Laura Wiens, The Triplicate

Junior Livestock Auction; public fuchsia event; vital stats from Pie Social

Another year, another pig raised by Danika Scott in preparation for the Junior Livestock Auction at the Del Norte County Fair.

The 11-year-old Redwood Elementary student is a member of the Elk Valley Swine Club "Pig Irons," part of 4-H. Come Sunday, Aug. 4, at 1 p.m., she hopes to watch "Jackson" get auctioned off, the same fate that awaited "Angelica" last year.

Jackson already weighed 50 pounds when Danika acquired him when he was a month old. Now he's 91 pounds at 5 months - and needs to get up to 200 pounds by auction time. "They gain weight fast," said Danika. Jackson eats about three coffee cans of food per day, and also enjoys snacking on saltines.

No "slop" for Jackson, who's been consuming Rogue brand feed since he was 2 months old.

Danika's job basically entails keeping Jackson's bed dry, feeding him and walking him at the family home in Fort Dick.

Danika admits she was a bit sad last year when Angelica was auctioned off at $5.25 per pound for a total price of $1,200.85. But she has a scrapbook from that experience, and some money.

"The money that I make from my project animal will mostly be saved for my education, but I will also be buying some new school clothes," said Danika, who wants to go to college and become a lawyer.

Danika's pig, as well as many other young Del Norters' livestock, can be seen on the first day of the fair, Thursday, Aug. 1.

All about fuchsias

Another upcoming event at the fairgrounds is the Crescent City Fuchsia Society's monthly meeting and potluck Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m. in the dining hall, and all are invited.

It's a chance to learn how to grow fuchsias -- propagating them, fertilizing them, training them, controlling disease, shaping them in all kinds of creative ways, and even "hybridizing" them.

"Fuchsia doctors" will be on hand if you've got an ailing plant. A "country store" will sell gardening supplies, and visitors can browse a "library" of books about fuchsias, said Andrea Dahlberg, secretary of the society and wife of its president, Adam. There'll also be door prizes and raffle tickets are five for $1 -- a great opportunity to take home your own starter fuchsias.

Visitors will "see what we do as a club," said Andrea, and can actually join up. Activities include an annual garden tour (set for Aug. 17 this year) and sale every spring and during the fair.

Andrea and Adam moved here from Sacramento in 1999 and fell in love with the fuchsias they saw at the fair. Andrea had already been noticing fuchsias around town. Before that, "I guess I never saw them - it's so hot in Sacramento," Andrea said.

The flowers come in all sizes. "There's mini-ones, maybe a quarter-inch, and big fluffy double ones," Andrea said.

There are currently about 50 members of the Crescent City Fuchsia Society, and there's always room for more. The group meets every third Wednesday of the month at the fairgrounds in the dining hall. Call Andrea at 464-9114 for details.

Slices of life

The results are in from the Del Norte County Historical Society's 32nd annual Fourth of July Homemade Pie and Ice Cream Social, which is one of the traditional events in conjunction with the big parade.

Ninety-six pies were donated to the society's biggest annual fundraiser, and 452 people were served slices ala mode with coffee, said society manager Karen Betlejewski, who coordinated the event.

"We had some repeat customers," said Karen. "Two young men in their 20s came back for five different flavors."

Approximately $1,600 was raised and it all helps to keep the museum a place where people can learn about local history.

"It was a very successful pie social. We made more this year than last. It's getting progressively better. Our volunteers are really what make it happen. We're so fortunate to have a Board that is willing to work on the Fourth. Even though it's a lot of work, it's one of the funnest days."

Another tradition is the society's firing of its cannon to signal the parade's beginning. This year the honors went to Brandon Calkins, 27, a native of Crescent City, who is a veteran of two tours in Afghanistan.