The annual county fair in Iowa is a symbol of Summertime and life in rural America. The 2014 edition of the Palo Alto County officially begins its four-day run this Thursday, July 17, at the Palo Alto County Fairgrounds in Emmetsburg. Along with 4-H and FFA livestock exhibits, there will be a variety of events and offerings to experience and see as part of an annual celebration of agriculture and community joining together.
While the first day of the fair actually occurs on Tuesday, July 15, with judging of 4-H exhibits, the public's first opportunity to see the projects of the county's 4-H and FFA youth will be on Thursday. With livestock entries arriving at the fairgrounds in the morning, the judging starts with the Dog Obedience Show in the pavilion at 10 a.m. The 4-H Exhibits building opens to the public at 10 a.m. and all livestock entries are to be in their respective barns by 11 a.m. Judging continues at 11 a.m. with the Rabbit Show, and the dogs will participate in the Dog Agility show at 1 p.m. Judging of livestock continues at 1 p.m. with the Poultry Show and is followed at 3 p.m. by the Dairy Show. Exhibitors get a chance to turn the tables on the judges in the Youth Livestock Judging Contest, which will begin at 4 p.m., giving the youth an opportunity to test their skills at judging animals on the hoof and then comparing their efforts with an impartial judge in an informal, educational setting.
A program on Animal Tracks and Furs will be offered by the Palo Alto County Conservation Board at the Country Schoolhouse, starting at 1 p.m. The Schoolhouse is open from 1 to 5 p.m. each day of the fair.
READY?FOR?THE?FAIR - The pre-fair clean-up day was conducted Saturday in preparation for this week’s Palo Alto County Fair. Buildings were swept and cleaned and corral panels were erected to keep livestock contained on the grounds. From right to left, Donald Strohman, Alan Montag, Brian Rouse and Travis Rouse set up corral panels outside the livestock pavilion. The Fair begins this Thursday, July 17. -- Dan Voigt photo
A special exhibit, the Iowa Conservation Station, a traveling display highlighting conservation of Iowa's natural resources, will be open from 4 to 8 p.m. and the Commercial Exhibits will be open to the public from 5 to 9 p.m.
Once again, the Palo Alto County Extension Council will sponsor a BBQ supper from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. adjacent to the Open Air Pavilion.
The annual Baby Crawl and Toddler Races, sponsored by the Pizza Ranch, will take place in the pavilion at 6 p.m., with registration for the event starting at 5:30 p.m. Also starting at 6 p.m. will be the opening evening's events on stage in the Open Air pavilion.
The Clover Kid King and Queen contest will be first on the stage in the open air pavilion, beginning at 6 p.m. At 6:30 p.m. Special recognitions and some special presentations a brief program featuring some special recognitions and presentations will take place on the stage and the 2014 Palo Alto County Fair Queen contestants will be introduced prior to the coronation ceremonies later in the evening. The 4-H Style Show, along with Awards Program and County Council installation will then take place on stage.
The highlight of Thursday evening will be the crowing of the 2014 Palo Alto County Fair Queen, which is set for 8:30 p.m., and capping off the evening's program will be the 4-H Share the Fun program at 8:45 p.m.
Activities start out at 8 a.m. Friday with the Market Hog show in the livestock pavilion and at 9:30 a.m., the Palo Alto County Fair Association will host the weekly Emmetsburg Chamber Coffee in the Exhibits building, Judging will continue at 11 a.m. in the livestock pavilion with the Market Goat Show. The 4-H Exhibits Building opens at 10 a.m. and is open until 9 p.m. and the Commercial Exhibit buildings will be open from noon to 9 p.m.
A comedy juggling show will begin on the stage in the open air pavilion at 11:30 a.m. and will be presented again at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. At noon, the 4-H Communications, Educational Presentations and Working Exhibits will be presented in the Independence Township Schoolhouse, which will provide the exhibitors with a chance to share what they have learned in the course of their project with a live audience.
A scavenger hunt for youth will begin at 1 p.m. and a demonstration on salsa making will be held in the schoolhouse at 2 p.m.
Face painting will be offered in the open air pavilion from 2 to 7 p.m. and a balloon artist will be creating all types of balloon figures from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the open air pavilion as well.
Livestock judging activities continue at 2:30 with the Market Lamb Show in the livestock pavilion and exhibitors taking part in the Bucket-Bottle calf show will begin their interviews with the judges at 3 p.m. in the Bucket-Bottle calf barn.
