Visitors to the 2012 Warren County Fair next week will notice a few changes.
For starters, the schedule has been extended by a day as the Fair will once again open on a Sunday. Another change from last year is the elimination of the one-price admission fee that included carnival rides.
Fairgoers can enjoy the carnival rides by purchasing individual tickets or wristband specials.
The Fair opens Sunday, July 1, and concludes Saturday, July 7, at the fairgrounds located on North Highway 47 in Warrenton. This year’s theme is “Giddy on Up and Giddy on Down.”
The schedule also has been tweaked, with a couple of new nightly attractions added and the return of an old favorite, as well as a new layout of the fairgrounds. The carnival rides will be moved back to the western side, with the main entrance also moving to its original area in the southwest portion of the property.
These changes will allow the pit area to be moved back to the east side of the property in an attempt to help parking that is lost due to the construction of a permanent motocross track.
Fair Board President Mike Eckhoff hopes this year’s event attracts a large turnout.
“We added events this year with the mud run, motocross and kids games,” Eckhoff said. “We didn’t take anything away. We’re hoping we have another successful year.”
New to the Fair lineup this year is a mud run on Tuesday at 7 p.m. and a battle of the bands competition on Wednesday. Local bands will be competing for a $1,000 top prize and will begin playing at 10 a.m. Each band will perform for 45 minutes, with the top four bands to play on the main stage beginning at 6 p.m.. The finals will be judged by the crowd’s applause.
“We’re hoping to give local bands the opportunity to showcase their talents and people can come out and support them,” Eckhoff said.
Motocross races also will return this year and be held on Saturday, the Fair’s final day. The Fair Board has built a race track that is intended to be used year round.
The parade will continue to serve as the kickoff to the Fair. It will begin at 3 p.m. on Sunday. The parade route will be the same as in recent years, starting at Black Hawk Middle School and ending at Warrenton High School.
The queen coronation will be held at 8 p.m.
Other nightly featured entertainment includes the demolition derby on Thursday beginning at 7 p.m., the rodeo on Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m., the livestock auction on Friday at 8 p.m., the truck pull on Friday at 7 p.m. and the tractor pull on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Other popular events to be held during the week include cowboy mounted shooting on Wednesday, the lawn mower derby on Thursday, and greased pig scramble on Saturday. All three events begin at 7 p.m.
Numerous events will be held on Wednesday and Saturday. Wednesday’s lineup features a backseat driving contest (1 p.m.), hula hoop contest and bubble gum blowing contest (2 p.m.), chicken chase scramble (3 p.m.) and bobcat and backhoe rodeos (5 p.m.). A fireworks show will also be held around dusk on Wednesday night.
“We tried to schedule stuff so people can do something all day,” Eckhoff said. “We want to keep everyone entertained.”
Saturday’s activities begin at 10 a.m. with the baby show, followed by frog and turtle races (noon), the garden tractor pull, washer tournament and watermelon eating contest (all at 1 p.m.), kids games (1:30 p.m.) and pedal tractor pull (2 p.m.).
Music will also be featured each day in the beer garden with the exception of Wednesday night.
Admission will not be charged during Sunday’s opening day of the Fair. The daily admission fee is set at $10 for Tuesday through Thursday. It increases to $12 on Friday and Saturday.
Senior Citizen Day will be celebrated on Thursday with half-price admission from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
A season pass costs $40.
Eckhoff expects Sunday’s opening day to be crowded as fairgoers take advantage of the free admission offer.
“The economy is still tight and we’re hoping families can benefit from that,” he said.
For more information on the Fair or to view a schedule of this year’s events, visit www.wcmofair.com