The Monroe County Fair presents its 66th annual event this Sunday, with a week of activities and events that celebrate the agricultural roots of the county while offering entertainment for the whole family.
“We’re all set for another fun year at the fair,” Monroe County Fair Association Secretary George Obernagel said.
The fair begins every year with the crowning of the new Fair Queen and Little Miss on Sunday night. The theme for this year’s pageant is “Red, White, and Blue: Thanks to You.”
Veterans and active duty men and women are invited to attend the festivities, and will be honored during the pageant. The evening gets started at 7 p.m., and admission is free.
Through the combined efforts of last year’s queen and little miss, Jana Steibel and Emma Day, along with this year’s contestants and seven local schools, 31 military care packages have already been mailed to troops serving in Afghanistan.
Donations from Hecker Feed Service, St. Augustine’s Ladies Altar Sodality of Hecker and contributions from student families paid for the postage costs.
Reigning Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Amelia Martens of Orion in Rock Island County will attend this year’s fair queen pageant. As the 54th Miss Illinois County Fair Queen, Martens is the official hostess of the Illinois and DuQuoin State Fairs.
One event of previous fairs that participants won’t see this year is the Think Monroe County First Fair Pow- er Month. It has been halted while organizers consider new ways to encourage shopping locally.
“As much as we love having everyone bring in their July receipts, we just decided it was time to try something new,” said Nora Feuquay of the Monroe County University of Illinois Extension office.
Continuing this year are the popular Behind the Scenes Tours offered by the Monroe County Farm Bureau Young Leaders Committee.
The fair gets going in earnest Monday and Tuesday, each packed with animal judging in the livestock barns, plus an antique tractor pull along with ITPA truck and ISPA tractor pulls.
Next Wednesday morning’s rooster crowing contest always draws a crowd, as young and old alike root on their favorite crooners to see which will take home the top prize.
And Wednesday evening, the Figure 8 race showcases derby- type cars flying through a course, trying to complete their laps first and intact, relatively, at least.
Thursday, July 25, is one of the big events for young farmers with the 4-H and FFA Market Animal Auction. Last year’s auction brought in a record $170,000. Proceeds from this auction are used to fund local youth projects.
Also that evening, the Bud Light Brigade provides musical entertainment while Carnival Armband Night brings out the kids in droves.
Friday, July 26, offers the ever-popular Auto Demolition Derby at 7:30 p.m.
Events on Saturday, July 27, get going early with the heavy horse and mule shows. In the evening, the ITPA truck and antique tractor pulls continue.
Sunday, July 28, the fair comes to a close after a full day of events for the whole family. That afternoon is another $20 armband day, and FFA Fun Night is held in the main arena.
Immediately following the competition is a fireworks show to wrap up the week.
For more information, call 939-7796 or visit online at www.monroecounty-fair.org.
Season passes, which provide gate admission for every night of the fair, cost $40. Advance carnival ride tickets can be purchased at most local banks and grocery stores (see the ad in this week’s paper).Click for larger view or to print.