This week marks the kickoff for the Ray County Fair. Participants are finishing projects, getting their animals ready, cleaning gear and putting the final touch on what they will be exhibiting.
What’s in it for spectators and participants? Plenty. Family Fun Night on Friday, July 10, is anticipated to draw a good crowd as families gather for friendly yet spirited competition in the arena.
The fun starts at 6 p.m. with small carnival-like games for the kids. Contestants for the title of Ray County Idol karaoke contest will compete at 6 p.m. in the arena with sign-ups at 5:30 p.m. There is a $5 entry fee for the contest and winners will receive cash prizes.
Bring your families to compete in the Super Farmer Contest in the arena. The event, which begins at 7 p.m. Friday, is an open-field competition. 4-H clubs or FFA members get together and put up an effort against their peers in the Super Teen Contest.
If you enjoy live music and visiting with neighbors and friends, Family Fun Night continues with a live band at 8:30 p.m. and the River City Skydivers will make their appearance at 8:45 p.m. The evening concludes with the Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce Fireworks Celebration which begins at dusk.
The Antique Tractor Pull is slated for 10 a.m., Saturday, July 11. Come and see the tractors of yesteryear battle it out. The children can play in the Moonwalk while the pull is going on. The regular Tractor Pull is that evening at 7:30 p.m.
Monday brings out the exhibitors and a variety of animals for Fair Week, beginning at 8 a.m. with the Sheep Show at the fairgrounds. Club members will present projects to be judged at 9 a.m. at the Eagleton Center.
That afternoon the Ham Show will begin at 3 p.m. at the Eagleton Center while the Goat Show starts at the same time at the fairgrounds. The Dog Show will be held at 6 p.m., at the Pole Barn.
Tuesday morning is the annual Ham Breakfast and Auction at the Eagleton Center. Breakfast begins at 6:30 a.m. and though it’s early, it draws quite a crowd. Rounding out the pork-type morning is the Swine Show at 9 a.m., at the fairgrounds.
Wednesday morning, at 8 a.m., is the Beef Show check-in. Show time is at 9 a.m. Save up your appetite for later, as the Farmers Appreciation Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m., the Pee Wee Stock Show at 7:30 p.m., and the Livestock Auction at 7:45 p.m.
On Thursday morning, beginning at 9 a.m., the Rabbit Show will be held, with the Poultry Show following at 11 a.m. at the fairgrounds. At 2 p.m., a Cat Show will begin at the Eagleton Center, with the Clover Kids Pet Show at 2:30 p.m. Let’s see a record number of cat and pet show entries. Contact Nancy Coleman regarding more information on any of the shows at 816-776-6961.
Exhibits will be released to participants on Thursday from 3 to 8 p.m., and on Friday from 9 to 11 a.m. The fair is not responsible for exhibits after 11 a.m. when the building closes.
Friday morning is the thrilling countdown for Rocketry participants, with launch time scheduled to begin at 9 a.m., on the grounds in front of the Ray County Museum.
Friday evening sign ups for the Horse Raceo is at 5:30 p.m., and events, lots of them, begin at 7 p.m. in the Richard Swope Memorial Arena near the fairgrounds.
Saturday morning is the Shooting Sports Contest at 8 a.m., and is a wonderful time to watch parents and 4-Hers working together. Come and watch the archery, rifle, pistol and other shooting sports in action. These kids are quite the marksmen!
Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m., at the fairgrounds is the ever-popular Demolition Derby. Come and support your favorite driver.
The following Saturday, July 25, is the 4-H/FFA Horse Show at the Rayville Arena. Check-in time is 8 a.m. Show begins at 9 a.m.
The Ray County Fair is a long-time tradition. The Fair Board has done a great deal of work and would love to see lots of participants and spectators – there should be something everyone will love.
Photo: Kyle Marrant of Guys and Gals 4-H Club, prepares to toss a bale of straw in last year’s Super Teen competition at the Ray County Fair. The event is 7 p.m. Friday at the fairgrounds. Along with Super Teen, the fair is adding an open-class Super Farmer contest this year. (Daily News file photo)