Elkhart County 4-H Fair announces animal acts for 2014

    The Elkhart County 4-H Fair will have some unusual animal acts this year, including costumed geese.

    Posted on April 12, 2014 at 11:01 a.m.

    A man with a flock of costumed geese is part of the fair's animal entertainment this year. 

    Monica Gould, who handles inner grounds entertainment for the Elkhart County 4-H Fair, said that Paul Messerschmidt — known as the Gooseman — is a roaming act that will be at the fair July 23-26. 

    The Gooseman walks around the fair telling stories, she said, and his geese follow along behind. He came highly recommended from other fairs.

    She's also bringing in a stingray exhibit, which will be open all day.

    "There are between six and 12 stingrays in a pool that you can pet — they have had their barbs removed." Gould said. "And you can also feed them."

    The tiger act from a few years ago is also returning, she said. It will perform three shows each day.

    Gould keeps an eye on trendy TV shows when she thinks about entertainment fairgoers would like. She said she's noticed shows like "America's Got Talent" and animal-themed shows becoming more popular. 

    She also gets feedback from parents who say the grandstand entertainment isn't as important to them — their kids want to know what animal acts will be at the fair.

    "The animal shows appeal to everyone," she said. 


    The stingray exhibit will be near the new Gate G. It's open all day, except for short breaks for the animals. This exhibit is safe for even small children, and a staff person will be on hand to assist with petting and feeding. 

    Tigers will be near the family entertainment center. Show attendees should arrive about 45 minutes before the show starts to get a seat because space is limited.

    Follow reporter Lydia Sheaks on Twitter at @LydiaSheaks

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