The Barton County Fair officially got under way Wednesday, but many of the people who attended had been at the Expo complex west of Great Bend since setup began Monday.
Volunteer Karen Neuforth said first-day attendance at the fair was predominantly 4-Hers, whose food entries and arts and crafts were judged in the morning.
Christmas trees, Halloween decorations, kites and other decorations among the exhibits carried out this year’s fair theme, “Always in Season.”
Foods went on sale shortly after being judged in the Expo II building. The 4-H rabbit show and 4-H poultry show were held Wednesday afternoon in Expo III.
Another event going on Wednesday afternoon was the Ag Challenge of Champions, a test of agricultural knowledge that is being overseen by this year’s Barton County Extension intern Jessica Taliaferro. Barton County Ag Agent Jenni Carr explained there were eight testing stations, and the Fair Board will send the youth with the top score to the Kansas State Fair to compete for a scholarship. The test was also open to adults who just wanted to see how much they knew about farming.
Open class entries will be checked in Thursday, along with 4-H gardening, flower and crop entries.
Fair entertainment also got under way Wednesday evening when Expo I opened with commercial exhibits and a display by the Model Association of Central Kansas. MACK member Chuck Graham said members will step outside to demonstrate model airplane flying again today and Friday. Commercial exhibits are open from 5-10 p.m. through Friday, and from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday.
Wagner’s Carnival also opens Thursday and will open at 6 p.m. daily through Saturday.
Daily events at the fair also include entertainment on the Free Stage in Expo II starting at 6 p.m., and concerts Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Tickets are required for Thursday’s Christian concert featuring Cloverton, Friday’s rock concert featuring AC/DC tribute band Hells Bells, and Saturday’s country concert featuring The McClymonts.
Friday will be the day for the 4-H goat show, the Bernard J. Ohnmacht Memorial Shepherd’s Lead, the 4-H sheep show and the 4-H beef show, while Saturday will include all-terrain vehicle races, Mutton Bustin’ and the Kids Ranch Rodeo, antique tractor pull, kids pedal tractor pull and more livestock shows. The Community Bank Watermelon Feed will be at 5 p.m. Saturday in the commons area.
Things will wrap up Sunday with a church service at 8:30 a.m., followed by breakfast. The 4-H barbecue will be at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, coinciding with a 4-H rocket launch. Afternoon events will include the 4-H Showcase Awards, Farm Bureau Association Root Beer Float Social, and Sale of Champions. Checkout starts at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, with the final cleanup Monday evening.