Get your Fair Food fix

The Clay County Fair & Events Center announces two ways to get your Fair food fix in the month of August – Non-Profit Take Out Tuesdays and Fair Food To Go.

In partnership with Farmers Bank, the Spencer Chamber of Commerce and Spencer Radio Group, the Fair has scheduled a number of Non-Profit Take Out Tuesdays to give Fair food fans an opportunity to help out one local non-profit organization and support their mission each week:

  • Tuesday, August 4 – Hy-Noon Kiwanis (scholarships)
  • August 11 – Spencer Jaycees (Tree of Joy)
  • August 18 – Daybreaker Kiwanis (scholarships, bike helmet mission, Upper Des Moines)

 

Vendors will be open from 4pm – 7pm each Tuesday.  Complete menu details can be found by following the Fair’s social media or the Fair’s website (www.claycountyfair.com).

“From the moment the Fair was postponed, we knew our local non-profits would be hurting,” said Fair & Events Center CEO Jeremy Parsons.  “We reached out to all of our non-profits with this opportunity to help them fulfill their mission in this strange time.  While we are announcing our first three ‘Take Out Tuesdays’ now, we hope to expand this and other food opportunities through September.”

Fair Food To Go will be held Friday, August 7 and Saturday, August 8. Fair food enthusiasts will be able to park, walk up, and order a variety of deep-fried and on-a-stick favorites including mini donuts, smoothies, corn dogs, tenderloins, deep fried pickles, turkey legs, waffles on a stick, shaved ice, tater ribbon fries, and more.

Fair Food To Go will be open both days from 11am – 7pm.  Complete menus and a listing of vendors can be found by following the Fair’s social media or the Fair’s website (www.claycountyfair.com).

Admission for these events is free. Please use the north Entrance off West 18th St. to enter the grounds for each event. These events are meant to be “to go” or carry out events; restrooms and seating will not be available. All Fair food enthusiasts must follow social distancing guidelines.

“We look forward to welcoming our Fair food fans for these great events through August,” said Parsons.  “A portion of the proceeds from both events will go to support the operations of the Fair & Events Center in a year when the postponement of the Fair leaves us without 75% of our revenue to maintain the fairgrounds and prepare for next year’s Fair.”

 

2020 Clay County Fair postponed

The Clay County Fair Association announced today that the 2020 edition of “The World’s Greatest County Fair” will not be held and will be postponed to September 11-19, 2021.

The decision, announced following a vote by the Fair Executive Committee, was made amid concerns over the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  After weeks of exploring various options, it became clear that the Fair could not protect the health and safety of fairgoers, staff, volunteers, 4-H/FFA youth, exhibitors, vendors, sponsors, and entertainers during the nine-day event.

As part of the decision, the Fair Association will assist Iowa State University Extension Clay County in developing opportunities for 4-H/FFA youth in 2020.

“The decision to postpone the Fair came with emotion and somewhat disbelief that it was really happening,” said Fair Association Board Chairman Charlie Elser.  “But with lots of input from our partners and staff work, the decision was the right one. It’s time to move forward and think about 2021.”

Below is a full statement from Fair CEO/Manager Jeremy Parsons:

“For the past several weeks, we have gathered information, talked with public health authorities, and dialogued with our partners all in an attempt to fulfill the Fair’s mission of providing a “safe family atmosphere” in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.  After exploring all options, the answer is clear.  We simply cannot. The Clay County Fair will not be held in 2020.

The absolute minimum to keep our entire Fair family safe would be following the current public health recommendations of social distancing and increased sanitation.  Unfortunately, we discovered that implementing these measures would have eliminated some of our greatest Fair traditions and made other traditions unrecognizable.  We couldn’t imagine limiting the standing-room-only crowds at the draft horse show or the 4-H beef show.  Fifty percent capacity at our free entertainment tents?  No way.  We didn’t want partially empty exhibit buildings so we could properly socially distance our vendors.  For those who had already purchased reserved Grandstand tickets, we would have been forced to move or refund your seats to keep everyone separate.  We didn’t like the thought of making your family wait in socially distanced lines to enjoy Grandpa’s Barn or the Depot.  

No matter how hard we tried, we couldn’t find a way to give you the entire “World’s Greatest County Fair” experience that you have come to love, expect, and deserve.

While we cannot give you the Fair this year, we are working hard to find safe ways that you can still create blue ribbon memories.  Opportunities for our local 4-H/FFA youth and local non-profits are at the forefront of that attempt, and details will be released in the coming weeks.

