Clay County Fair returns in big way

Spencer, Iowa — Following a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Clay County Fair powered by SMU returned September 11-19 with sunny skies and smiling fairgoers.

“There was much uncertainty heading into this Fair with the pandemic, a labor shortage, supply chain issues, and a 721-day break since the last Fair,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. “However, the enthusiasm of our fairgoers to simply be at the Fair put that uncertainty to rest once the gates opened.”

Fairgoers reacted favorably to many programming changes, including a new home for poultry and rabbits in the Farm Nutrients Small Animal Barn; stellar entertainment on the Midway Stage; the Manufacturing Expo presented by ISU Extension Clay County, which involved nine area high schools; the Fair’s first-ever Hispanic Festival on Sept. 12; a new shuttle route which traveled the southern edge of the fairgrounds; and 31 new foods.

“When the enthusiasm of the fairgoers mixed with the determination of our vendors, exhibitors, volunteers, staff and Board to put on the best Fair possible under the circumstances we were in, it created a beautiful nine days,” he said. “We are grateful and thankful.”

Parsons continued that the success of the 2021 Clay County Fair can be measured in several metrics, including:

Youth Involvement

  • 708 4-H and FFA exhibitors from 42 counties in Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska participated in livestock and human sciences events at the Fair.
  • Approximately 1,300 third and fourth grade students from 16 regional schools visited the Fair as part of the AgCiting and SciCiting field trip programs coordinated by ISU Extension Clay County.

Fairgoer Spending

  • Preliminary fairgoer spending on food, beverage, specialty concessions, and carnival rides totaled $2,537,345.95, breaking an all-time record set in 2017.
  • Preliminary fairgoer spending set three single-day records for the first Sunday (Sept. 12), Wednesday (Sept. 15), and the second Saturday (Sept. 18).
  • GoldStar Amusements set single-day records for carnival ride revenue eight of the nine days of the Fair, including an all-time single-day record on Saturday, Sept. 18.

Exhibitor Participation

  • 456 commercial exhibitors, concessionaires, and vendors showcased at the Fair. With at least 150 ag-specific exhibitors, the Fair again hosted the largest farm machinery and ag equipment show at any fair in the United States.
  • 1,127 exhibitors participated in various open class livestock and non-livestock competitions.

Attendance

  • The Sleep Number Grandstand attracted 18,585 fairgoers to multiple stage performances and dirt events. The top two attended events were Skillet with special guest Ledger (2,763) and Josh Turner with special guest Dillon Carmichael (2,698).
  • Overall Fair attendance totaled 277,389. Complete daily attendance numbers can be found at https://claycountyfair.com/history/bythenumbers/

“With all of the uncertainty before the Fair, we were unsure what the numbers would be like after the Fair,” said Parsons. “While numbers only tell part of the success story of a fair each year, we are extremely pleased with fairgoer attendance and spending at this year’s Fair.”

More detailed information on the 2021 Clay County Fair powered by SMU will be made available at the Clay County Fair Association’s annual meeting on October 26. Lifetime memberships to the Fair Association are available for $100. Call (712) 580-3000 for more information.

About The Clay County Fair & Events Center Rooted in Tradition, the Clay County Fair and Events Center is a year-round facility that annually hosts more than 300 events, including its signature event, the Clay County Fair powered by SMU. Known as “The World’s Greatest County Fair” since 1917, the Fair attracts more than 300,000 guests each September for nine-days of world-class entertainment, competition, food, fun, and the largest farm machinery show at any fair in the United States. Additional information can be found at claycountyfair.com.

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Recycling Options Allow Fairgoers to Help Reduce Trash

Clay County Fair attendees are being encouraged to help with recycling efforts at the 2021 fair.

Once again, plastic bottles and aluminum cans can be placed in blue bins lined with clear bags.

In addition to the Fair and City of Spencer, the recycling effort is supported by the Women’s Basketball team at Iowa Lakes Community College.

The women will insert the bags before the fair and then collect full bags three times throughout the fair.

“We like opportunities like this for our women,” said Head Coach Ashley Martin. “They get some exercise and there’s always a good feeling people get when volunteering.”

After the fair, the city plans to weigh the amount of recycling and compare with past fairs.

In addition to recycling plastic and cans, the City of Spencer has cardboard recycling bins on the fairgrounds for vendors and non-profit groups to use.

And, Vanessa Moore, the Environmental Education Coordinator with the  Northern Plains Regional Planning Area, is teaming up with Arts on Grand and the City of Spencer for some activities at the Art Barn during the Fair.  “How to Tame the Trash Monster!” as well as “Reuse-a-plooza” will take place Sept. 11, 13, 15 and 17. For more information, contact Moore at education@spenceriowacity.com.

Other plans include: World Clean Up Day on Wednesday, Sept. 15.  The Clay County Fair, the City of Spencer and Northern Plains Planning Area will celebrate with a local cleaning of ditches and areas around the fairgrounds. Volunteers are needed and are asked to contact Moore to identify a time for the event.

MEDIA: For more information, contact the Clay County Fair at 712-580-3000 ext. 218.

If you wish to contact Coach Ashley Martin her number is 712-362-7928.

Reach out to Vanessa Moore, Environmental Education Coordinator, via email at education@spenceriowacity.com or via mobile phone at 210-823-0543 (between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.)

Photo IDs: These are photos from 2019:

21Recycle#1: Brianna O’Donnell of Richfield, Minn., inserts a new bag into a recycling bin.

21RecycleGroup: 2019 Women’s Basketball players, from left, Shanice Vaughn, Imani Hollie Jones, Safiyer Coleman, Brianna O’Donnell, as well as Men’s Basketball member Kaden Reynolds.

INTERESTING RECYCLING FACTS: (If desired by your media outlet.)

The average person has the opportunity to recycle more than 22,500 cans in a lifetime.

Every three months, Americans throw enough aluminum into landfills to build our nation’s entire commercial air fleet.

 

Clay County Fair Makes Grandstand Change

Spencer, Iowa — The Clay County Fair announces that BlackHawk (rather than Tracy Lawrence) will be joining The Bellamy Brothers as part of the SRG Concert Series in the Sleep Number Grandstand at the 2021 Clay County Fair powered by SMU on Monday, September 13 at 7:30pm.

“Tracy Lawrence had to cancel due to circumstances beyond our control,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons.  “As I have stated numerous times, this Fair will be very fluid as we navigate the waters of a Fair in a COVID-19 world.”

For more than 20 years,  BlackHawk has shared a unique sense of harmony with their voices, their songs and their fans.  It’s a harmony that has sold over 7 million albums and scored some of the most distinctive country radio hits of the ‘90s.

With a  career stretching over 40 years, The Bellamy Brothers have charted #1 singles an impressive 14 times and hold both the CMA and ACM record for most duo nominations.  Their hits include “Redneck Girl,” “Dancing Cowboys,” and “Let Your Love Flow.”

Tickets are on sale now. Prices are $31 (general admission stage front standing), $26 (reserved Grandstand seating), and $21 (general admission bleacher seating). Tickets are available online at www.midwestix.com, by phone at 515-244-2771, or in person at the Grandstand Ticket Office. Handling & processing fees, which are applied to all purchase methods, are included in the advertised price.

