163rd Henry County Fair scheduled to open June 15 | Local News

CAMBRIDGE, Ill. — The 163rd annual Henry County Fair will open Wednesday, June 15, at the Cambridge fairgrounds with much-anticipated livestock shows, carnival rides, fair food, live entertainment and more.

In past years, the fair opened on a Tuesday, but this year’s fair week has been shortened by one day.

Fair board president Jake Seys explained the fair went a week earlier than usual in order to sign Swyear Amusements for the carnival.

“They really are a fantastic carnival with a lot of rides for all age groups and games,” he said. “A lot of people ask for Swyears specifically because of the quality of rides. We’ve had good carnivals in the past, but it’s hard to find one of their caliber.”

Because of the earlier schedule, the fair overlapped with the state FFA convention on June 14-16, so the fair board decided to start the fair a day later to minimize the overlap.

“We’re going to use this as a learning year and see what works,” Seys said. “As with any fair there’s always adjustments to be made.”

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The queen pageants will be held Wednesday, June 15, with the Little Miss pageant at 5:30 p.m. and the Junior and Miss Henry County Fair queen pageants starting at 7 p.m.

Livestock shows begin on Thursday, with the 4-H horse show at 9 a.m. and the 4-H bucket calf show at 11 a.m. The junior swine show begins at 3 p.m., and the open bucket calf show at 4 p.m.

The 4-H sheep show starts at 8 a.m. Friday, followed by the 4-H goat show. The 4-H beef show starts at 9 a.m. and the 4-H swine show at 10 a.m.

The open swine show is at 8 a.m. Saturday, followed by the Henry County costume special and Pee Wee Swine Fun show for ages 8 and under.

Junior beef showmanship is at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, followed by the 4-H rabbit show, 4-H poultry show and junior open beef show. The open beef show starts at 2 p.m.

There will be an open horse show at 9 a.m. Sunday and the ABGA Boer goat show at 10 a.m. The market lamb jackpot show is at 10:30 a.m.

The kid’s pedal-tractor pull is at the Merchants Building at 5 p.m. Thursday, with Illini State Pullers and Back Roads Pulling putting on the regular truck and tractor pulls in the grandstand at 6 p.m.

There will also be a bags tournament at noon Saturday at the Midway Beer Garden.

A karaoke contest that is a preliminary to the karaoke contest at the Illinois State Fair will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday.

The demolition derby is at 6 p.m. Saturday.

Fairgoers can see harness racing for free at 1 p.m. Sunday. The fair talent show is at 2 p.m. Sunday.

New this year is an All-American Lumberjack Show with an interactive lumberjack camp for kids Wednesday through Sunday. There will also be a return of a chainsaw wood sculptor and a petting zoo.

Work done at the Cambridge fairgrounds over the past year includes electrical and water and sewer, with updated buildings.

“It’s underground, but it’s stuff that’s really going to benefit the property for years to come,” Seys said.

Grandstand seating has also been improved with more handicapped seating with wider aisles.

The earlier schedule gives the fair a chance to help celebrate Father’s Day with a discounted outer gate admission cost of $3 on Sunday. (Children 8 and under are free.) “Family Day” activities on Sunday are at no cost once inside the gates. Activities include a biggest frog contest, frog hop contest, egg toss, sack race, pig herding relay race, chicken scramble and pig scramble.

“Traditional fair values from years past,” Seys noted. “A great thing for Father’s Day if you want to bring Dad out and enjoy the last day of the fair.”

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