Bryce and Austin Hausler were dressed as their favorite superheroes as they walked around the South Mountain Creamery Arena at the Frederick Fairgrounds on Saturday night.
But their cow, two-month old Bambi, stole the show as Wonder Woman.
Bryce, 6, and Austin, 3, were some of the many participants in the Pretty Cow Contest at The Great Frederick Fair. The event gives kids a chance to dress up cows in costumes and also inform the local community about the importance of dairy farming.
Bryce and Austin’s cow, Bambi, won the under five 4-H/FFA category, based on originality, storytelling and the overall appearance of the cow, among other categories.
Bryce said after his win that it was his third year of competing in the Pretty Cow contest, and was excited about his win.
His mother, Britanny Hausler, said the event is an important educational tool for the dairy industry in Frederick County. She added the event is special for all the youngsters involved.
“I would definitely say it’s one of the biggest highlights of the fair for the kids,” Brittanny, of Jefferson, said. “And I think it’s good to see them get involved with animals.”
A three-person team judged each age group Saturday, as over 100 people crowded around the arena.
Donna Parry, of Frederick, was honest about the job of judging.
“It’s very hard to judge, because they all deserve to win,” Parry said with a laugh. “They all take a lot of time to get their cows ready and under control as they walk them around.”
As Parry was saying that, one cow dressed as a spaceman moved toward her and the other two judges, causing them to jump out of their chairs.
That cow belonged to Atley Schafer, 11, of Jefferson. Schafer was surprised to win the junior category for 4-H/FFA, ages 8-10. She is in the junior category based on the 4-H rules, she said.
The idea to dress a cow up in a spacesuit came from talking to someone at Faith Baptist Church in Knoxville about the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, Schafer said.
For part of the contest, participants had to draft a story about their costume, incorporating facts about the dairy industry. Part of Schafer’s story included a joke: “By the way, the moon is not made out of cheese, it’s just dust and rocks.”
“I think it’s a really neat contest,” Schafer said of participating for the second year. “I love both speaking and I love seeing when kids touch cows for the first time, and educating everyone about the dairy industry.”
Frederick County has roughly 15,000 dairy cows on 95 licensed dairy farms, according to information posted at the arena. Dozens of kids participated in multiple categories Saturday.