Our Fair is just like your home.  A strong foundation is essential for it to be secure.  For the Fair, our foundation is you – our Board, staff, volunteers, 4-H/FFA youth, exhibitors, vendors, sponsors, entertainers, and fairgoers.  This year, however, our foundation is shaky at best.  The Fair and many of our non-profit partners need large groups of volunteers and employees to make the Fair a success.  In a normal year, it is difficult to find the help; this year, it would be nearly impossible. Many people are not comfortable being around crowds for nine consecutive days, and the effect of a possible outbreak that could occur in the middle of the Fair is a risk we are not willing to take.

Also just like your home, the Fair cannot be built in a day.  Our decision must be made now.  While it would be nice to see into the future and know what September would be like in this unprecedented time, we don’t have that luxury.  We must make educated decisions based on what we know today.  Waiting any longer could have damaging effects to our many Fair partners and the Fair itself.  Preparing for the Fair requires financial commitment for many, including us, and we can’t wind up anything that can’t be unwound. 

For more than a century, your unwavering support has made us “The World’s Greatest County Fair” and we cannot thank you enough.  Just like you, we are disappointed that we won’t be together this September.  More than that, we are heartbroken because we know this decision will impact each of you directly, and our community as a whole.  However, while this was a tough decision, it is also the most responsible decision to ensure the safety of our entire Fair family, the community, and the long-term stability of the Fair itself. 

When this is all over, we know that Clay County, northwest Iowa and the entire region will need our Fair more than ever.  And, just as we have done for 103 years, we will be ready.”

For additional information and explanation, including a link to extensive FAQs, please visit https://claycountyfair.com/2020-clay-county-fair-update/

This marks the fifth time in the 103-year history of “The World’s Greatest County Fair” that the Fair will not be held.  From 1942-1945, the Fair was suspended due to World War II.

The 2021 Clay County Fair will be September 11-19.

Clay County Fair wins international recognition

“The World’s Greatest County Fair” lived up to its billing by winning multiple awards and recognitions at the 2019 International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) Convention held December 1-4 in San Antonio.

The Fair claimed 14 awards this year – the most in its history, including four first-place awards.  (The previous record was 12 awards in 2015 and 2018).

Taking top honors in the Agriculture Awards for “Newly established or evolving program which promotes agriculture to the fair-going public” was the 2019 Fair Ambassador program. The program, which involved Clay County 4-H and FFA students, was designed to reach and educate general fairgoers about agriculture and “Fair life” through social media posts. Ambassadors included Emma Ahrendsen, junior, Sioux Central; Dalayna Brugman, Sioux Central, junior; Erin Frederick, junior, Okoboji; Avarie Knaak, junior, Spencer; Alex Olson, senior, Sioux Central; Skyler Tessum, senior, Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn; Nathan Pullen, senior, Spencer; and Noah Reiman, senior, Spencer.

The Fair also received first place in Agriculture Awards for “Agriculture Communications” highlighting the use of a Facebook group for communication with horse exhibitors instead of traditional communication channels.

In Agriculture Individual Photos, the Fair took top honors in two categories, Horticulture/Crops and Equine. The Horticulture/Crops photo was taken by Judy Hemphill. The winning photo for Equine was taken by Jim Steffens of Steffens Game Day Photography.

The IAFE awards program allows member fairs to enter competitions based on competitive exhibits, agricultural education and communications.  The entries are evaluated and judged by teams of industry leaders. For the awards program, the approximately 1,100 member fairs of the IAFE are split into five categories based on attendance.  The Clay County Fair competes in Division 3, which is limited to fairs across the globe with an attendance of 250,000-500,000.

In addition to the fourteen placings in IAFE award categories, Fair officials were active during the convention through the following recognitions and activities:

  • Dave Simington, current member of the Board of Directors and President from 2005-2017, was awarded the prestigious IAFE Heritage Award on December 2. The Heritage Award recognizes the achievements of outstanding volunteer fair management personnel.
  • Jeremy Parsons, CFE, CEO/Manager, was named second vice chair of the IAFE during the business session on December 4. In his role as second vice chair, Parsons will assist with executive responsibilities associated with the organization in preparation for his role as IAFE chair in 2022.
  • Andrea Wiesenmeyer, marketing and partnerships director, gave two presentations – one focused on the Fair’s new ag ambassador program and one focused on the Fair’s ag communications. She also is a member of the IAFE Advertising, Promotions & Public Relations and Sponsorship Committees.
  • Janet Schutter, commercial exhibits director, is a member of the IAFE Commercial Exhibits and Concessions Committee.
  • Parsons also participated on an international “critical conversation” panel with Washington State Fair CEO Kent Hojem and Royal Adelaide Show (Australia) CEO John Rothwell discussing Fair success metrics.

