Pre-fair activities begin today
Come heat, humidity or high water, the 66th Annual Greater Jefferson County Fair will open Wednesday and continue through July 1.
This year’s fair theme, “Roundin’ Down to Fair Time,” was submitted by Dakota McElderry and Danielle Smith. It was selected from four entries.
While the fair does not officially open until Wednesday, pre-fair activities began today. Conference judging for 4-H and Clover Kids projects began at 8:30 a.m. today and continued throughout the day in the Activity Building. Only exhibitors and their parents were allowed in for judging. The bucket bottle calf project and bottle lamb interviews also were held today in the Extension office.
More pre-fair events will follow Tuesday with the 4-H Horse Show beginning at 8 a.m. in the horse arena. 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. Livestock pens open at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
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, Thomes 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 past Central Park and the courthouse before ending back at the high school. This year, the reigning Iowa Junior Miss Queen will wave to bystanders from a convertible. The parade also will feature a group of RAGBRAI bicyclists.
“We wanted to advertise RAGBRAI coming through Fairfield in July,” Thomes said.
Thomes reminded parade watchers to be alert as parade participants are allowed to throw candy and trinkets to the crowd. The parade is expected to last 40-45 minutes. 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 Jefferson County Green Band at 8 p.m. Thursday and Blue Cat Alley at 8 p.m. Saturday. Both bands will play in the show arena. Keith West also will be performing magic at 7 p.m. Friday on the show arena stage.
Fairgoers can enjoy five nights of grandstand shows – up from the usual four.
Returning to the grandstand this year is the Tough Truck Show, Quad Races, Truck and Tractor Pull by the Twin State Pulling Association, and the Demolition Derby. The track has been enlarged this year to improve the derby and fireworks will follow. New to the lineup this year is Midwest Championship Wrestling to be held at 7 p.m. Thursday.
The Midway will open Wednesday, with reduced-price armbands available from 6-10 p.m. Reduced-price armbands also will be available from 1-5 p.m. Friday and Sunday.
The fair will include 4-H and FFA livestock shows, the Doug Moothart Memorial Open Class Beef Show, an open class horse show and lots more.
“I just encourage everyone to come out,” said Jefferson County Fair Board president Steve Fritchen. “We’ve got something for everyone.”
General grandstand admission is $10 for children age 12 through adult and $5 for children age 5 to 11. Pit admission is $20 as is ringside seating for Midwest Championship Wrestling. However, front gate admission remains free for the third year running. Fritchen said 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.
A special section featuring a schedule of fair events was included in Friday’s Ledger. It also will appear this week in the Town Crier. A special section, with both a schedule of events and rules and information, was inserted in the June 7 edition of The Ledger. A special commemorative edition of the 2013 Greater Jefferson County Fair, featuring photos and results of the 4-H and FFA competitions, will be published after the fair.
• The Jefferson County Cattleman’s Association was scheduled to serve sandwiches at noon Saturday. This event has been moved to 5 p.m. Saturday. The association will be serving complimentary sandwiches to youth showing cattle at the fair.