REFUND INFORMATION – For those Tracy Lawrence fans who would like to request a refund, please email info@midwestix.com.  As a reminder, the $3 per ticket handling & processing fee, which was applied to all purchase methods and included in the advertised price, is non-refundable.

NEW IN 2021 – “Happy Hour” Start your concert experience early each night by joining the exclusive “Happy Hour!”  This $25 upgrade, which can be purchased on top of any Grandstand ticket, includes early admittance to the concert prior to the general public; a commemorative Fair gift; and two free beverage tickets (good for beer, water, or soda). Limited number available each night.

About the Sleep Number Grandstand Bag checks are conducted at all Grandstand events. The following items will be prohibited: weapons/firearms, alcoholic beverages not provided by the Fair & Events Center, air horns/whistles or other noisemakers, helium-filled balloons, glitter/confetti, glass bottles, fireworks and illegal substances.

About the Clay County Fair & Events Center Rooted in Tradition, the Clay County Fair and Events Center is a year-round facility that annually hosts more than 300 events, including its signature event, the Clay County Fair. Known as “The World’s Greatest County Fair” since 1917, the Clay County Fair attracts more than 300,000 guests each September for nine-days of world-class entertainment, competition, food, fun, and the largest farm machinery show at any fair in the United States. Additional information can be found at claycountyfair.com.

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Thirty-one new foods will entice stomachs at 2021 Fair

Spencer, Iowa — Fairgoers to the 2021 Clay County Fair powered by SMU will have 31 new foods to enjoy during their visit Sept. 11-19, including five that have been named as finalists for the fifth edition of the “The World’s Greatest County Fair Food” Contest.

“In our visitor surveys, fairgoers tell us one of the top reasons they attend the Fair is for the food,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. “This list of unique new foods will only add to our reputation as a nine-day foodie festival.”

“The World’s Greatest County Fair Food” Contest will be judged by a panel of local celebrity judges on Saturday, Sept. 11 at 3:00pm on the Central Park Stage with one vendor taking home the coveted title of “The World’s Greatest County Fair Food.”

The five finalists (and vendors) are as follows:

  • Pad Thai (Little Blue Elephant) – sautéed rice noodles with chicken, carrots, zucchini, broccoli, green onions, and peanuts.
  • Apple Pied Donuts (Bean Counter Concessions) – cinnamon sugared mini donuts topped with warm homemade chunky applesauce, whipped cream, and caramel drizzle.
  • Pickle Wrap (Girl’d Cheese) – fresh deli sliced dried beef, dill pickle slices, cream cheese, and mozzarella cheese grilled on bread.
  • Biscoff ® & Banana Cheesecake Waffle (Nordic Waffles) – a fresh crepe-like waffle coated in Biscoff ® Cookie butter and filled with banana cheesecake, crushed Lotus cookies, whipped cream, and Fruity pebbles.
  • Pigtail Sundae (Clay County Pork Producers Chop Shop) – a bed of pigtail fries covered in pulled pork and topped with coleslaw.

In addition to “The World’s Greatest County Fair Food” there will again be the “People’s Choice” Award. Fairgoers can sample the five finalists and cast their vote at any of the Fair’s information booths from Saturday, September 11-Wednesday, September 15. The winner will be announced on Thursday, September 16 during the Fair.

Are you a “Fair Foodie?” Again this year, Fairgoers can take the Fair Foodie Challenge – pick up a special Foodie card at any information booth, sample all five of the finalists, turn the Foodie card back in at any information booth and receive a special “Fair Foodie” button and a special gift for completing the challenge.

Beside the five finalists, other new foods at the upcoming Fair include:

  • Honey Roasted Chipotle Peanut Roll – Colonial Nut Roll Company
  • Egg Bake Muffins – Colonial Nut Roll Company
  • Elderberry Maple Syrup – Morley’s Maple Syrup
  • Cowgirl Cone – Oak Tree Bar-B-Que
  • Sloppywich – Oak Tree Bar-B-Que
  • Sloppy Nachos – Oak Tree Bar-B-Que
  • All-American Burger – Spencer Jaycees
  • Pizza Burger – Spencer Jaycees
  • Tator Tots – Charlie’s Food Concessions
  • Deep-fried Banana Bar – McCreary’s Creative Catering
  • Warm Oat (Oatmeal) Bowls – Big Acai Bowls
  • Protein Power Balls – Big Acai Bowls
  • Energy Granola Bars – Big Acai Bowls
  • Breakfast Sausage Waffle Stix covered in peanut butter and bacon – Waffle Chicks
  • Bourbon Chicken and Rice – Bryan’s Concessions
  • Bourbon Chicken Sandwich – Bryan’s Concessions
  • Homemade Chicken & Noodles / Homemade Mashed Potatoes – TnT Concessions
  • Grilled desserts (strawberries & cream, campfire apple pie, s’mores) – Girl’d Cheese
  • Fresh Roasted Peanuts – Completely Nuts
  • Thai cuisine and sushi – Little Blue Elephant
  • Teriyaki Steak, Shrimp, Pork, and Grilled Chicken – Linda Chan’s Concessions
  • Cheesecake Cupcakes – Simply Sweet Cheesecake
  • Cheesecakes with various toppings – Simply Sweet Cheesecake
  • Slushees – Oz Concessions
  • Daybreaker’s Delight – Daybreaker’s Kiwanis Club
  • Nordic Waffles – Nordic Waffles

To find your favorite foods at the 2021 Fair, use the Food Finder at claycountyfair.com. The Food Finder allows you to search and locate your old and new favorite foods by name and vendor location.

About The Clay County Fair & Events Center Rooted in Tradition, the Clay County Fair and Events Center is a year-round facility that annually hosts more than 300 events, including its signature event, the Clay County Fair powered by SMU. Known as “The World’s Greatest County Fair” since 1917, the Clay County Fair attracts more than 325,000 guests each September for nine-days of world-class entertainment, competition, food, fun, and the largest farm machinery show at any fair in the United States. Additional information can be found at claycountyfair.com.

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Livestock entry deadline approaching quickly for the 2021 Clay County Fair

Spencer, Iowa — The open class livestock entry deadline for the 2021 Clay County Fair powered by SMU, September 11-19, is rapidly approaching.

All entries for open class beef cattle, dairy cattle, swine, sheep, and horses are due by midnight on Sunday, August 29.

Check out the exhibitor handbooks online at www.claycountyfair.com or pick one up at the Fair Administrative Offices to find the rules and guidelines to enter your livestock at the Fair. Pre-registration for all livestock departments with the exception of rabbits is mandatory and must be completed online, by mail, or in person by midnight on August 29.

Daily open class livestock shows are a highlight for many fairgoers with nearly 550 exhibitors showing over 3,000 head of livestock in 2019. In addition to the open classes, there are also several hundred 4-H and FFA exhibitors that show at the Fair.

About The Clay County Fair & Events Center Rooted in Tradition, the Clay County Fair and Events Center is a year-round facility that annually hosts more than 300 events, including its signature event, the Clay County Fair. Known as “The World’s Greatest County Fair” since 1917, the Clay County Fair attracts more than 325,000 guests each September for nine-days of world-class entertainment, competition, food, fun, and the largest farm machinery show at any fair in the United States. Additional information can be found at claycountyfair.com.

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Memorable Collections, new blue ribbon contests highlight Creative Living Center

Spencer, Iowa — Memorable collections, canned goods, dried foods and oven products will all fill a portion of the Creative Living Center at the 2021 Clay County Fair powered by SMU, September 11-19.

