The Jasper County Fair is off to a good start, its opening weekend marked by successful events, mostly clear weather and a high turn-out.
Rhonda Guy, long-time member of the Fair board and one of the event organizers, said that everything has been going well so far for this year’s fair.
“We’re staying busy and everyone is having a good time,” Guy said.
While a storm front came through the fairgrounds on Sunday, the rains it brought were less than consistent, only hampering festivities for minutes at a time before they finally blew past altogether.
The weekend saw some of the fair’s major events wrap up, although there are many more to come.
Friday evening was home to the first annual Tailgating Contest, in which multiple teams were pitted against each other to see who could throw the best family-friendly tailgating contest to represent their team or organization.
Between four teams, “A Tailgate Divided,” came out on top. The divided tailgate featured a half and half split between Hawkeye and Cyclone decorations, reminiscent of the split in many Iowa homes and community’s between the two rivals.
Friday night also featured the 4-H cat and dog shows, where participants had an opportunity to show off their pets and even demonstrate skills and agility in the case of the dogs.
Event organizers said that the cat and dog shows are a great opportunity, enabling young participants to get involved with showing animals during 4-H events as well as making the opportunity more accessible for 4-H members who might not grow up on a farm and have the capability of raising livestock to show.
Saturday brought on another exciting day of fair events. The weather held out throughout the day, cloud-cover serving to shield fair attendees from the constant heat of an Iowa July sun.
Chainsaw artists from Mitchellville revved up their saws near the fair’s entrance, cutting into thick trunks throughout the day to the applause of the crowd and wonderment of children who huddled close to the barrier. The artwork of the saw troupe remains on display near the Northeast corner of the fair grounds.
Horse shows went on throughout the day on Saturday, with a number of 4-H’ers walking away with trophies in the different performance classes.
Sunday brought on the famous llama show, in which 4-H participants would show their llamas, many of which were decked out in different costumes.
The llama show was followed by the poultry show and then a number of Jasper County Fair classics like the hot dog eating contest and the oreo stacking contest.
The evening’s entertainment wound down with the fair’s well-noted free supper event, which draws in crowds of hundreds. The line snaked around a full half-mile as attendees waited to try out the locally produced and donated beef, pork and lamb burgers.
At dusk, a 15-minute firework display ensued, closing out the night and the weekend.
Big events to anticipate on the fair’s horizon include today’s kid’s festival, which will feature a variety of outdoor activities for young children, as well as day two of the Oreo stacking contest. The day will close out with an auction of the woodcarvers’ sculptures at 9 p.m. in the Pavillion.
Wednesday will feature the prestigious Market Beef Show at 8:30 a.m. in the pavilion as well as the Open Bucket/Bottle Calf show at 6 p.m. in the pavillion, an event well-noted for the youth of both the participants and the calves they show.
One attendee joked “It’s my favorite event, because the kids get so excited about it … You don’t know if the calf or the kid showing it is more likely to lay down and go to sleep.”
The fair will wrap up on Thursday with several shows, the Farm Credit services sale supper at 4:30 p.m. in the food court and a movie night and teen dance held in the evening.