There were many elaborate and unique stick horses ridden by children in the Stick Horse Rodeo Tuesday, but Jayden Donne's still stood out.
Jayden, 2, rode on a stick reindeer. The reindeer was topped with a red and white Santa hat. The stick reindeer was a gift from his grandma, said Jacki Donne, his mother.
"He has been practicing for this," she said.
Jayden got some extra inspiration when he went to the rodeo Monday night.
The reindeer isn't Rudolph, since it doesn't have a red nose. They picked the name Prancer.
"It could be called that, or any of the names of the fast reindeer," she said with a chuckle.
It's the Donnes' first Brown County Fair and Jacki Donne said she wanted to make the most of it. She said she's most looking forward to seeing John Michael Montgomery Thursday night.
-- Reporter Kay Nguyen
Real ponies, too
As the popular stick horse races took place Tuesday afternoon, new faces offered a traditional fair experience to children: pony rides.
Ermalene and Scott Schlepp brought 13 of their 23 ponies to the Brown County Fair for the first time this year. In the past, another couple serviced the fair before selling their ponies to the Schlepps.
Typically five to six ponies are gathered to give rides under the small tent. Ermalene Schlepp said ponies give rides for two hours at a time before taking a break in the small area behind the trailer. Children often line the railings, hoping to pet the ponies on break.
The Schlepps have appeared at many area fairs in the region this summer, providing pony rides to people throughout northeast South Dakota.
"Its fun to meet different people," she said. "It's very interesting to us."
-- Reporter Creighton Hoefer
Playground goes up
A marathon playground construction was underway at the Kid's Zone of the Brown County Fair Tuesday afternoon.
Several employees from Rainbow Play Systems put together a deluxe swing set and slide combination with impressive speed and quickness.
Many fathers can attest to the overall difficulty of putting together a child's playground. Between confusing instructions and long labor, building a playground can quickly become a weekend project.
Rainbow employee Andy Bushinger said the group started mid-morning Tuesday and planned to finish the project by supper time.
"This set alone will probably take six to eight hours total to put together," he said.
Hired in May, Bushinger said the process can be complicated at first but, after building a few, he and partner Steve Harvard have learned to put together playgrounds on short notice.
"I think the best thing to do is it takes hands-on experience," he said. "It typically helps to work with someone who has done it before. Steve and I break it down and split it up."
The playground will be available for purchase during the fair. Bushinger estimated the model costs between $8,000 and $9,000.
-- Reporter Creighton Hoefer