150th county fair set to open
The 2009 Henry County Fair is scheduled for Tuesday, June 23, through Sunday, June 28, at the Henry County Fairgrounds in Cambridge.
“It’s the 150th Henry County Fair this year and we have lots of special things planned including a new carnival,” said Wayne Douglass, Henry County Fair president. “The carnival which guarantees us seven bigger rides for the older kids and seven young rides for the little kids will offer an armbands every night of the week from 5 to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. We are also having a free gate Sunday hoping to draw more families out, but donations will also be accepted.”
The art hall will also feature a new look this year, being completed revamped by new art hall superinendents Cheryl Johnston and Lewanda Lowery of Andover.
“We have added a lot of new classes and plan to add even more next year,” said Johnston. “The art hall will feature a bright, clean and cheerful atmosphere. We have also extended the halls hours from noon to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.”
The art hall will also feature a new sign, donated by the Bill and Cheryl Johnston, Rosie Fike and Frances Johnston is memory of their loved ones, Darl Fike and Vincent W. Johnston.
On Friday, June 12, the Johnstons were busy painting all of the exhibitor tables and preparing the display cases for the upcoming fair.
“Bill and I hate painting,” stated Cheryl Johnston. “This is a labor of love, but we want everything to be nice, clean and inviting.”
Johnston said quilts will be display on the back wall of the building to add a much needed color to the space.
“Everything will be secure,” Johnston stated. “The building will be manned 24 hours a day and no one will be allowed to touch an item.”
Johnston said they are still looking for sitters throughout the day. Anyone interested in helping watch the building, should contact Lowery at 521-8693 or Johnston at 507-1464.
A box for suggestions will also be placed in the art hall.
“We want suggestions, what we can do to make the art hall bigger and better for next year,” she stated. “We will also have some guessing games at the art hall. Old time items will be brought in for the games, tieing in with the 150th anniversary.”
Fair gates open at 7 a.m. and admission is $6 per individual, according to Judy Douglass, secretary of the group. Parking is free and children seven and under will be admitted free of charge. Fun passes (admission to the fair for all six days) are available. Anyone leaving the grounds expecting to return must have an armband placed on their wrist before leaving the grounds.
Senior Citizen passes are $12 and can be purchased at the secretary’s office on the Henry County Fairgrounds. Exhibitor passes will begin at $12.
Fun passes and senior citizen passes may also be obtained from Judy Douglass at 12111 E. 2000th St, Atkinson, IL 61273.
“Lunch time passes will also be available this year,” Douglass stated. “Participants can enter the fairgrounds between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and pay the admission fee. If they depart during those hours, they will receive their admission fee back.
This will allow individuals the opportunity to enjoy the fair concessions during their lunch hour.”
Three livestock shows open the fair on Tuesday at 8 a.m. They are the open barrow show, open sheep show and junior sheep show. At 1 p.m., the Henry County swine costume special show will begin in the hog barn.
A market lamb show is slated to begin at 4 p.m. at the north end of the fairgrounds.
At 5 p.m., the 4-H Equestrian Ambassador contest will be held in the horse arena.
Carnival rides will be open from 5 to 10 p.m. with armbands and individual tickets available.
The Little Miss Henry County Pageant will be held in the grandstand at 5:30 p.m. The Junior Miss Henry County Fair Queen and Miss Henry County Queen contest will be held beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the grandstand.
The beer garden operated by Legends of Geneseo will be open from noon to midnight with entertainment by karaoke/disc jockey Chris Gosnel from 7 to 11 p.m.
Wednesday will begin at 8 a.m. with a 4-H gilt show followed by a 4-H barrow show.
Harness racing is scheduled at noon in the grandstand and the 4-H barrow auction is set for 6 p.m.
Wednesday from 5 to 10 p.m. is family night at the fairgrounds. Armbands and individual tickets are available.
A demolition derby for cars made in 1980 or after will be held at 7:30 p.m.
The beer garden will be open from noon to midnight with karaoke/disc jockey Chris Gosnel from 7 to 11 p.m.
Thursday’s activities will begin at 8 a.m. A junior swine show and 4-H swine showmanship are scheduled in addition to a 4-H sheep show.
A 4-H horse show and open beef show will be held at 9 a.m. at the north side of the fairgrounds.
Harness racing is set at noon in the grandstand and a watermelon seed spitting contest will be held at 4 p.m. in the midway tent.
At 4 p.m., a jackpot cattle showdown is scheduled to begin in the beef barn.
Carnival rides will be operating beginning at 5 p.m. Armbands or individual tickets may be purchased.
A 4-H speed horse show will be held at 6 p.m. in the horse arena at the north end of the fairgrounds.
Draft horse pulls and a Calcutta are slated for Thursday night in the grandstand begining at 6 p.m.
The beer garden will be open from noon to midnight with Southern Cross performing from 7 to 11 p.m.
Fair events on Friday are set to start at 9 a.m. with junior beef show, flower judging in the art hall and a 4-H horse fun show.
All carnival rides will be open from 1 to 5 p.m.
A 4-H goat show will begin at 3 p.m. followed by a Boer goat show.
The Illini State Pullers Tractor and Truck Pull is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. The beer garden will open from noon to midnight with entertainment from 7 to 11 p.m. by the band, “Nitrix”.
Saturday’s events will start at 8 a.m. with a open goat show, 4-H rabbit show, 4-H beef showmanship, bucket calves and market beef show.
The open horse show is set at 9 a.m. rain or shine. A talent contest will be held at the midway tent at 9 a.m.
The Boer goat show will continue at 10 a.m. from Friday night and a garden tractor pull is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. in the grandstand.
At noon, ATV drag races will start in the grandstand infield.
A kid’s pedal pull will begin at the midway tent at 1 p.m., with registration beginning at 12:30 p.m.
Carnival rides will be open from 1 to 5 p.m. and then reopen again for armband night. The demolition derby will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the grandstands.
The beer tent will be open from noon to midnight with entertainment from 7 to 11 p.m. by “Nitrix”.
The open goat show will open the fair Sunday at 8 a.m., followed by the mini horse show and open rabbit show at 9 a.m.
Fairgoers may ride carnival rides from 1 to 5 p.m. for a armband.
An Antique Tractor Pull will be held at 1 p.m. in front of the grandstand.
At 1:30 p.m., the 4-H awards ceremony will be held in the midway tent.
For more information on rules, regulations and entry forms, fairbooks are available at area banks or the Henry County Fair Web site at www.henrycountyfairillinois.com. The fair’s e-mail address is hcfair @theinter.com.