2/3 Gallery: Goats at the Manatee County Fair.

February 3, 2014 

Staff Photographer

Though the days of this year's Manatee County Fair are well behind us, for many, the memories will linger. While most of us went for fun, for some, fair time means hard work. Youth members and volunteers of Manatee County's numerous 4-H clubs and FFA chapters worked tirelessly throughout to care for and prepare their animals for exhibition. For many of these kids, the memories may be bittersweet. After spending months getting to know and growing close to their animals through good times and bad, once the livestock shows are over, it's invariably time to say goodbye. Even the most stubborn of goats can, after a while, start to grow on you. Sure, they might try to butt heads with you all the time, but at least they do it with a twinkle in their eye and a spring in their step. Here's to all the animals at this year's fair. Whatever your future holds, no one can ever say that you were anything but yourself. Your memory will live on in the hearts and photo albums of all the kids and clubs who made you a special part of their own extended family. And to all those wacky goats -- see you next year!

PAUL VIDELA — pvidela@bradenton.com Buy Photo

Though the days of this year's Manatee County Fair are well behind us, for many, the memories will linger. While most of us went for fun, for some, fair time means hard work. Youth members and volunteers of Manatee County's numerous 4-H clubs and FFA chapters worked tirelessly throughout to care for and prepare their animals for exhibition. For many of these kids, the memories may be bittersweet. After spending months getting to know and growing close to their animals through good times and bad, once the livestock shows are over, it's invariably time to say goodbye. Even the most stubborn of goats can, after a while, start to grow on you. Sure, they might try to butt heads with you all the time, but at least they do it with a twinkle in their eye and a spring in their step. Here's to all the animals at this year's fair. Whatever your future holds, no one can ever say that you were anything but yourself. Your memory will live on in the hearts and photo albums of all the kids and clubs who made you a special part of their own extended family. And to all those wacky goats -- see you next year!

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