The Marion County Fair, Aug. 7-10, is once again inviting area residents to participate in some of its most popular events, including the parade, demolition derby, rodeo events and horseshoe tournament. For the first year, entrants are welcomed to the new women’s ranch rodeo as well.
This year’s parade, set to start at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 7, 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, “Let Freedom Soar at the Fair,” as well as for composition and presentation. Church, civic and individual floats can earn prize money ranging from $7.50 to $20. Bicycle, dog, cat and pony entries can earn prize money between $3 and $7.
Contact the fair office at 620-947-2585 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 assigned to one of four preliminary heats. The two winners in each heat 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 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’s rodeo on Thursday and Friday nights. Events include bareback bronc riding, saddle bronc riding, barrel racing, team roping, calf roping, steer wrestling and bull riding.
As in past years, three rodeo events are planned for children on each night. Muttin’ Bustin’, where kids ride sheep, is intended for kids ages 1 through 6; Mini Bull Riding is open to kids ages 7 through 10; and the Kid’s Calf Scramble is for kids ages 10 and under on Thursday and kids ages 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, B or C, 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 620-382-2696.
On Wednesday night, the first women’s ranch rodeo will debut at the Marion County Fair. Four-person team events include trailer loading, calf doctoring, team sorting and calf branding. Women interested in more information or in competing can call event organizer Chuck McLinden at 620-878-4518. The entry fee for a team is $200. Prizes will be awarded to winners. The signup deadline is July 24.
More information about the event can be found in the 2002 Marion County Fair tabloid, which was inserted in the July 3 issue of the Hillsboro Free Press, or by contacting the Marion County Fair office at 620-947-2585.