Not only will this year’s Tulare County Fair — the 100th in the event’s history — be written about in history books, so too will one particular butter statue.

In what many are calling the greatest competitive event of all time — OK, maybe it’s just me and our sports reporter Noe Garcia calling it that — the Hanford Sentinel earned a first-place ribbon at the Fair’s Media Butter Sculpting Competition on opening day Wednesday afternoon.

Participating in the fun and silly event for the second year in a row (it’s only been around for two years), I am pleased to say I brought one of those big, flamboyant Fair ribbons back to the Sentinel office with me.

Last year, my sculpture, LeButter James, took a cue from the real-life athlete that inspired his likeness and came in second place.  April Skye, of 99.7 FM Classic Rock, won last year earning her place as the Steph Curry of butter sculpting. Her snowman sculpture proved to be just as silky and buttery as Curry’s three-point shot.

Since last year, I’ve been thinking up puns that earn me the prized ribbon at the 2019 Fair and when the Lakers made a franchise-altering trade for Pelicans power forward Anthony Davis in June, I knew I had my pun.

As a side note, the Lakers traded so much for Davis that I am fairly sure my LeButter James sculpture was actually part of the deal somehow.

Just as Anthony Davis will this year win the Lakers the NBA title that LeBron James could not secure last year, Anthony Dairy-vis has earned me -- and the Hanford Sentinel -- the first place prize at this year’s Fair.

Learning from my mistake last year – the spectators assumed LeButter was actually Claymation TV star Gumby – I added a special touch that would leave no confusion as to who my sculpture was this year. After construction the basketball player from five pounds of butter, I cut off a small portion of my beard to give Anthony Dairy-vis his signature unibrow.

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To be fair, the first-place prize this year was a tie with Diana Hurtado of the Visalia Women’s Circle Newsletter and Hurtado probably should have just won it anyway.

Due to falling on Sept. 11, the unofficial theme of this year’s contest was patriotism, a theme that I (mostly) ignored (because I couldn’t think of a good George Washington/butter pun) and that Diana took to heart. She sculpted a power first – the kind popularized by gold medalist Tommie Smith at the 1968 Olympics. The Hanford native raised his fist in support of human rights during the ceremony.

Diana said while sculpting that her fist sculpture also represented the work of Central Valley labor leader and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez.

I just made a pun. I mean, it’s a pretty good pun, but still.

Anyway, congratulations to co-first-place winner Diana Hurtado. I also want to thank Tina Novoa at the Tulare County Fair and the small handful of people who took time out of their Fair visit to watch our silly competition.

The 100th Tulare County Fair runs through Sunday and features about a million fun things to do.

For more information and a full events schedule, visit www.tcfair.org

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Parker Bowman is the assistant content editor for the Hanford Sentinel, follow him on Twitter and Instagram @ Parker_THS or send an email to PBowman@HanfordSentinel.com

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