83rd county fair opens tonight with downtown parade

It?s time to complete those fair entries, put on your ?Boots and Bling? and prepare for the 83rd annual Marion County Fair from July 24 to 27.

?Boots and Bling? is this year?s theme and organizers say the four-day event promises to deliver old-fashioned fun, mixed with some new and familiar activities and events.

The year?s fair entertainment officially kicks off in Hillsboro with the annual parade at 6:30 p.m. from North Main Street to D Street to the fairgrounds on Wednesday, followed by a pedal-tractor pull for kids, a watermelon feed, free snow cones, and a Commer?cial Building full of exhibitors. The American Legion Riders from Marion County and the area will be riding in the parade.

The ever-popular Kids Pedal Tractor Pull is open to children ages 4 through 12.

?The event is free and the top three finishers in each age category will receive a medal and neck ribbon,? Savage said. ?Participants will also receive an award, all compliments of the pedal pull sponsors.?

The top three finishers in each age groups will be eligible to compete at the 2013 Kansas State Fair in Hutchin?son.

Pre-registration begins at 6 p.m. July 24, with the event starting at 7:30 p.m. The pull is starting later than in previous years to allow kids and their parents time to pre-register following the parade.

The pedal tractor pull is located between the 4-H and Foods buildings at the fairgrounds.

?It is strongly recommended that contestants wear shoes and no flip-flops,? Savage said.

Two rodeo nights

Later in the evening, fairgoers can kick up some fun at the Kraft Rodeo in the fair arena at 8 p.m. Extra fun is planned for kids with Mutton Bustin? and a calf scramble.

The first five kids who register for Mutton Bustin? will participate free, thanks to event sponsors. All others will pay a small entry fee.

Mutton Bustin? participants must be age 6 or younger and under 60 pounds. Calf scramble participants need to be age 10 or younger. All participants in each event will receive an award, with special awards going to the top finishers.

The Kraft Rodeo Co., in cooperation with MCFA and rodeo sponsors, will provide fairgoers with two action-packed nights to observe one of the oldest sports in America starting at 8 p.m. July 24 and 25.

?The MCFA?s loyal sponsors support all aspects of the rodeo, from barrel racing, saddle bronc, Mutton Bustin?, bull riding and steer wrestling, just to name a few of the jaw-dropping events,? Savage said.

?Local entrants are welcome and encouraged to participate as well,? Savage said.

For more information or to register as a competitor, call Steve Kraft at 620-200-4081.

Rodeo tickets for one night, or a two-night combination, can be purchased at the arena ticket office. An adult ticket is $6 for one night or $10 for both nights; tickets for children age 6 to 12 will be $5. Children under age 5 will be admitted free with a paid adult ticket.

Truck, antique tractor pulls

The Truck and Antique Tractor Pull will get under way at 7 p.m. July 26 in the fair arena.

?Trucks have been added to the event the past two years and were very successful,? Savage said. ?So we are again pulling trucks this year.?

The event will feature local talent competing for prizes and brand bragging rights. The tractor competition will offer several divisions.

Registration of trucks and tractors will begin at 5 p.m. with a drivers meeting to follow at 6:45 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased at the arena ticket office: $6 for adults, $5 for children (ages 6 to 12) with free admission for those age 5 and under with a paid adult ticket.

?Local participation is strongly encouraged, so tune them up and pull them for fun,? Savage said.

For more information, call Myron Regier at 620-367-8277.

On Friday evening, dance enthusiasts can join the Marion County 4-H clubs for a ?kickin? country barn? dance from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. in the fair pavilion. The dance is free and open to the public. A DJ will be provided.

Demolition derby

The 41st annual Marion County Fair demolition derby starts at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 27.

?The demo derby continues to be a fan favorite and this year will be no different with local participation encouraged,? Savage said.

The deadline to pre-register is July 22 with entry forms and rules available at Arlie?s Collision Specialists, Carquest, NAPA/Marion Auto, Rod?s Tire & Service and Webster?s Auto, or by visiting the Marion County Fair website at marioncountyfairks.org.

Tickets can be purchased at the arena ticket booth: $8 for adults and $6 for children ages 6 to 12. Children age 5 and under will be admitted free with a paid adult ticket.

?The demo derby has a dedicated team of sponsors that have assisted the fair board in providing the event for more than 40 years,? Savage said. ?Thanks to the kindness of one of our fair sponsors, special door prizes will be given away to the first 50 kids who attend the demo derby.?

Food and other features

Savage highlighted several other features planned for this year?s fair.

?In the Foods Building, we will have Al?s Cafe from Lost Springs serving their famous Mexican fare,? she said. ?Their tentative serving hours will be from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. July 24, 25 and 26, and possibly open Saturday evening.

?Come and enjoy a sit-down meal in an air-conditioned building during your time spent at the fair,? she said.

Other food vendors will be available, including the Marion County 4-H clubs with a concession stand in the 4-H Building from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. July 24-26.

?They will be serving pulled-pork sandwiches, corn dogs, chili dogs, nachos, taco salad, homemade pie and drinks with breakfast also being served,? Savage said.

The Igloo plans to offer fairgoers a way to beat the heat by with various flavors of snow cones, she said. The Igloo will be located on the southwest side of the Foods Building.

Another meal option will feature traditional fair cuisine.

?The Hillsboro Lions/Leo Club will again be serving hamburgers, cheeseburgers, funnel cakes, popcorn, fried tators, drinks and more during evening fair events,? Savage said.

?Bring a friend or your neighbor and enjoy some great food and fun while viewing 4-H livestock shows/exhibits, kids pedal pull competition, evening fair events and numerous other activities,? she said.

For more information about this year?s fair, visit marioncountyfairks.org or call 620-381-0109. Tickets for fair events can be purchased at the ticket office on the fairgrounds

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