A special program at the Country Schoolhouse, "Beyond the School Day" will allow guests to learn about the events and activities that were held at the schoolhouse during its heyday. The program will begin at 4 p.m. and is open to the public.
Good food will the rule again starting at 5:30 p.m. with the annual Palo Alto County Cattlemen's BBQ supper, which will serve until 7:30 p.m. adjacent to the open air pavilion. At 6 p.m., Neil Hewitt, Country Music Artist, will be playing on stage in the open air pavilion for the evening's stage entertainment.
At 6 p.m., exhibitors in the Bucket-Bottle Lamb class will meet with their judge in the sheep barn and in the livestock pavilion, the Bucket/Bottle Calf show will take place, to be followed by the Bucket-Bottle Lamb Show at 7 p.m.
In the Bonnie Lammers Outdoor Arena, horse project exhibitors will be taking part in the Game classes portion of the horse show, with those events starting at 7 p.m and continuing until 9 p.m.
From 5 to 7 p.m., the Palo Alto County Cattlemen will be grilling and serving their annual meal at the Open Air Pavilion and from 5:30 to 7 p.m., the Iowa Trust and Savings Bank will sponsor the band "Galaxy" in concert on the open-air pavilion stage. The public is welcomed and encouraged to come to the fairgrounds for a freshly grilled meal and some great musical entertainment!
The younger set takes to the livestock pavilion at 6 p.m. Friday with the Bucket/Bottle Calf Show and at 7 p.m., the Bucket/Bottle Lamb and Goat show will take to the livestock pavilion.
The Commercial Building and exhibits will be open from 12 noon to 9 p.m. on Friday and the day's activities will wind down for the older youth with the annual mud volleyball tournament, starting at 7 p.m.
Rounding out Friday's events at the Open Air Pavilion will be the Emmetsburg FUEL organization's family movie, "FROZEN" which will begin at 9 p.m. and is free of charge and open to the public.
The agenda for Saturday starts out with the Market Beef Show at 8:30 a.m. Feeder projects will be judged first at the Feeder barn, and then breeding classes and market beeves will take to the show ring in the Livestock pavilion. The 4-H Horse Show resumes in the Bonnie Lammers Memorial Arena at 9 a.m.
A Craft and Vendor Fair will open to the public at 9 a.m. and continues through 2 p.m. in the south commercial building. Open Class Yeast Bread Contest entries will be accepted from 10 a.m. to noon in the 4-H Exhibits building, which also opens at 10 a.m. along with the Commercial Exhibits building, which will remain open until 7 p.m.
Once again, the comedy juggling show will take place at 10 a.m. on stage in the open air pavilion and the FUEL Organization will sponsor Kids Games at the open air pavilion at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
In the afternoon hours, the Independence Township Schoolhouse will be open from 1 to 4 p.m. and the Open Air pavilion will be the location for the Pedal Pull, sponsored by Daybreak Foods of Graettinger. Face painting will begin at 1 p.m. and continue through 6 p.m., along with the balloon artist from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m.
A pet show is set for 1:30 in the livestock pavilion, and the 4-H County Council's Cow Pie Bingo will take place at 2 p.m. 3p.m. is the starting time for the Ag Olympics games and the Watermelon Eating Contest will take place adjacent to the livestock pavilion at 4 p.m., with the Comedy Juggling show set for 5 p.m.
The evening's BBQ meal will be offered by the Emmetsburg FFA, who will be grilling adjacent to the open air pavilion from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
At 6 p.m. on the stage of the Open Air pavilion, the Bill Riley State Fair Talent Search, sponsored by the Iowa Trust and Savings Bank, of Emmetsburg and Cylinder will entertain young and old alike with sprout and teen talent competitions. The winners in each division will earn the right to advance to the Iowa State Fair in August to compete on the Bill Riley Stage for a chance to be in the finals of the State Fair Talent Search. The public is encouraged to attend and there is no admission fee to attend.
Sunday's Wind Down
The fair winds down on Sunday, with exhibits other than livestock being sold on the auction being released from the grounds from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The annual Pony Express Riders Open Class Horse Show will start at 11 a.m. in the Bonnie Lammers Memorial Arena. Next door, the Emmetsburg Karting Association will sponsor Go Kart races at the Emmetsburg Raceway, located on the west end of the fairgrounds. Hot laps will get underway at 2:30 p.m. with racing to start at 3 p.m. There is no admission fee to watch the excitement of the racing.
At 2 p.m., the All Premium Livestock Auction will take place in the pavilion to close out the livestock events of the fair and bring the 2014 Palo Alto County Fair to a close.