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By Connor Ashlock
The Calhoun County Fair will be making its annual return after its 2020 absence on Thursday, Sept. 9, and will run its usual four-day span through Sept. 12.
“We’re very much excited for this year’s fair,” Calhoun County Fair Board President Terry Stauch said, speaking on behalf of himself and the board.
Though there has been some regional concern regarding the Delta Variant of the COVID virus, with all the planning that goes into a county fair, it’s full steam ahead for the board, which does not anticipate any postponements regarding this year’s agricultural exhibition.
“I’ve talked to the health department and we’ve got it all worked out, so we’re set to go,” Strauch said. “We think people want to get out and do something.”
The lineup for this year’s events at the Calhoun County Fair are as follows:
• Thursday, Sept. 9 will feature the ceremony that officially opens the fair at the flagpole on the grounds at 6:30 p.m. The talent show will begin at the grandstand at 7 p.m. Dogs, cats, poultry and rabbits will also be judged on this night. The carnival’s anticipated runtime is scheduled for 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
• Friday, Sept. 10 will bring the Illinois Farm Pullers’ tractor and truck pulls at 7 p.m., along with the Junior Miss Calhoun pageant, which also starts at 7 p.m. Entertainment will be provided on the grounds from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. and the carnival is expected to run from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
• Saturday, Sept. 11 welcomes the judging of the junior fair and 4-H exhibits at 8 a.m. and the junior and open horse shows at 9 a.m. The junior olympics and pedal tractor pull will be hosted at noon and the Little Miss and Little Mister pageant will begin at 5 p.m. The Illinois Tractor Pull Association will host its tractor pull at 7 p.m. and entertainment will be provided on the grounds from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. and again from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. The St. Norbert’s support club will be preparing breakfast for the livestock exhibitors in the morning and senior citizens will be able to enter the grounds for free from noon until 4 p.m. The carnival is expected to run from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
• Sunday, Sept. 12 will conclude the four-day exhibition beginning with the annual fair parade at noon. The demolition derby begins at 2 p.m. and the Jerseyville Jazz Band and Show Choir will entertain the crowd at 5 p.m. before the Miss Calhoun Fair Queen pageant begins at 6 p.m. The carnival is expected to run from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Season passes are available and cost $5 for those 8 years through 15 years old, $20 for those 16 through 59 years old and $10 for those 60 years and older.
Regular gate fees are $2 for those 8 through 15 years old and $8 for those 16 through 59 years old, although the cost for entry on Saturday is bumped up to $10 for those 16 through 59 years old.
Conner Family Amusements will be providing the carnival this year and the Calhoun High School yearbook staff, Calhoun Swimming Pool Association, St. Norbert’s support club and the Hardin American Legion will be setting up their food stands, so be sure to attend and support those hometown organizations that weren’t able to fundraise last year due to the COVID pandemic.
“We’re just looking forward to having a fair again and we expect it to probably be bigger than what we’ve had in the past,” Strauch said.
The fair anticipates a good turnout for the derby and pulls, as well as for the other events that are hosted on the grounds.
Kampsville’s very own Wyatt Sibley was the winner of this year’s Calhoun County Fair premium book and shirt design contest, and those interested in purchasing a T-shirt may do so by getting a hold of any of the fair board members.
Anyone desiring information regarding registration, exhibiting or anything regarding the fair is encouraged to contact Strauch at 232-1268 or Ralph Zipprich at the Bank of Kampsville, who is in the office on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.