A recent tradition at the Fair, the Signe Kim Lauridsen-Jones’ Memorable Collections Contest will have cash prizes totaling $1,000.00. Exhibitors will create an interesting display using pieces that best represent their collection and will also write a short story about their collection specifically looking at when, why, and how their collection started.  Entries can be anything that has been collected, but the maximum exhibit space is 24″ long by 12″ deep by 16″ high.

For those exhibitors who excel in the kitchen, there are literally hundreds of categories to enter as part of the Canned Goods and Dried Foods Department, as well as the Oven Products Department.  Besides classic categories like canned green beans, jellies, jams, chocolate chip cookies, pies, and other baked goods, there are several other contests for exhibitors to enter, including the $1,500 Cinnamon Roll Contest. The contest, which features a prize increase of $500 for the champion winner, will be held on Monday, September 13 and is sponsored by Farmers Savings Bank, Edward Jones, and Asher Motor Company.

In addition to cinnamon rolls, there are twelve other contests during the Fair, Mrs. Bonser’s Chicken Noodle Soup Contest (Sept. 12); King Arthur Flour Peachberry Buckle (adult) and Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies (junior) Contests (Sept. 12); Meringue, Soft Pies and Desserts, Cheesecakes, Specialty Cakes, and Frosted Layered Cakes (Sept. 16); Janice Nostrom’s Favorite Ham Balls Contest (Sept. 16); Clay County Pork Producer’s Zuppa Soup Contest (Sept. 17); KICD’s Jell-O Salad Contest (Sept. 17); Bruce Piper’s Sour Cream Raisin Pie Contest (Sept. 17); Mrs. Grimes Salsa Chili Contest (Sept. 18); and Jim Anderson’s Favorite Bundt Cake Contest (Sept. 18).

Check out the exhibitor handbook online at www.claycountyfair.com or pick one up at the Fair Administrative Offices to find the rules and guidelines to enter your work at the Fair.  Pre-registration for all exhibits is encouraged and can be completed online, by mail, or in person by August 29.  For those who choose not to pre-register, registration can also occur when entries are accepted at the Creative Living Center during the appropriate entry times which are found in the exhibitor handbooks.

About The Clay County Fair & Events Center Rooted in Tradition, the Clay County Fair & Events Center is a year-round facility that annually hosts more than 300 events, including its signature event, the Clay County Fair powered by SMU. Known as “The World’s Greatest County Fair” since 1917, the Fair attracts more than 325,000 guests each September for nine days of world-class entertainment, competition, food, fun, and the largest farm machinery show at any fair in the United States. Additional information can be found at claycountyfair.com.

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Events Center Ballroom highlights for 2021 Fair

Spencer, Iowa — The EuroCAST Ballroom in the Events Center will bring a variety of speakers and performers to the 2021 Clay County Fair powered by SMU, Sept. 11-19.

“Whether it’s a game show or a patriotic salute or one of the top Southern Gospel music groups in the nation, the Ballroom will be a great venue for activities at the 2021 Fair,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons.

On Sunday, Sept. 12, Spencer Radio Group will host the SRG Prices are Right. This is a family friendly show where you can “come and down” and win lots of prizes.  Doors will open at 4:45pm with the show starting at 5:30pm.

Monday, Sept. 13 is Veteran’s Appreciation Day at the Fair. At 11:00am there will be a Veterans Day Program featuring performances by the Iowa Lakes Community College music department.  Later that day at 2:00pm will be a special patriotic music by Glenn Henriksen. Henriksen will also be performing on Tuesday, Sept. 14 at 2:00pm as part of the Fair’s Senior Day.

On Thursday, Sept. 16, the Iowa Corn Growers Association will present the acclaimed public speaker, Iowa Nice Guy Scott Siepker.  Siepker will present his unique take on life in Iowa at 11:00am, 1:30pm, and 3:00pm.

To close out the Fair will be The Browns on Sunday, Sept. 19 at 2:00pm.  It’s truly a family affair when The Browns hit the stage with their music. The musical stylings of Adam, Michaela, and Andrew exude excitement on the stage and offer an experience to all who hear them. The Browns deliver the powerful message of the gospel through word and song that engage audiences of all ages.

About The Clay County Fair & Events Center Rooted in Tradition, the Clay County Fair & Events Center is a year-round facility that annually hosts more than 300 events, including its signature event, the Clay County Fair powered by SMU. Known as “The World’s Greatest County Fair” since 1917, the Fair attracts more than 325,000 guests each September for nine days of world-class entertainment, competition, food, fun, and the largest farm machinery show at any fair in the United States. Additional information can be found at claycountyfair.com.

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Central Park full of fun activities at 2021 Fair

Spencer, Iowa — Interactive family fun and a brand-new Hispanic Festival will highlight Central Park at the 2021 Clay County Fair powered by SMU, Sept. 11-19.

“Our goal each year is to provide unique, fun activities that will appeal to all fairgoers,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons.  “Central Park definitely helps us meet that goal in 2021.”

Sunday, Sept. 12 will feature the Fair’s first Hispanic Festival throughout the afternoon with specialty vendors and local favorite Rey De Rancho, a popular norteña band.

“We are excited to introduce a special ‘festival within the fair’ focused on great music and vendors,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons.

On Saturday, Sept. 11, find out what the best food is at the Fair with the World’s Greatest County Fair Food Contest at 3:00pm. Finalists for the competition will be announced prior to the Fair, and fairgoers will also have the opportunity to select a “People’s Choice” Award winner.

Central Park will also host interactive educational experiences.  The Iowa Corn Growers Association brings Iowa Corn Day on Thursday, Sept. 16 with exhibits and presentations showcasing the importance of this crop in Iowa and beyond.

Friday, Sept. 17 is Iowa Dairy Day.  Sponsored by the Western Iowa Dairy Alliance, Dairy Day lets fairgoers learn about the importance of the dairy industry in Iowa through different displays and activities.

Iowa Lakes Community College and ISU Extension Clay County present Science Saturday on Sept. 18. All ages can participate in the hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities and experiments.

About The Clay County Fair & Events Center Rooted in Tradition, the Clay County Fair & Events Center is a year-round facility that annually hosts more than 300 events, including its signature event, the Clay County Fair powered by SMU. Known as “The World’s Greatest County Fair” since 1917, the Fair attracts more than 325,000 guests each September for nine days of world-class entertainment, competition, food, fun, and the largest farm machinery show at any fair in the United States. Additional information can be found at claycountyfair.com.

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Strolling Acts and a new performance venue come to the 2021 Clay County Fair

Spencer, Iowa — Daredevil stunts, performing pigs, roving circus stars, and a brand-new stage are just a few examples of the more than $150,000 in entertainment that will be offered FREE to fairgoers during the 2021 Clay County Fair powered by SMU, September 11-19.

This year’s Fair will offer a new performance venue, called the Midway Stage, along with classic strolling and grounds acts.

“I feel pretty strongly that when people come to the Fair this year they are looking to laugh and have a good time,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons.  “By placing a new stage right inside Gate G (the north entrance), people will be entertained right away.”

