2013 Jackson Co. Fair to offer more free events

Not long ago, a TV commercial claimed that “free is a very good price.” Following up on that line, the 2013 Jackson County Fair has a number of special acts and events that fall within that category. The fair, beginning on July 16 this year, will feature several acts that promise to entertain and thrill fair-goers. Some of those events will be the Olate Dogs, Freestyle motocross, Bull Riding, Mutton Bustin, Walk on the Wild Side, Hypnotist Show, the Pirate Parrot Show and the ever popular Ranch Rodeo.

Of course, the open class exhibits are always free and the usual displays will be there. Food and flowers, landscaping, photography, hobbies, needlework and many others will be on display during the fair.

One of the more popular attractions is the huge sow and her litter in a pen outside one of the stock buildings. Who would have thought an ordinary farm animal would draw so many visitors, but this one does. She and her litter are stationed outside the pig barn where youth swine are kept prior to and during the swine portion of the fair. Inside, the 4-H and FFA exhibitors are proud to show off their products and are very helpful in explaining the nuances of raising swine for the show. The swine judging is held on July 16, and the swine Auction will begin at 7 p. m. in the Olsrud arena on July 17.

The Cattle auction is held in the Olsrud Arena on Saturday, July 20. Some of the finest beef animal projects in the nation are brought to the Jackson County Fair, as evidenced by the high prices young people receive for their animals. The beef auction is one of the main attractions at the annual fair and many attend just to encourage young folks who are displaying animals. Several come to the opening rounds of the auction to see how much the Grand Champion steer is going to bring.

Horses are always an event that draws lots of young people, and the 4-H horse awards are to be held on July 21 beginning at noon.

Also during the fair, there are other animal projects that draw entries. Chickens, turkeys, rabbits, even some fish and other exotic animals have their friendly competitions too.

Staff at the Expo has been working hard to put together a super show for the July 16-21 Fair this year. Food and carnival rides are just about the only thing you have to open your wallet for once you enter the fairgrounds. This is a radical departure from the past several years.

Realizing that more folks are staying closer to home for family vacations spurred Expo staff to be creative with the experience. The Fair is going to be more like the fairs of old, with local talent and food that is going to make attendees forget the greasy gut-wrenching foods of the past few years. The Stockmen’s Association is sponsoring the Ranch Rodeo, their way of supporting the fair by doing what they do best while having a boatload of fun.

The monster trucks will be making an appearance this year and they are one of the perennial crowd pleasers. You can volunteer to be one of the subjects for hypnotist Richard Barker, where he will entertain and amaze the crowd. You already know about the carnival rides, but there is another ride this year that will be unique to most of us. Dustin’s Top notch Camels will be making the circuit with riders on their backs. Big Al and Tonto will make you believe you are in the Middle Eastern Desert as you soar high above the crowd on this four-legged transportation.

And don’t forget the bull riding. Jason Mattox is a former professional bull rider and now is stock contractor and advisor to the Wild Rogue Pro Rodeo and he brings this show to the fair free of charge to the audience. One of rodeo’s most dangerous sports—and most thrilling—is just inside the Compton arena, which is also site to some of the other special attractions.

And now for another of the free parts. Seniors over the age of 75 are admitted daily and there is no charge at the gate. On Tuesday Kids get in for $3 all day long. On Wednesday, seniors between the ages of 62 and 74 will be admitted for just $3 all day long. Thursday is a day for the Veterans, who are admitted for just $6 and this applies to all active duty and former military service personnel. Wow, can it get any better?

The concert series is being run by a private contractor, so those prices are not included in the ticket price.

Admission tickets are on sale beginning July 3 at $9 if you pick them up prior to the beginning of the fair. They are available at Grange Co Op stores and Food 4 Less and Sherm’s Thunderbird Market. Those same outlets will have the popular discounted wrist band carnival ride coupons too.


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