By EMILY SCHENDEL
One of the best times of the year will be upon us this week, when the Crawford County Fair opens for its annual run.
The beloved county fair celebrates 158 years of fun in 2016 with the theme of ‘A Roaring Good Time.’
Fair coordinator Amanda Nagel can’t wait for all of the fun to get rolling.
“As the fair coordinator I don’t get to spend a lot of time at all of the events, but I always enjoy seeing everyone coming in and enjoying the fair,” Nagel explained.
The fun kicks off on Thursday, August 25 with the Grilled Cheese Contest at 6 p.m. and ‘The Kickapoo Taste’ at 7 p.m.
Crawford County Fair Ambassador Elizabeth Garfoot also pointed out that the grandstand will also be chock full of fun.
“As always we have our grandstand events,” Garfoot said. There will be a Truck and Tractor Pull from Southwest Pullers featuring over 10 classes at 7 p.m. in the grandstand.
On Friday, August 26, the Grandstand will host the ever popular Blessed FMX Sport Stunt Show and Music by Menace. This event features professional motorcycle and bicycle riders performing impressive stunts to the classic rock tunes performed by Menace.
On Saturday, August 27, the grandstand fun kicks off at noon with an Antique Tractor Pull, featuring area antique tractors. Things will rev up at 7 p.m. with the Demolition Derby put on by Hard Hit Promotions. The last one still vrooming wins!
The grandstand shows wraps up on Sunday, August 28 with a noon Talent Show with Music by Class of ’62, featuring ‘The Surf Boys.’ At 1 p.m. in the grandstand, there will be one of Garfoot’s personal favorites, the Ranch Rodeo.
“The rodeo makes it really feel like a agricultural county fair,” the local fair ambassador said. “I grew up on a farm, so that aspect of the county fair is near and dear to my heart.”
Ranch rodeo differs from the more commonly seen rodeo because the events focus more on competing on ordinary tasks encountered on working ranches and farms. This includes splitting cattle, loading cattle into trailers and the like. It is very popular with lots of local participants and was moved to the grandstand this year to allow for the larger crowd and expanding program.
There’s definitely plenty to see in the grandstand this year, according to the county fair organizers.
“We like to keep our crowds coming back, especially for the ever popular demo derby!” Garfoot noted.
The grandstand won’t be the only place where you can catch some fun. The Midway will also be in full swing, starting on Thursday from 5 p.m. until close with help from Earl’s Rides. Friday through Sunday, it will open back up at 12:30 p.m. each day for more roaring good times. All rides are only one ticket per ride. Advance ticket sales offer up the best prices with 10 tickets for $20. During the fair single tickets will be $3.50 each. There will be discounted ticket specials on Thursday and Sunday. Wristband specials will be $20 each on Friday from 3 to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. Classic rides like the Merry-Go-Round, Tilt-A-Whirl and of course the Ferris Wheel will all be a part of the plethora of fun available on the Midway.
For the younger visitors who may not be tall enough for the midway rides, the ever-popular Corn Box will make its return to the fair grounds. The Corn Box is just a sandbox filled with, you guessed it, CORN and the kids love it.
“I was just gathering all of the toys for the Corn Box during the recent fair clean-up,” Garfoot explained. “It’s a great stop for the younger ones, who are too small for the rides or are bored while waiting for big brother or sister to finish with their exhibits.”
The grandstand and midway aren’t the only places to have fun at the Crawford County Fair. The hard work of many youth leadership groups such as 4-H and FFA will be on display in the different buildings throughout the grounds.
“When I was in 4-H, I would take between 50 to 100 items,” Garfoot said. “This is the first year I can’t, because I am an adult in the eyes of the fair. But, I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone has brought.”
Garfoot noted that the youth exhibits represent the work of roughly 10 different 4-H groups, a special education group from Prairie du Chien, FFA, and some church groups. Garfoot will also be hosting a walk-around on the grounds, showcasing the different events and items of interest at the fair. The schedule for that and other events such as the petting zoo and chicken poop bingo, will be available at the fair website www.crawfordcountywisconsinfair.com.
So having ‘A Roaring Good Time’ this year, when you visit the Crawford County Fair in Gays Mills, Wisconsin.