The Mighty Mike Show is one of the free shows offered on Midway Stage, Sept. 11-19. Mike began training feats of strength under Grandmaster Strongman Dennis Rogers (in a line of strongman performers from Joseph “Mighty Atom” Greenstein in 1928). Not only will he keep you laughing the entire show, he will also motivate and inspire you by the lessons of an old time strongman.

Also coming to the Midway stage is Pogo Fred, Sept. 11-19. Fred is one of the original founders of the sport of extreme pogo and has progressed today to be one of the best jumpers in the world. He has inspired countless younger athletes and is a major driving force behind the growth of the sport. As a veteran and founder of the sport, Fred has been featured in numerous media pieces, including Jay Leno, America’s Got Talent, and notably a Nike commercial during the 2012 Olympics.

New to the Fair is Pork Chop Revue, which is an awesome display of some of the smartest swine in the country. These bodacious barnyard buddies present a show featuring amazing stunts and laughable antics. Located south of the Farmers Bank Stage, Pork Chop Revue will perform three times daily, Sept. 11-19.

Returning is Hillbilly Bob and his 1929 Model A Ford, Old Ruthie, loaded with antique fishing and camping equipment fit for a master outdoors man. They will be strolling around grounds daily at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m.

Another popular strolling act returning is ROCK-IT the Robot, an amazing roving performer that will be wandering throughout the fairgrounds, Sept. 11-19. He is nine feet tall and stands head and shoulders above the crowds. More than just a costume character, ROCK-IT is a high-tech “body puppet”. His gargantuan size alone makes him an unforgettable sight.

New to the Fair as a strolling act is The Flyin’ Hawaiian Show. The show is a family-oriented delight that has engaged audiences in over 20 countries and in six different languages with stand-up comedy, dance, theatre, and physical skills.

About The Clay County Fair & Events Center Rooted in Tradition, the Clay County Fair & Events Center is a year-round facility that annually hosts more than 300 events, including its signature event, the Clay County Fair powered by SMU. Known as “The World’s Greatest County Fair” since 1917, the Fair attracts more than 325,000 guests each September for nine days of world-class entertainment, competition, food, fun, and the largest farm machinery show at any fair in the United States. Additional information can be found at claycountyfair.com.

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Happy Hour to open Sleep Number Grandstand at 2021 Fair

Spencer, Iowa — For concert-goers who want to start their night earlier in the Sleep Number Grandstand or avoid the long lines before the show, the brand-new “Happy Hour” will give them that opportunity at the 2021 Clay County Fair powered by SMU, Sept. 11-19.

“We know that today’s concert-goers are always looking for a special VIP experience when they attend a concert,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. “So after researching various options, we decided the ‘Happy Hour’ was a perfect way to provide that VIP experience at this year’s Fair.”

The exclusive “Happy Hour” is a $25 upgrade, which can be purchased on top of any Grandstand ticket. The upgrade includes early admittance to the concert prior to the general public; a commemorative Fair gift; and two free beverage tickets (good for beer, water, or soda). A limited number are available each night.

The “Happy Hour” is offered prior to each of the six concerts that are part of the SRG Concert Series:

  • Skillet with special guest Ledger will perform on September 11 at 7:30pm. One of the best-selling rock bands of the 21st century, the two-time GRAMMY® Award-nominated multiplatinum Wisconsin quartet, Skillet, ignites seismic anthems highlighted by chantable choruses, and intricate musicality.
  • Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone with special guest Gary Lewis & The Playboys will perform on Sunday, September 12 at 7:30pm.  Herman’s Hermits featuring Peter Noone has sold over 52 million recordings. Noone himself is a multi-talented entertainer, who has been delighting audiences nearly all his life with classic hits including “I’m Into Something Good,” “Mrs. Brown, you’ve Got A Lovely Daughter,” and more.
  • Tracy Lawrence and Mark Chesnutt will perform Monday, September 13 at 7:30pm.  Lawrence is one of country music’s truest traditionalists.  His impressive catalog of timeless music has sold more than 13 million albums and charted 18 #1 hits. Chesnutt is a honky tonk legend who parlayed a solid grounding in class country into chart-topping stardom during the ‘90s.
  • Josh Turner with special guest Dillon Carmichael will perform on Thursday, September 16 at 7:30pm. With his rich, deep voice and distinctive style, Josh Turner is one of country music’s most recognizable hit-makers. From his 2003 Platinum-selling debut Long Black Train to his 2017 Billboard No. 1 release, Deep South, Turner has scored multiple GRAMMY®, CMA and ACM Awards nominations and received six Inspirational Country Music Awards.
  • Darci Lynne: My Lips Are Sealed (Except When They’re Not) with special guest Renata will perform Friday, September 17 at 7:30pm. Singer/ventriloquist Darci Lynne is the youngest contestant to ever win NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” while capturing the hearts of America with her sweetheart disposition and undeniable talent.
  • Ryan Hurd with special guest Big Time Grain Co. will perform on Saturday, September 18 at 7:30pm. Arista Nashville singer-songwriter Hurd has garnered more than 385 million career streams worldwide. With co-pen credits on some of country music’s biggest hits by Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan, Hurd continues his hit-producing path with “Chasing After You,” his first official duet with wife Maren Morris, which became country radio’s most-added song its impact week of March 22.

Tickets for all shows, including the “Happy Hour” upgrade are available now. Tickets are available online at www.midwestix.com, by phone at 515-244-2771, or in person at the Events Center Box Office. Handling & processing fees, which are applied to all purchase methods, are included in the advertised price.

About The Clay County Fair & Events Center Rooted in Tradition, the Clay County Fair & Events Center is a year-round facility that annually hosts more than 300 events, including its signature event, the Clay County Fair powered by SMU. Known as “The World’s Greatest County Fair” since 1917, the Fair attracts more than 325,000 guests each September for nine days of world-class entertainment, competition, food, fun, and the largest farm machinery show at any fair in the United States. Additional information can be found at claycountyfair.com.

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Tradition continues on the Northwest Bank Stage

Spencer, Iowa — The Northwest Bank Stage will feature six different quality acts at the 2021 Clay County Fair powered by SMU, Sept. 11-19. This is just a portion of the $150,000 in free entertainment offered to fairgoers.

A veteran performer and an extremely funny guy, C. Willi Myles will perform Sept. 11-13. A comedian who has the gift of connecting through humor and storytelling, he tells extremely funny non-offensive stories and jokes and gives a unique spin to life’s everyday challenges.

In 1964, America was introduced to a phenomenon that was called The Beatles. Milwaukee’s very own The Britins will recreate the era that influenced so many top groups and artists today on Sept. 11-13. Join The Britins as they play hits from the Fab Four from “Love Me Do” to “Let It Be”.

On Sept. 14-16 prepare to be transported to a treasured golden era of American music with husband-and-wife duo The Floras. You’ll hear wonderful songs, moving stories and history with songs by Johnny and June, Hank Williams Sr., Patsy Cline, The Whites, Loretta Lynn, Buck Owens, The Louvin Brothers, as well as classic hymns.

Poppa Bear Norton, also performing Sept. 14-16, proclaim themselves to be America’s only, and therefore number one, daredevil country act. They were recently awarded both the 2018 Midwest Country Music Association’s “Songwriter of the Year” and “Maverick” awards and have been described as hilarious hillbilly music and a two-man country music marvel.

