3 … 2 … 1… Showtime! Fair events begin Monday
The 67th annual Greater Jefferson County Fair officially opens Wednesday, but events will actually get under way for 4-H and FFA members Monday.
The theme for this year’s fair is “3 … 2 … 1… Showtime at the Greater Jefferson County Fair!” The theme and the fair book cover were designed and submitted by 4-H member Josie Lagle.
Conference judging for 4-H, Clover Kid and FFA projects begins at 8:30 a.m. Monday in the Jefferson County Fairgrounds Activity Building. Only exhibitors and their parents are allowed in for judging. The exhibit will open Wednesday.
The bucket bottle calf project and bottle lamb interviews also will be held Monday in the Jefferson County ISU Extension office.
More pre-fair events will follow Tuesday with the 4-H Horse Show beginning at 8 a.m. in the horse arena. Participants are encouraging spectators to come and watch.
Open Class entry check-in will be from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday and 7-8:30 a.m. Wednesday in the Activity Building. Judging will be at 9:30 a.m., and the exhibit opens at 1 p.m.
The Open Class Division is financially independent of the Jefferson County Fair Board. The fair board spends no money on the Open Class exhibit. The exhibit is supported by the exhibitors, so its success depends on those exhibitors. Organizers, including president Joyce Stanley, are hoping for more participation at this year’s fair.
The Open Class Division also sponsors several activities and contests during the fair, including a quilt block challenge, cupcake decorating and a duct tape contest Wednesdy, a scavenger hunt and a frozen T-shirt contest Thursday, and bubble gum bubble-blowing contests June 27 and rubber-chicken throwing and watermelon seed spitting contests June 28.
Open Class rules, classes and divisions were printed in a 2014 Jefferson County Fair Schedule in the June 5 Ledger and also are available on the fair’s website at www.jeffersoncofair.com.
The annual fair parade will begin at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, leaving from the Fairfield High School parking lot.
Parade coordinator Denny Thomes said parade participation is not limited to those involved in 4-H. Anyone wishing to participate in the fair parade is welcome, he said. Participants should be at the high school by 5:30 p.m. to register.
“We don’t pre-register anymore,” Thomes said. “If you want to be in the parade, just show up, fill out the form and then we will line you up.”
The parade will follow the same route as in past years, winding up Broadway Avenue past Central Park and the courthouse before ending back at the high school.
Thomes reminded spectators to be alert as parade participants are allowed to throw candy and trinkets to the crowd.
Parade winners will be announced during the Little Miss Contest, which begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the show arena.
The Little Miss Contest will be immediately followed by the auction of the Open Class quilt, the Jefferson County Queen Contest, and the Bill Riley Talent Show.
Free entertainment at the fair will include performances by Casual Dining Experience Band at 8 p.m. Thursday; magicians at 8 p.m. June 27; and Fully Loaded Band at 8 p.m. June 28, all on the free stage in the show arena. Doc Anderson’s Entertainment also is scheduled several times each day on the midway.
Fairgoers can enjoy five nights of grandstand shows: Tough Trucks on Wednesday, WI-FMX Motocross jumping on Thursday; quad races on June 27, Twin State Pulling Association truck and tractor pulls on June 28, and the demolition derby on June 29. Fireworks will light up the sky at the conclusion of the demo derby.
General grandstand admission is $10 for children ages 12 through adult and $5 for children ages 5 to 11. Pit admission is $20.
However, front gate admission remains free for the fourth year running. Jefferson County Fair Board president Steve Fritchen has explained the board eliminated the admission fee so area residents – already plagued by rising gas prices and a lagging economy – could still come enjoy the local fair.
The midway carnival will open Wednesday, with reduced-price armbands available.
“On the 4-H side of things, we have the water splash off Thursday and Farm Safety on Friday [June 27],” said Jefferson County 4-H youth coordinator Courtney Taglauer.
The 16th annual water splash, which includes volleyball, tug-of-war, wheelbarrow races and pitcher races, is set for 3:30 pm. Thursday.
Sign-up ends at noon Thursday in the Activity Building, said Taglauer. Teams of four can register, but individuals also can sign up and be placed on a team. Two age groups are planned: sixth grade and younger; and seventh through 12th grade. The fee is $1 per person. Those younger than 18 must have a parent or leader signature to participate.
Taglauer said the Farm Safety Day program is being brought back after several years on hiatus. It is set from 3-4:15 p.m. June 27, with a sign up deadline at noon in the Extension Office or the Activity Building. Registration for the free program is limited to the first 50 children.
The program, with topics on animal, bicycle, electricity, lawnmower, power-take off, grain bin and water safety, as well as chemical and poison control and first aid, can benefit children who live on and off farms, Taglauer said.
The fair will include 4-H and FFA livestock shows, the Doug Moothart Memorial Open Class Beef Show, an open class horse show, food, entertainment, prizes and lots more.
A special section featuring a schedule of fair events will be included in Tuesday’s Ledger and Town Crier. A special section, with both a schedule of events and rules and information, was inserted in the June 5 edition of The Ledger.
A special commemorative edition of the 2014 Greater Jefferson County Fair, featuring photos and results of the 4-H and FFA competitions, will be published after the fair.