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It's time for the county fair!
In Gays Mills
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Every year for the past 157 years, the Crawford County Fair has brought its special blend of end-of-the-summer fun to Gays Mills.

Drawing crowds of old and young alike for all those years, this year offers up just as much entertainment, if not more.

“I’ve always thought of the fair as a time for the county to celebrate its rural heritage,” said Peter Flesch, Crawford County Board Chairperson. “People grow up and come back to the fair and enjoy the rural heritage.”

Events will be held throughout the entire day, but some highlights and grandstand events include:

Kicking things off on Wednesday, Aug. 26 will be the Grilled Cheese Contest at 6 p.m. and the Kickapoo Taste at 7 p.m.  Everyone is welcome to participate in the Grilled Cheese Contest, but you will need to bring your own supplies as well as your own grill. Details and rules for the contest are available on the fair website at

The Southwest Pullers will keep everyone entertained when they bring out the machines for the tractor and truck pulls starting at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

On Friday, August 28, the fair will play host to the Blessed FMX Sport Stunt Show with music by ‘Menace’ starting at 7 p.m. It’s an event that personally interests Crawford County Fair Coordinator Amanda Nagel.

“I really look forward to the BMX show as well as the demo derby,” Nagel said.

On Saturday, Aug. 29 at noon, there will be an Antique Tractor Pull and at 7 p.m. Hard Hit Promotions brings the demolition derby to the fair grounds.

On Sunday, there will be a Talent Show at noon with music by the Class of ’62, featuring ‘The Surf Boys.’ Later at 1 p.m., there will be a Ranch Rodeo.

New Carnival

In addition to all of those scheduled events, Earl’s Rides from right here in our great state will be providing the fun on the Crawford County Fair Midway. It’s a third and fourth generation family-operated carnival, which has been traveling the state for over 50 years. All rides only need one ticket, with single tickets being $3.50 each.

 Entry to the fair this year will be $7 for daily admission for ages nine and up. An advance season pass will also be available or ages nine and up at a cost of $20.

Earl’s Rides also offers up gluten-free options for those dining on all of the classic fair delights, as well as regular snacks. Local food vendors will also be available in their regular stands.

The Crawford County Fair features many exhibits from area 4-H groups, as well as animal shows. One exciting event will also be the Animal Education exhibit, formally known, as the petting zoo. It will be open for those looking to get a little closer interaction with the creatures featured at the fair.

“It’s really great to see everyone in the area and all the hard work they’ve put into their exhibits,” Nagel said. 

Veterans Day held

One special event will be the Veterans and Active Military Families Day, which will happen on Sunday. Veterans and Active military members will be able to gain free access to the fair by picking up passes available at the Crawford County Veterans Office in Prairie Du Chien. The ‘Veterans Mobile’ will also be on hand to help Veterans, Active military personal and their families understand what benefits they are entitled to through their service. “It’s a day for us to honor the military personal and show them how thankful we are for their service,” Nagel noted. 

Putting on the fair is no small matter, with county board members, extension employees and many volunteers combining with all the participants and vendors to make the event happen.

“Putting the fair on is a really big job. Our volunteers are awesome,” said Flesch. “People come from all around and put so much time and effort into making this fair happen. There are too many people to even mention.”

The fair is something that can lead to a lifetime of memories. The laughter of young children can be heard echoing through the midway, with onlookers and participants ranging vastly in age. Flesch himself remembers the fair fondly throughout his life.

“It’s been a part of my life since I was a child,” Flesch said. “I remember going when I was young to ride the rides, and later with my friends to the derby and grandstand events. And now, I enjoy walking through and seeing everything, it’s also a good chance just to visit and catch up with people you haven’t seen all year.”

A more complete schedule of events for the fair is included in this edition of the Crawford County Independent & Kickapoo Scout.

We hope to see you all at the 157th Crawford County Fair this week.