Quiet livestock barns contrast to busy fair week

Amelia Chavez of Bargersville and her friend Olivia Frazier of Franklin shoveled out pens in the swine barn, two of the few remaining people milling around the Johnson County fairgrounds Friday morning.

The chore was one of the final activities of fair week before they’d head home.

“It’s been a hot week, but it’s been good,” Chavez said. “It’s always kind of sad when you get to clearing out the livestock.”

In contrast to the blur of activity in the barns since the fair started last weekend, Friday morning was laid-back and relaxing. The stillness in the livestock barns at the Johnson County fair was a stark contrast to what the rest of the week has been like.

Many of the pens had been cleared out, as 4-H’ers finished with their fair responsibilities had packed up and gone home. Some members swept the floors, while others took down temporary pens that had set up.

People backed animal trailers up to the barn entrances, loading cattle, swine or sheep for the drive home.

Decorations, signs and banners that had given the barns a home-like feel were gone. Families loaded up tables, chairs, coolers and other supplies from their temporary homes in the barns.

People scooped up dirty wood chips and bedding from the pen, taking wheelbarrows full to be disposed of properly.

Chavez and Frazier were helping shovel out the pens for Chavez’s brother, Alec. Two of Alec’s hogs were going to the Indiana State Fair, so Chavez and Frazier wanted to help him clean up before transporting the animals back home.

The chore was a bittersweet one.

“It’s always so much fun to come here, even though it’s a lot of work. I love it every single year, but it is a lot of work,” Chavez said.

— Ryan Trares, Daily Journal staff writer

Ryan Trares is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at rtrares@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2727.