County fair organizers sound call for event participants

The Marion County Fair, Aug. 8-11, is once again inviting area residents to participate in some of its most popular events, including the parade, demolition derby, rodeo events, horseshoe tournament and Wheat Market Show.

This year’s parade, set to begin at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 8, will begin on Main Street at Third and travel south to D Street, then turn west to the fairgrounds.

Planners encourage open-class and 4-H entries to participate with floats, commercial entries, antique vehicles, demolition derby cars, bands, queens and public officials. Participants need not preregister for the parade.

Entries will be judged according to the theme, “2001: A Fair Odyssey,” as well as for composition and presentation. Church, civic and individual floats can earn prize money ranging from $20 to $7.50. Bicycle, dog, cat and pony entries can earn prize money between $7 and $3.

Contact the fair office at 316-947-2585 for entry information and parking arrangements at the end of the parade route.

The fair’s most popular spectator event, the demolition derby on Saturday night, has room for more entrants, according to organizers.

The entrants will be organized into four preliminary heats. The two winners in each heat each will receive $100 and a trophy. The remaining contestants are eligible to compete in one or two consolation heats, where the top two finishers will each receive $100 and a trophy.

The championship heat will feature the eight winners of the preliminary heats and the winners of the two consolation heat or heats. The top five finishers in the championship heat will receive cash prizes: $600 for first, $350 for second, $250 for third, $150 for fourth and $100 for fifth. The top three finishers will also receive trophies.

Participant packets, which include an entry form, release form and contest rules and regulations, are available at the fair office at 109 S. Main. Drivers are welcome from Marion County and the surrounding counties of Dickinson, Morris, Chase, Harvey, Butler and McPherson.

Local entrants are again welcomed at this year rodeo on Thursday and Friday nights. Events include bareback bronc riding, saddle bronc riding, barrel racing, team roping, steer wrestling and bull riding.

As in past year, three rodeo events are planned for children on each night. Muttin’ Bustin’, where kids ride sheep, is intended for kids age 1 through 6; Mini Bull Riding is open to kids age 7 through 10; and the Kid’s Calf Scramble is for kids age 10 and under on Thursday and kids 7 to 10 on Friday.

Organizers of the horseshoe tournament are hoping to add entrants to its annual competition. Singles action is scheduled for 7 p.m., Thursday, on the southeast corner of the fairgrounds, adjacent to Memorial Park.

Wayne Hoffman, tournament superintendent, says anyone can enter. People with little or no previous experience can enter the Class C competition. The rest of the entrants will be divided into Class A or B, depending on their throwing percentage.

Prize money will be awarded to the first three finishers in each class. Entrants need not preregister. For more information, contact Hoffman at 316-382-2696.

Marion County farmers will have a chance to find out just how good their 2001 wheat crop was by participating in the Wheat Market Show.

Two varieties of wheat will be judged: 2137 and Jagger. Cargill Ag Horizons, the event sponsor, will offer a $10 first-prize, $8 second-prize, $5 third prize, and $2 fourth prize for the best entries in each variety.

Each entry will display in a clear jar one quart of wheat taken from the combine during this year’s harvest. Each entrant, whether farmer or landlord, may enter one sample per variety. Hand-picked or screened entries will be disqualified.

More information about the event can be found in the 2001 Marion County Fair tabloid which was inserted in the July 4 issue of the Hillsboro Free Press, or by contacting the Marion County Fair office at 316-947-2585.

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