many communities and nicknamed ‘The People’s Mayor,’ Washington soon became one of the most celebrated mayors in the city’s history.

NBC Chicago Commemorates Harold Washington’s Life and Legacy on His 100th Birthday

In honor of Washington’s birthday, organizers with The Harold Washington Foundation and The People’s March Inc. are organizing several events across the city. The events, according to a press release, are “efforts is to keep Mayor Harold L. Washington’s legacy alive by promoting Black-in-Black Love and encouraging an end to the violence in all of Chicago’s 77 communities.”

Here’s a Look at Friday’s Harold Washington Celebrations:

9 a.m.: Community Breakfast Giveaway at The Community Breakfast Giveaway at Harold Lee Washington Park at 5200 S. Hyde Park Blvd.

1 p.m.: Car caravan and peace parade in Washington’s honor. The parade begins at at Washington Park Field House, located at 5531 South King Dr.

The caravan will end with a prayer vigil at Oak Wood Cemetery, 1035 E 67th St., — the final resting place for Mayor Washington.

5-7 p.m.: Community reception with food and music at Harold Lee Washington Park

To join the car caravan or to support and/or become a member of The Harold Washington Foundation, visit The Harold Foundation or call 312-671-2773.