Volunteers are busy preparing for the Wyandotte County Fair, which will open Tuesday evening, July 11, and run through Saturday, July 15.
The annual event is held at the Wyandotte County Fairgrounds at 13700 Polfer Road (east of K-7), Kansas City, Kansas, where last week volunteers were completing the roof on a new show barn, said Wanda Schmieding, a volunteer who serves on the fair board and also is acting as the secretary and fair manager during the fair.
A carnival, exhibits, a petting zoo, musical entertainment and special arena events are planned this year at the fair, including a mud run at 6 p.m. Saturday, she said. Weather-permitting, a hot air balloon will be at the fair, but it will not be operating if it is windy or if there is a storm.
Horses will be in the fair this year, she said, and will be under a tent near the arena.
Those attending on Tuesday evening will see many free events, such as a petting zoo, pig races, magic shows, a free performance by the Reyes Brothers band from 7 to 10 p.m. at the free tent, and many animals raised by 4-H members on exhibit. Those who want to feed animals at the petting zoo will pay 50 cents for feed.
Tuesday will be carnival wristband night, with a $15 charge. Camel rides will be available for a fee.
There also are many exhibits on display throughout the fair by 4-H members and also open class exhibits. There are animal shows and judging each day of the fair. The livestock buyers dinner will be Friday evening, with the bucket calf parade at 7:15 p.m., followed by the livestock auction at 7:30 p.m. on Friday. The parade of champions is scheduled at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Arena events are among the highlights of the fair each year. The mud run at 6 p.m. Saturday is the only one this year that has a charge. The charge is $12 for 12 and older, $5 for 6 to 11 years, and 5 and under is free.
Two other arena events include a garden tractor pull on Thursday, July 13, and go-kart races at 6:30 p.m. Friday, July 14. There is no admission charge for spectators at these two events.
Schmieding said she hopes this year’s fair attracts from 40,000 to 50,000 people. She said the fair is working to grow its volunteer base and increase attendance.
Besides the new show barn just constructed, she said the fairgrounds now includes a shooting sports range that visitors will be able to see, although it will not be in use during the fair. The shooting range is expected to open later this year. The fairgrounds are used year-around for receptions, antique sales, shooting sports competition and other events, she said.
As is often the case, the weather will get hot this week during the county fair, and there is a heat advisory in the forecast for Tuesday. There is still no air-conditioning at any of the fair buildings, she said, so those attending the fair may have to find some relief from the sun inside the red barn.
“It’s like the old-time days,” Schmieding said. Volunteers will be available to assist people who may need help, she added. There also will be cold drinks for purchase at the fair.
Greek, Mexican and barbecue food will be available for purchase from vendors, she said.
Schmieding said special contests at the fair this year include a recycled material contest, Lego contest, homegrown tomatoes contest and a fruit pie contest. There is a $100 prize to the winner of the fruit pie contest, with entries accepted from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday. Check the website www.wycofair.com for more details about entry times.
There also are special days at the fair. Daycare Day at the fair is from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 12, and Seniors Day at the Fair is at 11 a.m. Friday, July 14. Those attending Daycare Day must pre-register to 913-788-7898, and there is a $5 charge per child. Those interested in Seniors Day may call 913-441-1907 for reservations.
Free stage events include Back Road Express, 7 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Stars Fall Down, 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Big Dave, 8 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Sully Brothers, 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, and Alan Thorne gospel night, 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday.
For carnival rides, Wednesday will be a $20 wristband night; Thursday at $20 wristband night; Friday a $25 wristband night; and Saturday a $25 wristband night.
Schmieding said while admission to the fair is free, there is a $5 charge per car for parking.
Hours of the fair are listed on the website as 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday.
More information about the fair is available online at www.wycofair.com, or call 913-721-2333.