The theme is Red, White and Moo at the Crawford County Fair in Gays Mills this summer.
There have been some changes including an admission fee, which is $5 per person for Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Friday’s admission charge is $10 beginning at noon because of the featured country western music show, which starts at 7 p.m.
The entertainment this year is included with the price of admission to the fair, there is no separate price to enter the grandstand. The show Friday night starts at 7 p.m. with country western performer Trent Tomlinson and moves on to country rapper Colt Ford at 9 p.m. The Country Road Band from the Eastman area will play at 11 p.m.
The bigger name country western performers are expected to draw a large crowd, according to county fair organizer Heather Moore.
The new admission fee to the fair is expected to support the entertainment this year for which there is no separate charge. The $5 fair admission fee also means the former $8 grandstand admission fee for the Demo Derby is gone for Saturday. The derby featuring lots of local favorites will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. The afternoon derby was eliminated this year.
The Tri-State Truck and Tractor pull on Sunday, Aug. 12 starts at noon. Like the other grandstand shows there will not be a separate admission for the pull, which Moore describes as loud and smoky. You might want to pack some earplugs-these are the big ones.
Why the per-person-admission fee instead of the per-car-parking fee previously charged?
“It’s a better fit for the fair,” Moore said. “We needed to move forward. We needed to update. Most county fairs in the state charge a gate fee.”
Moore explained that anyone who wants to leave the fair and return later that same day can get a wristband at the gate on their way out. There are also $15 passes for the whole fair that are available until Wednesday, Aug. 8. The passes can be purchased at the Marketplace in Gays Mills or at the UW Extension Office located in the Crawford County Administration Building in Prairie du Chien.
The Crawford County Fair kicks off Wednesday, Aug. 8 with the Taste of Crawford County. The event is in its fourth year and it has become a “huge success,” according to Moore. Every year there are more food providers and more contests. This year, winemakers will bring bottles of wine for a tasting and there will be a People’s Choice Winner selected by the tasters. You must be 21 to enter the tasting and 21 to taste.
The Taste of Crawford also features a quilt block contest sponsored by the Picket Fence. Anyone interested in entering should see the county fair website for rules.
As always, the Taste of Crawford County will feature some tasty Italian sausages produced locally, some magnificent desserts and the “awesome” Organic Valley cheese.
“It’s just a lot of local goodness,” Moore said.
The Fair’s Whistle Stop Saloon will serve beer until about 8 or 9 p.m. There is a charge for the beer, but everything else at the Taste of Crawford County is free.
A recent favorite at the Crawford County Fair has been the Catch-a-Pig Contest renamed the Hug-a-Hog Contest this year. Teams of three will enter the muddy ring looking to catch their pig and place it in a barrel. There is competition in a men’s and women’s division and mixed teams are welcome. This year, all teams must pre-register and there is $30 fee to compete.
As is usually the case at the fair, Saturday is a big day. Crawford on the Move, the countywide fitness organization, starts the day with a 5K Fun Run/Walk through the streets of Gays Mills to the fairgrounds at 8:30 a.m. The Meat Animal Auction takes place at 12:30 p.m. and the Antique Tractor pull gets underway at 2 p.m. Bluegrass Express from Stockton, Illinois plays at 4 p.m.
Every day of the fair, Wenzel Amazements Carnival will have a midway complete with rides and games. A Mega Pass for the rides is $40 in advance and $50 at the fair. There will also be wristband specials on certain days.
Of course, the fair wouldn’t be the fair without the many exhibits made by youth and adults on display throughout the fair. That includes dairy cattle, beef, swine, goats, sheep, poultry and rabbits. Each will have their own show on Friday and Saturday—not to mention the many exhibits of vegetables, art, crafts, photography and so much more.
The fair winds down on Sunday with Country Express, a local favorite, playing in the Entertainment Tent, while the big truck and tractor pull takes over the grandstand.
Don’t miss the new and improved Crawford County Fair. This year, there is also the Tractor Pedal Pull for the younger set.
Longtime fair board member and current Crawford County Board Chairman Pete Flesch believes that the entertainment is much improved at this year’s fair. He feels partnering with radio station WQPC from Prairie du Chien was a key to landing the big name country western acts for Friday night. WQPC is sending a party bus up to the concert as well.
See you at the fair, August 9-12 in Gays Mills.