Games, contests and workshops were plentiful Saturday as Merced County 4-H held its annual Food, Fashion and Fun Festival in Los Banos for the first time in six years.
The event included arts and crafts projects, educational seminars, food contests and a fashion show/competition.
“You’ve probably seen 4-H mostly at the May Day Fair when you’ve gone there, but it is more than just animals. It also has the fashion component, sewing and cooking,” said Donna Wilson, a community leader for Our Lady of Fatima 4-H
Darlene McIntyre, a Merced County 4-H representative, said 4-H also includes teaching children communication skills and science. Both are emphasized in events separate from Saturday’s activity.
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The Food, Fashion and Fun Festival focused heavily on fashion as members modeled dresses they made themselves. Fashion categories also included homemade aprons, denim outfits and recycled items that are transformed into apparel different from their original purpose.
Cake Boss and cookie contests were also held at the event.
McIntyre said a lot of 4-Hers throughout Merced County attend the event, which is hosted at a different site each year.
Wilson said the children learn valuable lessons at the festival
“They get practice being judged. The ones in the fashion review have to write their own commentary about what they have done, so they practice writing skills,” Wilson said, adding that there is also an interview portion.
Care bags for Merced County foster children were sewn by 4-H members at the festival. The bags will include stuffed animals, toiletries and other essential items the children may need.
Shaelyn Pugliese, 15, organized the event as part of her 4-H project.
“This is my All-Star project, so it’s work for me but I’m also having a lot of fun,” Pugliese said.