Finishing the Fair Sept. 17-19 is The Memories, a cherished music and comedy duo. These guys are true pros. You hear it in their voices and see it with the way they connect with each and every audience they perform for. If you enjoy music and showmanship done right, then you are going to enjoy The Memories.

Joining The Memories the final three days of the Fair, Sept.17-19, is Buckets and Tap Shoes, a tap and percussion duo. They bring a high-energy blend of music, dance, and drumming from the streets of Minneapolis. The multi-talented Ausland brothers, Rick and Andy, take audiences on a rhythmic journey using percussion instruments including tap shoes, found objects, drums, and buckets.

For a complete video of the Northwest Bank Stage acts please visit: https://youtu.be/dxvyDqGdX18

About The Clay County Fair & Events Center Rooted in Tradition, the Clay County Fair & Events Center is a year-round facility that annually hosts more than 300 events, including its signature event, the Clay County Fair powered by SMU. Known as “The World’s Greatest County Fair” since 1917, the Fair attracts more than 325,000 guests each September for nine days of world-class entertainment, competition, food, fun, and the largest farm machinery show at any fair in the United States. Additional information can be found at claycountyfair.com.

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Special Day highlights for the 2021 Clay County Fair

Spencer, Iowa — No matter who you are, there is something for everyone at the 2021 Clay County Fair powered by SMU, Sept. 11-19.

“Each day the Fair is chock full of activities for all ages,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons.  “However, some activities are scheduled on a special day, which makes each day at the Fair a very unique experience.”

Monday, Sept. 13 is Veteran’s Appreciation Day starting with a parade at 10:00am and a special program at 11:00am. All veterans and active duty military will receive free admission to the Fair as a thank you for their service to our Nation. In addition, there will be a special patriotic music program at 2:00pm by Glenn Henriksen in the Events Center Ballroom. Other activities include the $1,500 Cinnamon Roll Contest sponsored by Farmers Savings Bank and a Red Cross Blood Drive

On Tuesday, Sept. 14, fairgoers 65 and older can enjoy $6.00 admission on Senior Day. Special activities include a parade of antique tractors, Glenn Henriksen’s “Salute to Seniors” concert, the antique tractor pull, and the Homegrown Talent Series presented by Atlantic Bottling Company.

That night (Sept. 14), Family Night sponsored by the Spencer Chamber of Commerce features free admission for families of all ages after 5:00pm.

“One of the exciting things about our special days is that they provide the opportunity for everyone to attend the Fair for free at least once,” said Parsons.

Wednesday, Sept. 15 is Disability Awareness Day. The Fair welcomes people with disabilities from throughout the region with events planned for them thanks to the Pony Express Riders, GoldStar Amusements, and the Shriners. Persons who have pre-registered for the day can participate in carnival rides and other activities.

The Iowa Corn Growers Association brings Iowa Corn Day on Thursday, Sept. 16 with exhibits and presentations in Central Park showcasing the importance of this crop in Iowa and beyond. The day is also Farmer Appreciation Day presented by CFE, which will include a Parade of Antique Tractors.

Friday, Sept. 17 is Y100 Kids Day and Iowa Dairy Day. Kids 18 and under are admitted free all day and can buy a special all-day wristband for unlimited rides on the GoldStar Amusements Midway at the price of $30.00 ($25 in advance). Other activities include a pedal tractor pull. Sponsored by the Western Iowa Dairy Alliance, Dairy Day lets fairgoers learn about the importance of the dairy industry in Iowa through different displays and activities at Central Park.

Iowa Lakes Community College and ISU Extension Clay County present Science Saturday on Sept. 18. All ages can participate in the hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities and experiments in various locations throughout the Fair.

The final Sunday of the Fair (Sept. 19) is Last Chance Sunday. On this day admission is discounted ($7.00 for adults), which will give all fairgoers one last day to experience the Fair.

About The Clay County Fair & Events Center Rooted in Tradition, the Clay County Fair & Events Center is a year-round facility that annually hosts more than 300 events, including its signature event, the Clay County Fair powered by SMU. Known as “The World’s Greatest County Fair” since 1917, the Fair attracts more than 325,000 guests each September for nine days of world-class entertainment, competition, food, fun, and the largest farm machinery show at any fair in the United States. Additional information can be found at claycountyfair.com.

 

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Outdoor Arena events at the Clay County Fair

Spencer, Iowa — Horses will be the featured attraction every day at the Outdoor Arena during the 2021 Clay County Fair powered by SMU, Sept. 11-19.

The Outdoor Arena will host daily open class horse shows, as well as 4-H and FFA horse shows. Open class (Paint, Appaloosa, Quarter, Pony Halter and Performance) shows will be Sept. 11-13 before the start of the 4-H and FFA shows on Sept. 14-16. The second weekend of the Fair, Sept. 17-19, will feature both big and little horses in several open class divisions, including pony and miniature halter; miniature, pony and draft driving; and the North American Cart and Six-Horse Hitch Classic Series.

The North American Classic Cart and Six-Horse Hitch Series will attract a large number of fairgoers on the last Saturday (Sept. 18) and Sunday (Sept. 19) of the Fair. The show will feature a $1,000 prize for the winning hitch both days. The hitch classes will begin at 12:00pm (Noon) giving attendees two full afternoons to watch horses and hitches.

Besides daily horse shows, special events will also take over the Outdoor Arena. The first Sunday of the Fair, Sept. 12, is the Ranch Rodeo, which includes various ranch style activities, such as roping a calf, sorting cattle, and milking a wild cow. On September 17, a Fair favorite returns with Team Roping.

About The Clay County Fair & Events Center Rooted in Tradition, the Clay County Fair & Events Center is a year-round facility that annually hosts more than 300 events, including its signature event, the Clay County Fair powered by SMU. Known as “The World’s Greatest County Fair” since 1917, the Fair attracts more than 325,000 guests each September for nine days of world-class entertainment, competition, food, fun, and the largest farm machinery show at any fair in the United States. Additional information can be found at claycountyfair.com.

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Tradition and New entertainment on Farmers Bank Stage

Spencer, Iowa — The Farmers Bank Stage will bring six different acts to the 2021 Clay County Fair powered by SMU, Sept. 11-19. This is just a portion of the $150,000 of free entertainment that will be offered to fairgoers.

“From comedy to polka music to a capella, the Farmers Bank Stage will have something for everyone,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. “The tent in southwest corner of the fairgrounds will again be a popular spot to see great free entertainment.”

New to the Clay County Fair this year is The Flyin’ Hawaiian Show (Sept. 11-13). The show is a family-oriented delight of stand-up comedy, dance, theatre, and physical skills that has engaged audiences in over 20 countries and in six different languages.

Along with The Flyin’ Hawaiian Show will be Thistle & Lace (Sept. 11-13). Thistle & Lace is an eclectic, acoustic husband-and-wife duo that combines spot-on harmonies with hits from the past eight decades to bring you a one-of-a-kind listening experience.

On September 14-16, the Fair will welcome Steve Russell, a comedian and juggler, who gives you all of the laughs of a stand-up comedian with the added bonus of disappearing bananas, impaled potatoes and adeptly tossed luncheon meat.

Returning to the Fair is Kris and the Riverbend Dutchmen (Sept. 14-16), an upbeat and energetic polka band headquartered near Mankato, Minnesota. Since 2009, the band has blended traditional German, Czech, and Bohemian Polka with a unique style and energy, uncommon in many old-time polka bands.

