Prior to the fair’s official opening Wednesday, July 27, the board has added a co-ed ranch rodeo to kick off the week of events on Tuesday. The competition will begin at 7 p.m. at the fairgrounds arena in Hillsboro.
Ranch rodeo events are based on the line of work cowboys and cowgirls do each day: team sorting, trailer loading, doctoring and calf branding, and possibly more events.
Beginning at 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, the Kraft Rodeo takes over the arena with two days of breath-taking events, from saddle bronc, barrel racing, bull riding and steer wrestling to name a few.
Of course, kids can take their turn with Mutton Bustin’ and Calf Scramble each night.
A special addition to the rodeo each night will be the Silver Buckle Drill Team from McPherson.
The first five kids to register each night for Mutton Bustin’ will participate free; all others will pay a small entry fee. Mutton Bustin’ participants must be at least 6 years old and under 60 pounds. Calf Scramble participants need to be age 10 or younger. All participants will receive an award, with special awards going to the top finishers.
Rodeo tickets for one night or a two-night combination can be purchased at the arena ticket office: $6 for adults or $10 for both nights; children ages 6-12 will cost $5. Children under age 5 are free with a paid adult ticket.
Friday entertainment begins with the annual fair parade through downtown Hillsboro starting at 6 p.m. with the theme, “Bushel, Bales & Tails.” Local participation, is encouraged; entry forms for the parade can be found online at the fair website.
Following the parade, Skywalkers Gymnastics will demonstrate their skills at 6:30 p.m. in the Commercial Building.
At 7 p.m., the Truck & Antique Tractor Pull will get under way in the fair arena, featuring local talent competing for prizes and brand bragging rights in a variety of tractor divisions.
Fair-goers can get an early start on their Saturday evening entertainment by watching the Kids Pedal Pull, which is open to children age 4 through 12. The top three finishers in each age category will receive awards and will be eligible to compete at the 2016 Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson.
The fair’s most popular entertainment event, the Marion County Demolition Derby, will begin in the arena at 7 p.m. with several new events in the evening lineup.
This year’s lineup will debut a 3-Man Team Derby, a Youth Lawn Mower Derby and a Kids Power Wheel Derby as well as the traditional crowd favorites: the “Semi-Mod” Derby and the combined Figure 8 and Junior Figure 8 races.
The entertainment lineup climaxes with a community worship service at 9 a.m. Sunday featuring Wild Horse Ministries.
WHM founder Paul Daily will be using a young colt to illustrate how wild horses react to a trainer and people should react to Jesus Christ.
No admission will be charged, but an offering for Wild Horse Ministries will be collected. Everyone, regardless of religious affiliation or faith, is invited to attend. Following the service, attendees can enjoy a variety of family-fun events beginning at noon with a children’s petting zoo, followed by the popular celebrity goat-milking contest, spring frog races and sailboat races in the Pavilion.