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Its that county fair time of year!
County Fair

CRAWFORD COUNTY - A much-anticipated annual event will take place August 23-26 in Gays Mills – the 159th Crawford County Fair. The theme for the 2017 fair is “Barn in the USA,” which was provided by a member of the public as a suggestion, and clearly speaks to the strong agricultural roots of the event.

Fair Coordinator Amanda Griswold can’t wait for all of the fun to get rolling.

“I really enjoy my role as Fair Coordinator,” Griswold commented. “The best part is seeing the whole event coming together, from the entertainment, exhibitors projects, volunteers, food stands, carnival, vendors, to the fair goers who come and enjoy the great entertainment and talent show.”

Every year, I look forward to seeing all the exhibits,” Griswold said.  “Exhibitors learn about their project through the year, create a master piece in the project area and bring it to the fair.”

Perhaps the biggest change in the agenda will be the absence of a perennial favorite, the BMX stunt show, which will only perform for three years in a row at the same event.

Midway magic

The Midway, provided as last year by Earl’s Rides, will operate Thurs. - Sunday, from 12:30 p.m. until close.

All rides only “1” ticket per ride, and advance ticket sales will be10 tickets for $20. Single tickets during fair will be $3.50 each.

There will be discounted ticket specials on Thursday and Sunday, and $20 each wristband specials on Friday (3-7 p.m.) and Saturday (1-5 p.m.).

Rides will include: Merry-Go-Round, Hampton Car Ride, Helicopter and Saucers, El Paso Train, Bumble Bee Bounce, Train Bounce, Tilt-A-Whirl, Scrambler, Berry-Go-Round, Ferris Wheel, GeeWizz, Octopus, Rock-O-Plane, Super Trooper, Loop-O-Plane, Slide, and more.

Food vendors will include: Traditional carnival foods such as Corn Dogs, Cheese Curds, Pizza, Funnel Cakes, Nachos, Cotton Candy, Fresh Squeezed Lemonade, Mini Donuts, Deep Friend Candy Bars  and a gluten free menu.

Time honored tradition

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.

Wednesday, Aug. 23

8 p.m.- The Fair will kick off with a tribute to Elizabeth Brownlee, former “Fairest of the Fair,” who died tragically last year.

Thursday, Aug. 24

Throughout the day there will be animal judgings, magic shows, tributes to Buddy Holly, and from 3:30-6:30 p.m., Monty Berger & The Country Gold Band will play.

At 6 p.m. -  there will be the Crawford County Land Conservation Awards, and a grilled cheese contest.

At 7 p.m. there will be a Tractor & Truck Pull Show put on by Southwest Pullers, which will feature over ten classes of trucks and tractors.

Friday, Aug. 25

On Friday, August 25, the animal judgings, magic shows, exhibitions and various youth events will continue throughout the day.

Friday night headliner

Adding excitement, the Kentucky HeadHunters will perform in the Grandstand on Friday, Aug. 25, 7 p.m. Blue Collar 40 will open for them, and play following their performance.

As might be expected, with a name like Kentucky HeadHunters, the band has an eclectic history.

Once upon a time, in a deep and dark forest, in the Bluegrass state of Kentucky, not far from the village of Edmonton, stood a psychedelic shack where the only rock and roll band in Metcalfe County rehearsed.

The year was 1968, and the band was called Itchy Brother. The shack was really a farmhouse now known as the infamous Practice House. And the deep and dark forest was a place on Richard and Fred Young's family farm.

The HeadHunters started rehearsing in March of 1986 in Greg's basement, then moved to the Practice House when the weather warmed up.

"We were determined to create a whole new sound just like Itchy Brother had in the 70s. I knew there was a true passion from the first rehearsal and the fact that the other three were relatives, and had spent their whole lives playing together, made it like a fast-drying glue. For me, it was magic from day one," said Doug Phelps.

The band released their second album, Electric Barnyard, in 1992, and returned to their blues-rock roots in 1993 they released two albums: the first entitled Rave On, on Mercury, and the critically acclaimed blues record That'll Work on Elektra-Nonesuch, with legendary blues pianist and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Johnnie Johnson.

2010 saw The Kentucky HeadHunters take two giant and much needed steps. Finally, after many years of recording in large studio's, for major labels, the boys formed their own record label, "Practice House Records," and headed to the farm to record, for the first time in the "Practice House." The result was "Dixie Lullabies," released on October 19, 2011.

Saturday, Aug. 26

On Saturday, August 26, there will be an all day-Medallion Hunt, and at noon there will be an Antique Tractor Pull featuring area antique tractors.

12:30 p.m. - Farmer Bud Show

1 p.m. - Meat Animal Auction

12:30 p.m. -Nick's Kid Show

1:30 p.m. - Cake Walk

2:30 p.m. - Jim Mitchell Show

3 p.m. - Alpaca Show, and a Kids Pedal Tractor Pull

3:30 – 6:30 p.m. - Tim the Front Porch Picker live traditional Country Music

4:30 p.m. - Youth Activity presented by Crawford County 4-H

4:45 p.m. - Animal Walk with Crawford County Royalty  and the Fair Board

5 p.m. - Cake Walk

7 p.m. - Demolition Derby featuring cars destroying cars-smashing, crunching and destruction.

Sunday, August 27

The Fair will wrap up on Sunday, August 27 with a family-friendly selection of events.

10 a.m. — This MUCH—Ecumenical Service with  live music

Noon—Talent Show with Music by Class of ’62 featuring “The Surf Boys”

Ranch Rodeo

The Ranch Rodeo will kick off at 11 a.m., featuring Ridge & Valley Rodeo Club horse riders, barrel racers and ropers.

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.

1 p.m. — Kid’s Casting Contest by Prairie Rod & Gun Club

2 p.m. — 4-H Style Show

3:30 p.m. — Raffle Drawing - tickets sold at the Friends of the Fair Stand (one/$1 or 6/ $5).

So safe to say, an action-packed, family-friendly good time is shaping up for everyone this year in the ‘Barn in the USA’ at the Crawford County Fair in Gays Mills, Wisconsin.