To end the Fair, the Fair will welcome Kate Escape (Sept. 17-19). Kate leads the audience through the high-energy and hilarious journey of comedy hypnosis.

Six Appeal, a popular Fair favorite, will also return Sept. 17-19. Swearing off instruments, the award-winning vocal band Six Appeal takes you on a journey that spans decades of music, performing classic oldies, current chart toppers, and catchy original tunes – all sung a cappella.

For a complete video of the Farmers Bank Stage acts please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keL63pXPD9o

About The Clay County Fair & Events Center Rooted in Tradition, the Clay County Fair & Events Center is a year-round facility that annually hosts more than 300 events, including its signature event, the Clay County Fair powered by SMU. Known as “The World’s Greatest County Fair” since 1917, the Fair attracts more than 325,000 guests each September for nine days of world-class entertainment, competition, food, fun, and the largest farm machinery show at any fair in the United States. Additional information can be found at claycountyfair.com.

 

 

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Town and Country Innovation celebrates sixth year in 2021

Spencer, Iowa —Town and Country Innovation Show will celebrate its sixth year of competition at the 2021 Clay County Fair powered by SMU, Sept. 11-19, in a brand new location.

“Due to the renovation of the Ag Marketplace to the new Farm Nutrients Small Animal Barn, we needed a new home for this creative department,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons.  “We are excited to move this department into the Fields & Gardens Building located next to the Art Barn.”

The Fair’s Town and Country Innovation Show, which began in 2015, started from the back of every “Successful Farmer” magazine, specifically, the page headlined as “All Around the Farm.” After three successful years, the department has changed its name to incorporate more opportunities for people to exhibit their greatest creations.

Entries can be anything from a simple improvement to an everyday household appliance, an adaptation to existing tools and machines, or even a brand new invention. Some examples of past entries include a garden hose adapter, a flower planter made out of an old school desk, a calf catcher, and a work-table made from a cable spool.

“Bucket of Junk,” which focuses on being innovative and resourceful with a five gallon bucket of identifiable junk, will also return again this year.

The Town and Country Innovation exhibits are judged on workmanship, usefulness, appearance, design and creativity.

There are no entry fees and exhibitors also do not need to be residents of Clay County. New exhibitors are also encouraged to enter their creations at the Fair. There is a division for everyone, youth and adults.

Check out the exhibitor handbook online at www.claycountyfair.com or pick one up at the Fair Administrative Offices to find the rules and guidelines to enter your work at the Fair. Pre-registration for all exhibits is encouraged and can be completed online, by mail, or in person by August 29. For those who choose not to pre-register, registration can also occur when entries are accepted at the Fields & Gardens Building on Thursday, Sept. 9 from 4:00pm-6:00pm, unless an appointment has been made.

About The Clay County Fair & Events Center Rooted in Tradition, the Clay County Fair & Events Center is a year-round facility that annually hosts more than 300 events, including its signature event, the Clay County Fair powered by SMU. Known as “The World’s Greatest County Fair” since 1917, the Fair attracts more than 325,000 guests each September for nine days of world-class entertainment, competition, food, fun, and the largest farm machinery show at any fair in the United States. Additional information can be found at claycountyfair.com.

 

 

 

Small animals on the move at the 2021 Fair

Spencer, Iowa — Fairgoers looking for poultry and rabbits at the 2021 Clay County Fair powered by SMU, September 11-19, will find them in a different location, the new Farm Nutrients Small Animal Barn.

The new barn, located on the south side of the fairgrounds in the former Ag Marketplace, will include coop and pen spaces, a show ring, and an educational space for fairgoers to learn more about poultry and rabbits.

“The new space is a state-of-the-art facility that we are very excited to provide to exhibitors and fairgoers,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. “The Farm Nutrients Small Animal Barn will be a premiere small animal facility, and I would put it up against any other facility of its kind in the nation.”

Every year, the Small Animal Barn is home to 4-H/FFA rabbit and poultry shows, along with open class rabbit shows. In recent years, small animal projects have become increasingly more popular. “We’ve seen tremendous growth in both the poultry and rabbit shows at the Fair,” said Parsons. “In future years we hope to add an open class poultry show.”

Vendors who were previously in the building when it was the Ag Marketplace have been moved to new locations on the fairgrounds, and the old Small Animal Barn will be turned into additional space for the Fair’s growing horse show.

Exhibitors who wish to enter for the open class rabbit show at the 2021 Clay County Fair can register by going to claycountyfair.com and clicking on “Competitions.” Exhibitors interested in showing in the 4-H/FFA poultry and rabbit shows can contact ISU Extension Clay County at (712) 262-2264.

About The Clay County Fair & Events Center Rooted in Tradition, the Clay County Fair & Events Center is a year-round facility that annually hosts more than 300 events, including its signature event, the Clay County Fair powered by SMU. Known as “The World’s Greatest County Fair” since 1917, the Fair attracts more than 325,000 guests each September for nine days of world-class entertainment, competition, food, fun, and the largest farm machinery show at any fair in the United States. Additional information can be found at claycountyfair.com.

 

 

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Make plans now to attend the 2021 Clay County Fair and save big with deals

Spencer, Iowa — Fairgoers have the opportunity to save big through several pre-Fair deals as they make plans to attend the Clay County Fair powered by SMU, Sept. 11-19.

Advance adult gate admission tickets are available for $7, saving attendees $3 before the gates open on Sept. 11. Tickets can be purchased online at www.midwestix.com, at the Events Center Box Office, by phone at (515) 244-2771, or at 80 different locations throughout northwest Iowa and southern Minnesota. To purchase those tickets (or to see the list of locations where you can buy in person), please visit www.claycountyfair.com.

Advance carnival wristbands for the GoldStar Amusements Midway are available online at www.midwestix.com, at the Events Center Box Office, by phone at (515) 244-2771, or at 10 different Godfather’s Pizza locations in Iowa and Minnesota. All-Day wristbands are valid for unlimited rides all day on Saturdays or Sundays for $25 in advance, saving $5 with purchase. VIP wristbands are valid for unlimited rides all nine days of the Fair. These wristbands are $50 in advance, saving amusement goers $5 when purchased in advance. To purchase carnival wristbands (or see the list of locations where you can buy in person), please visit www.claycountyfair.com.

Fair Food Bucks are a special for fairgoers. Each Fair Food Buck is worth $1 and can be redeemed for food or beverage at any non-carnival food and beverage vendor at the 2021 Clay County Fair. Fair Food Bucks can be purchased at the Events Center Box Office.

All tickets for the Sleep Number Grandstand and SRG Concert Series are also on sale. Grandstand tickets are available online at www.midwestix.com, at the Events Center Box Office, or by phone at (515) 244-2771. This includes six concerts, two auto races, and a truck and tractor pull.

About The Clay County Fair & Events Center Rooted in Tradition, the Clay County Fair & Events Center is a year-round facility that annually hosts more than 300 events, including its signature event, the Clay County Fair powered by SMU. Known as “The World’s Greatest County Fair” since 1917, the Fair attracts more than 325,000 guests each September for nine-days of world-class entertainment, competition, food, fun, and the largest farm machinery show at any fair in the United States. Additional information can be found at claycountyfair.com.

