Register now for 4-H presentation, talent and expressive arts competitions

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 11, 2023

By Laura Allen
N.C. Cooperative Extension

Do you have a child ages 5-18 (as of Jan. 1) that you would like to get engaged in extracurricular activities? Do you feel that public speaking skills are important for your child to have? Does your child have a special talent that they would love to share? Is your child artistic or creative? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then Rowan County 4-H has just the activity for your child!

It’s time for the annual 4-H Rowan “County Activity Day.” This is an event where youths ages 5-18 compete in 4-H presentations and/or expressive arts competitions. In addition, youths ages 8-18 can compete in 4-H talent. This event will be held in-person on April 21 at the Extension office. Registration is due by April 5. All expressive arts entries are due to the office no later than April 13.

4-H presentations involve your child giving a 5- to 12-minute presentation to a panel of judges and any guests who come to the event. Participants can choose any topic that interests them for their presentation. Essentially, the child is giving a speech on their topic, while also using props. Their props could include a trifold display board, posters, objects, etc. There are also 4-H outdoor cookery topics, where youths cook food as part of their presentation. These presentations will be given in the evening on April 21.

4-H talent is a talent show for 4-H members to showcase their talents. Talent exhibitions can be no longer 5 minutes long. This event can be done individually or as a group. Examples of talents that could be shared include singing, dancing, playing an instrument or any other special talent.

4-H expressive arts includes tons of artistic and creative categories such as drawing, painting, Lego creations, handmade jewelry, leather crafts  and more. All items should be made by the youths entering them. These entries are due in hand by April 13 and will be judged and displayed with ribbons on April 21 during County Activity Day.

If youths qualify at the county level in 4-H presentation or talent, they will be able to compete at the district and/or state level. District level competition will be in-person in June (event hosted in Rowan County) while state level events will be in-person in July in Raleigh. 4-H presentation winners at the district and state levels will win awards and may win money, too!

As a 4-H agent, I love seeing youths get involved in these events, which encourages them to get out of their comfort zone and try something new. It’s also fascinating to watch these youths grow in their skillset and to learn and practice skills they will use for a lifetime. 4-H is a safe and encouraging environment for them to start developing these skills.

I encourage you to get your child involved in these wonderful opportunities. These events are open to those who are or are not currently enrolled in 4-H. If you are not currently in 4-H, enrollment is free and can be completed at

Registration this year will be via 4-HOnline. Once you are a registered and approved member, then you can register for these competitions under “events” in 4-HOnline.

All details about Rowan 4-H’s County Activity Day can be found at

I realize, especially if this will be your child’s first time participating, that you may have lots of questions…about this event and other 4-H opportunities. I will be hosting a “4-H Opportunities” workshop, specifically for parents, at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 30, at the Extension office. At this workshop, we will talk about 4-H presentations, project record books, achievement plans, Cloverbucks, 4-H event grants, Paper Clover Week and more. I will have examples to watch and look at, lots of good handouts to take home, and will have a Q&A time, too. I kindly ask that you RSVP by March 27 if you plan to attend.

Feel free to email me at to ask any questions you may have. I’m glad to help you so that together we can make this a wonderful experience for your child!

4-H is the youth development component of Cooperative Extension. Any youths ages 5-18 (as of Jan. 1) are invited to enroll and participate in 4-H. Visit us at 2727-A Old Concord Road in Salisbury or For questions or more information, contact 704-216-8970 or

Laura Allen is 4-H agent with the Rowan County Extension.

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