Youngsters throughout the county are gearing up for the 54th Annual Somervell County Youth Fair, which will be held Friday and Saturday at the Somervell County Expo Center.

Showing will begin at 8 a.m. each day in the main arena. A food showing will also take place in the exhibit hall.

The fair provides an opportunity for students to learn responsibility and pride in their work, President of the Somervell County Youth Fair Association Clark Cole said.

“It is pretty much a year-long responsibility for most of the kids involved,” Cole said.

Cole said parents are often heavily involved with animal raising, making it a family-oriented project.

“It is an activity that draws families together,” Cole said.

Animals range from steers to goats or sheep to pigs.

“The bigger the animal the more responsibility it is,” Cole said.

Families are often out a significant amount of money until the show occurs, which is where children earn money for their animals, Cole said.

The fair will consist of animal showing, awards and a premium sale.

“It is called a premium show, it is not a terminal show,” Cole said. “It is a precursor to the big show. They are not buying an animal, they are buying the animal’s place and supporting kids.”

Several awards will also be handed out to individuals working behind the scenes.

“We award a Junior Top Hand and a Senior Top Hand - those are pretty prestigious awards,” Cole said.

For more information on the fair, visit www.glenroseexpo.com.