Home Wine & Craft Beer Department to include more prizes at 2021 Clay County Fair

Spencer, Iowa — The 2021 Clay County Fair Home Wine and Craft Beer Department will include 15 divisions in the wine category and nine divisions in the craft beer category, as well as a new beer or wine label competition.

“No matter your skill level, entering your wine or beer exhibit into the Fair is a great way to receive professional feedback on what you’ve brewed because our judges are either local winery and brewery owners or experienced certified judges,” said Superintendent Kristen Hartwig. “As home brewing of wines and beers become more popular, this is a great opportunity to win prizes and gain experience, and it’s really easy to enter.”

Sponsors include InnSpiration Wines and Vines, Doll Distributing, F8 Creative, and HyVee. Prizes will include cash premiums, gift certificates, growlers, and beer signs.

All exhibitors planning to enter a project within this department must enter two bottles of wine or craft beer. This allows for the entry to be judged and displayed during the nine days of the Fair, Sept. 11-19.

“We know how popular home brewing and homemade wine is today,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. “The addition of the new label competition is just one more expansion for this department.”

Check out the exhibitor handbook online at www.claycountyfair.com or pick one up at the Fair Administrative Offices to find the rules and guidelines to enter your work at the Fair. Pre-registration for all exhibits is encouraged and can be completed online, by mail, or in person by August 29. For those who choose not to pre-register, registration can also occur when entries are accepted at the Creative Living Center on Sept. 7 (11:00am-2:00pm and 4:30pm-6:00pm).

Picture a blue ribbon at the 2021 Clay County Fair

Spencer, Iowa — With new themes and a new sponsor, now is a perfect time to begin sorting through all of the photos you have taken since the 2019 Fair and enter them in one of the many photography competitions at the 2021 Clay County Fair.

Photographers may enter up to 12 photographs with one entry per class. Divisions include color photographs or black and white photographs of people, places, landscape, things, plants, or animals/insects world.

A separate division for creative photography allows photographers to use different techniques to alter the photograph, including computer manipulation, multi-images into one photo, camera filters and trick lenses. A separate class, other than above, is available for people who have altered an image other than the three categories.

“We’re really excited to be back for the 2021 Fair,” said Dana Metcalf, superintendent of the Photography Department. “We’re letting our photographers use photos from September 2019 to September of 2021, with a limit of 12.”

Metcalf also mentioned that the Photography Department is excited to have eight new special theme divisions, each with their own sponsor. New for the 2021 Fair is a class entitled “Beauty,” part of the Agriculture division sponsored by GWS Farms, Inc. of Sioux Rapids.

Other sponsored classes and divisions include “Nuts and Bolts” (Objects division sponsored by Spencer Truck Line); “Reflections” (Water division sponsored by VW Docks of Spirit Lake); “Standing on the Edge” (Concepts division sponsored by Campbell, Higgins, and Mummert, P.C.); “Breaking News” (Photojournalism division sponsored by the Spencer Daily Reporter); “Iowa Architecture” (Beautiful Iowa division sponsored by Clay Mutual Insurance); “Helping the Water” (Conservation division sponsored by Clay County Soil Conservation Service); and “Equipment in Action” (Action division sponsored by Fox, Boyd, Sailer, & Shiver Dental Center).

Exhibitors entering sponsored divisions have the opportunity to win increased cash prizes. All divisions include a youth class for those under the age of 18 and an adult class.

Check out the exhibitor handbook online at www.claycountyfair.com or pick one up at the Fair Administrative Offices to find the rules and guidelines to enter your work at the Fair.  Pre-registration for all exhibits is encouraged and can be completed online, by mail, or in person by August 29.  For those who choose not to pre-register, registration can also occur when entries are accepted at the Photography Center on September 3 (Noon-7:00pm) and September 4 (9:00am-3:00pm). All mailed-in entries must be postmarked no later than August 15.

Blue Ribbon Produce at the 2021 Clay County Fair

Spencer, Iowa — Gardeners are encouraged to enter their blue ribbon best in the Fields and Gardens Department at the 2021 Fair.

One of the Fair’s original competitive departments, Fields and Gardens will yet again have another great year of showing. “Through the times of struggle with Mother Nature and all – we are still hopeful for a good turn out on produce and exhibits for Fair,” stated superintendent Jerry Groenewold.

The Fields and Gardens Department will have the Largest Pumpkin Contest, where producers can enter the largest weighing pumpkin from their patch and see who will win the title. Along with this contest, there is also the Best Corn Contest where an exhibitor can bring in their best ten ears of corn to be judged.

Although vegetables are a large portion of the Fields and Gardens Department, there are fruit classes as well. The apple division has a best tray contest where the exhibitor with the best five apples can win the prize. Other fruit categories are plums, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and watermelons.

Entries are not limited to just fruits and vegetables.  There are categories focused on people’s creative skills through the garden scarecrow and yard people contest. This contest is open for all ages and any groups that would like to participate. Other contests within the department not focused around produce are birdhouse gourds and decorative corn with husks.

Check out the exhibitor handbook online at www.claycountyfair.com or pick one up at the Fair Administrative Offices to find the rules and guidelines to enter your work at the Fair.  Pre-registration for all exhibits is encouraged and can be completed online, by mail, or in person by August 29th. For those who choose not to pre-register, registration can also occur when entries are accepted at the Fields and Gardens Building on Wednesday, Sept. 8 (5pm – 8pm) and Thursday, Sept. 9 (9am – 5pm) with judging scheduled for Friday, Sept. 10th.

Special Feature Class to exhibit in Textiles, Crafts, and Arts at the 2021 Clay County Fair

Spencer, Iowa — The Clay County Fair Textiles, Crafts, and Arts Department will again showcase memorable creativity in the Creative Living Center at the 2021 Fair, Sept 11-19.

“We always look forward to the wide variety of exhibits brought to the fair, and this year there are a few new changes to the sponsors,” said Superintendent Terri Chalstrom. “Vermeer Glass Art, Warm Company of Lynnwood, Consumer Lumber, and Quilters Portable of Mallard are all new sponsors for this year’s Fair.”

The 2021 Fair will include a special feature class with the theme of “Bring Back The Roaring 20’s”. Exhibitors are encouraged to bring the 1920s to the 2020s to life in this new special feature class featuring textiles, crafts, and arts. This class is open to all ages.

This year there are several new competitions including heritage scrapbook, fused glass, machine embroidery on knits, loom knitting, traditional rug hooking (with wool), and molded and hand thrown pottery.

Besides the new competitions, a variety of others can be entered under several different classes including needlework, painting, crochet, quilting, patchwork, garment making, woodworking, and computer-generated work.

Along with showcasing the variety of exhibits, the Creative Living Center will also different demonstrations throughout the span of the Fair, from 11:00am-2:00pm daily. The following demonstrations will be presented: stained glass, whittling, jewelry making, paper snipping, pen/ink drawing, hoop embroidery, purses, bags, and totes, tatting, and quilt batting types and uses.

“The Creative Living Center is the perfect spot at the Fair to see the creativity of people,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. “We welcome everyone to enter this great department at the Fair.”

There are no entry fees and exhibitors do not need to be residents of Clay County. New exhibitors are also encouraged to enter their creations at the Fair. To make this experience more inviting, there is a first time exhibitor class available. Every age group, from ages 6 to 86, will find a class to enter.

