The 71st annual Monroe County Fair takes place July 22-29 at the fairgrounds located off Route 156 just west of Waterloo.
“We’re expecting another great fair this year,” Monroe County Fair Association President Don Schrader said.
With weather forecasts predicting moderate temperatures, organizers are anticipating a heavily attended week of events.
“The crowds at the fair are getting bigger each year,” Monroe County Fair Association Secretary George Obernagel said. “We are offering a greater variety of things for families to do at the fair, and all of our food stands are hosted by local community and charitable organizations.”
The fair association has added a new goat barn, located between the swine and sheep barns for livestock judging.
“Livestock entries are holding their own,” Schrader said. “Sheep, goats and dairy entries are up. Rabbits, chickens and hogs are holding steady.”
Beef and horse entries are slightly down, Obernagel added.
The fair kicks off this Sunday with a junior class horse show throughout the day and a Kloepper card tournament under the beer pavilion at 3:30 p.m.
New this year are pony rides from 6:30-9:30 p.m., and the carnival rides opening at 6 p.m. There will be a balloon artist behind the grandstands from 7-9 p.m., and the Little Miss and Monroe County Fair Queen pageants take place in the main arena beginning at 7 p.m. There will be free admission throughout Sunday.
For a printable schedule of events, click here.
On Monday, events include poultry, rabbit and sheep judging. The antique tractor pull, as well as the farmer’s class tractor pull and ITPA truck pull, begin at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $10 per person after 3 p.m.
On Tuesday, there will be a tractor driving contest from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., followed by the open class horse show at 6 p.m. and more truck and antique tractor pull action in the evening. Silverback will play music in the beer pavilion from 7-11 p.m. Admission is $10 per person after 3 p.m.
On Wednesday, July 25, the crowd favorite rooster crowing contest begins at 9:30 a.m. in the beer pavilion. The steer show is at 3 p.m., and the Figure 8 race takes off at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $15 per person after 3 p.m.
Thursday, July 26, is the biggest family night at the fair. The Bud Light Brigade will perform from 5-8 p.m., and there will be pony rides from 5:30-9:30 p.m. Thursday is also carnival armband night, as well as HTC Customer Appreciation Night, featuring music by Well Hungarians at 8:30 p.m. Admission is free all evening.
On Friday, July 27, the auto demolition derby starts at 7:30 p.m. The Next Best Thing Band will play in the beer pavilion from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Admission is $15 per person after 3 p.m.
On Saturday, July 28, the heavy horse and mule shows both begin at 9:30 a.m., and the heavy horse hitch and mule hitch classes begin at 1:30 p.m. Kids events during the day include a pedal pull and a sandcastle sculpture area. The ITPA truck and tractor pull starts at 6 p.m. Father Jack Band performs from 8 p.m. to midnight in the beer pavilion. Admission is $15 per person after 2 p.m.
The fair concludes Sunday, July 29, with free admission all day. There will be mini horse and mini donkey judging at 10:30 a.m., a garden tractor pull at 11 a.m. and the Thunder and Lightning Cloggers from 4 to 5 p.m. Sunday is also a carnival armband day from 4-9 p.m.
Last year’s popular baby show sponsored by Magnolia Terrace returns on July 29, with babies 23 months and under judged in the categories “Best Smile,” “Prettiest/Most Handsome” and “Best Fair Attire (Cowboy/Western).” Boys and girls will be judged separately, beginning at 6 p.m. There will also be pony rides from 5:30-9:30 p.m.
The fair wraps up with the naming of the Farm Family of the year and FFA Fun Night, with 92.3 WIL radio personalities on hand to announce the competition from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in the main arena.
Season passes are $40, advance carnival ride tickets are $2, and armbands are $20. They can be purchased at all First National Bank, State Bank of Waterloo, Midland States Bank and Columbia National Bank locations; the Waterloo and Columbia Schnucks; Wayne’s One Stop, Naber’s Shop and Mike’s Convenience; Khoury Pharmacy, Red Bud IGA, Rural King and the Monroe County Farm Bureau office.
For more on this year’s fair, visit online at www.MonroeCounty-Fair.org.