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JANESVILLE -- Long before the Rock County 4-H Fair dates are written in on personal calendars and circled with a colored Sharpie, the dog project members are busy putting their pets through their paces.

"We start in March and meet every Thursday," explains Project Leader Katie Becker.

JANESVILLE -- They’re big. A pair of them can weight more than 3,200 pounds. They have names like Jerry and Tom, Rex and Duke, Mike and Bud, Red and Ed and that’s just the horses, usually of the Belgian breed. They’re built for work -- big shoulders, huge feet and a drive to succeed. A full grown Belgian can weigh a ton.

JANESVILLE -- While you’re at the  Rock County 4-H Fair, take a trip down memory lane with a visit to the Rock County 4-H Fair Museum. It’s open daily during fair week.

The museum features memorabilia including ribbons, fair books, past 4-H and FFA projects, items from former 4-H and FFA members and billboards and posters of past entertainers.

 “Families Make the Fair Go Round” not only is the fair’s theme this year, it’s the emphasis of one new project that will be revealed during fair week.

 The Ag Adventure Tent will be set up adjacent to the council’s tent and will offer interactive activities for the younger fairgoers. It’s a collaboration between the fair board and the Ag Business Council of Rock County.

Montgomery Gentry arguably is the most well known of the grandstand acts at the 2015 Rock County 4-H Fair. They’ve released six studio albums for Columbia Records’ Nashville division, producing more than 20 chart topping singles for the duo on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, including the No.1 hits “If You Ever Stop Loving Me,” “Something to Be Proud Of” and “Lucky Man.”

JANESVILLE MESSENGER -- One of the great things about summer is the county fair. For six days, you can enjoy a slice of rural life right inside the city limits of Janesville.

This year’s Rock County 4-H Fair is set for July 28 through Aug. 2 at the Rock County Fairgrounds. The theme is “Families Make the Fair Go Round.”

Friday, 10 July 2015 08:52

Dulcimer music strings people together

JANESVILLE MESSENGER -- With only three or four strings and simple diatonic fret pattern facilitating the playing of the melody in an Ionian mode, the mountain dulcimer arguably is easier to play than this sentence is to understand.

“It’s a comfortable instrument to play,” said Bill Hatfield, owner of Hatfield Guitar

& Repair in Janesville. “You can sit it on your lap and really, anyone can learn to play it. It’s really popular with seniors. If you’re arthritic, you can still play it.” 

BELOIT -- Ever since his childhood, Verne "O.V." Shaffer has found his greatest satisfaction in building things.

JANESVILLE MESSENGER -- Social media is becoming an important tool for police to communicate with the community and to help solve crimes.

The Janesville Police Department uses a variety of social media outlets, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Nixle, to get information out to the public.

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