Check out the exhibitor handbook online at www.claycountyfair.com or pick one up at the Fair Administrative Offices to find the rules and guidelines to enter your work at the Fair. Pre-registration for all exhibits is encouraged and can be completed online, by mail, or in person by August 29. For those who choose not to pre-register, registration can also occur when entries are accepted on Sept. 3 (Noon-7:00pm) and Sept. 4 (9:00am-3:00pm).

Multiple fan favorites return to dirt track at 2021 Fair

Spencer, Iowa — The Sleep Number Grandstand will showcase multiple fan favorite dirt events, including tractor pulls, IMCA races, and the return of sprint cars during the nine days of the 2021 Clay County Fair, September 11-19.

The Antique Tractor Pull will begin at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 14, and will be free to all fairgoers. The historical pieces of machinery are always a highlight during the fair.

Tuesday night (September 14) marks the return of sprint cars to the Sleep Number Grandstand with the Battle of the Blue Ribbon featuring the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series and the Tri-State Late Models.  Hot laps will begin at 7:00pm with racing to follow.  Adult general admission tickets are $25 and child general admission (ages 12 and under) tickets are $10.

Racing continues the next night with the IMCA Blue Ribbon Showdown on Wednesday, September 15.  Hot laps will start at 7:00 p.m. with racing to follow. Adult general admission tickets are $15 and child general admission (ages 12 and under) tickets are $10. This will be the final night for IMCA class racing for the 2021 season at the Clay County Fair Speedway. IMCA classes include Hobby Stocks, Sports Mods, Modifieds, Stock Cars and Sports Compacts.

“The Fair is fortunate to partner with Trent Chinn Promotions to present two exciting nights of auto racing at the 2021 Fair,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons.  “We are also excited to welcome the Lucas Oil ASCS to the Fair for the first time on Family Night, which means free admission to the Fair after 5:00pm.”

The season championships of the Outlaw Truck & Tractor Pullers Association will serve as the grand finale in the Sleep Number Grandstand on Sunday, September 19 beginning at 1:00pm and 5:30pm.  Adult general admission tickets are $20 and child general admission (ages 12 and under) tickets are $10.  One ticket is good for both sessions.

“It truly is an honor to host the OTTPA season championships for the second year, and having the pull to the last day of the Fair will make it easier for pulling enthusiasts to enjoy this high caliber action,” said Parsons.  “It’s also a bargain as one ticket will get you admission for both sessions.”

Tickets for all dirt events are on sale now. Tickets are available online at www.midwestix.com, by phone at 515-244-2771, or in person at the Clay County Regional Events Center Box Office.

About the Sleep Number Grandstand Bag checks are conducted at all Grandstand events. The following items will be prohibited: weapons/firearms, alcoholic beverages not provided by the Fair & Events Center, air horns/whistles or other noisemakers, helium-filled balloons, glitter/confetti, glass bottles, fireworks and illegal substances.

Ryan Hurd added to Clay County Fair Grandstand Lineup

Spencer, Iowa — The Clay County Fair announces Ryan Hurd with special guest Big Time Grain Co., as part of the SRG Concert Series in the Sleep Number Grandstand at the 2021 Clay County Fair powered by SMU on Saturday, September 18 at 7:30pm.

Arista Nashville singer-songwriter Ryan Hurd has garnered more than 385 million career streams worldwide. With co-pen credits on some of country music’s biggest hits by Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan, Hurd continues his hit-producing path with “Chasing After You,” his first official duet with wife Maren Morris, which became country radio’s most-added song its impact week of March 22. Hurd and Morris performed the “smoldering new duet” (Rolling Stone) for the first time on national television on the “56th ACM Awards” which aired April 18 on CBS. “Chasing After You” follows his 2020 EOM EP featuring “Every Other Memory,” dubbed one of the “Best Songs of April 2020” by TIME. His 2019 Gold-certified Top 20 song “To A T,” went #1 at SiriusXM The Highway’s Hot 30 Countdown.

Big Time Grain Co., comprised of two farm-raised, down-to-earth brothers from western Kansas, is one of the fastest rising country bands in the Midwest. This act was chosen to perform at the Kansas City Royal’s World Series Celebration Rally for a 800,000+ person crowd at Union Station.  The groups song “Little Redemption” recently topped out at #7 on the Music Row Main Country Chart.

Tickets will go on sale this Friday, April 30 at 10:00am. Prices are $33 (general admission stage front seating), $28 (reserved Grandstand seating), and $23 (general admission bleacher seating). Tickets will be available online at www.midwestix.com, by phone at 515-244-2771, or in person at the Events Center Box Office. Handling & processing fees, which are applied to all purchase methods, are included in the advertised price.

NEW IN 2021 – “Happy Hour” Start your concert experience early each night by joining the exclusive “Happy Hour!”  This $25 upgrade, which can be purchased on top of any Grandstand ticket, includes early admittance to the concert prior to the general public; a commemorative Fair gift; and two free beverage tickets (good for beer, water, or soda). Limited number available each night.

About the Sleep Number Grandstand Bag checks are conducted at all Grandstand events. The following items will be prohibited: weapons/firearms, alcoholic beverages not provided by the Fair & Events Center, air horns/whistles or other noisemakers, helium-filled balloons, glitter/confetti, glass bottles, fireworks and illegal substances.

Tracy Lawrence and Mark Chesnutt to appear at Clay County Fair

The Clay County Fair announces Tracy Lawrence and Mark Chesnutt as part of the SRG Concert Series in the Sleep Number Grandstand at the 2021 Clay County Fair powered by SMU on Monday, September 13 at 7:30pm.

Tracy Lawrence is one of country music’s truest traditionalists.  His impressive catalog of timeless music has sold more than 13 million albums and charted 18 #1 hits. He has garnered numerous CMA and ACM awards and nominations, as well as a Grammy nomination. Commemorating his three-decade career in 2021, he is releasing three new albums which include all new music along with some of his favorite career hits.

Mark Chesnutt is a honky tonk legend who parlayed a solid grounding in class country into chart-topping stardom during the ‘90s. He has charted 20 top-ten hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, including eight #1 singles: “Brother Jukebox,” “I’ll Think of Something,” “It Sure Is Monday,” “Almost Goodbye,” “I Just Wanted You to Know,” “Gonna Get a Life,” “It’s a Little Too Late,” and a cover of Aerosmith‘s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.”

Tickets will go on sale this Friday, May 7 at 10:00am. Prices are $31 (general admission stage front standing), $26 (reserved Grandstand seating), and $21 (general admission bleacher seating). Tickets will be available online at www.midwestix.com, by phone at 515-244-2771, or in person at the Events Center Box Office. Handling & processing fees, which are applied to all purchase methods, are included in the advertised price.

NEW IN 2021 – “Happy Hour” Start your concert experience early each night by joining the exclusive “Happy Hour!”  This $25 upgrade, which can be purchased on top of any Grandstand ticket, includes early admittance to the concert prior to the general public; a commemorative Fair gift; and two free beverage tickets (good for beer, water, or soda). Limited number available each night.

About the Sleep Number Grandstand Bag checks are conducted at all Grandstand events. The following items will be prohibited: weapons/firearms, alcoholic beverages not provided by the Fair & Events Center, air horns/whistles or other noisemakers, helium-filled balloons, glitter/confetti, glass bottles, fireworks and illegal substances.