A complete list of Clay County Fair award placings is as follows:

AGRICULTURE AWARDS SPONSORED BY SHOWORKS

Category 2 – Technique/procedure/policy developed by Fair management to correct an issue or challenge related to an agricultural program

Clay County Fair entry – 2019 Swine Health Rules

  1. Royal National Show – Ekka (Queensland, Australia)
  2. York Fair (PA)
  3. Clay County Fair (IA)

Category 3 – Newly established or evolving program/exhibit at your fair which promotes agriculture to the fairgoing public

Clay County Fair entry – Ag Ambassadors

  1. Clay County Fair (IA)
  2. Royal National Show – Ekka (Queensland, Australia)
  3. Western Idaho Fair

Category 6 – Unique partnership for an exhibit/promotion/special event/competition showcased at the fair

Clay County Fair entry – ISU Extension Clay County’s “Bite by the Barn” Adult AgCiting program

  1. Missouri State Fair
  2. Royal National Show – Ekka (Queensland, Australia)
  3. Clay County Fair (IA)

Category 8 – Agriculture communications

Clay County Fair entry – Open Class Horse Department Facebook page

  1. Clay County Fair (IA)
  2. Alameda County Fair (CA)
  3. North Dakota State Fair

Category 9 – Agriculture programs video

Clay County Fair entry – Ag Ambassadors introduction video

  1. Royal National Show – Ekka (Queensland, Australia)
  2. Clay County Fair (IA)
  3. Georgia National Fair

Category 10b – Agriculture individual photo: horticulture/Crops

Clay County Fair entry – Family trying to lift giant pumpkin (photo by Judy Hemphill)

  1. Clay County Fair (IA)
  2. Bloomsburg Fair (PA)
  3. Missouri State Fair

Category 10c – Agriculture individual photo: equine

Clay County Fair entry – Chuck wagon races (photo by Jim Steffens)

  1. Clay County Fair (IA)
  2. Royal National Show – Ekka (Queensland, Australia)
  3. Florida State Fair

Category 10d – Agriculture individual photo: rodeo

Clay County Fair entry – Bull Riding Challenge (photo by Jim Steffens)

  1. Georgia National Fair
  2. Missouri State Fair
  3. Clay County Fair (IA)

Category 13 – New or unique animal competition (class or division)

Clay County Fair entry – Open Class Horse Department classes (largest and smallest horse)

  1. Pennsylvania Farm Show
  2. Royal National Show – Ekka (Queensland, Australia)
  3. Clay County Fair (IA)

COMPETITIVE EXHIBIT AWARDS SPONSORED BY NAME

Category 9b: General display at your fair – photo series

Clay County Fair entry – Balloon Masters (photos by Judy Hemphill)

  1. Royal National Show – Ekka (Queensland, Australia)
  2. Clay County Fair (IA)
  3. Missouri State Fair

IAFE HALL OF COMMUNICATIONS AWARDS SPONSORED BY K & K INSURANCE

Category 5 – Magazine ad

Clay County Fair entry – Okoboji Magazine concert line-up ad

  1. South Carolina State Fair
  2. Missouri State Fair
  3. Clay County Fair (IA)

Category 8 – Printed promotional material

Clay County Fair entry – Daily guides

  1. Royal National Show – Ekka (Queensland, Australia)
  2. Clay County Fair (IA)
  3. Sioux Empire Fair (SD)

Category 17 – Social media/mobile campaign

Clay County Fair entry – 2019 Instagram campaign

  1. Missouri State Fair
  2. Nebraska State Fair
  3. Clay County Fair (IA)

NON-FAIR FACILITY USAGE AWARDS SPONSORED BY SHOWORKS

Category 2 – Specific action/campaign used to market your facility

Our entry – Weekly front-page ad campaign in Spencer Daily Reporter

  1. North Dakota State Fair
  2. Clay County Fair (IA)
  3. Mississippi Valley Fair (IA)

About IAFE The IAFE is a voluntary, not-for-profit corporation that serves state, provincial, regional, and county agricultural fairs, shows, exhibitions, and expositions. It currently represents more than 1,100 fairs around the world and more than 900 members from related fields.

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.

Foreigner Refund Information

September 9, 2019

Dear Foreigner Ticket Buyer:

Saturday, Sept. 7 was a rare event at the Clay County Fair – a Grandstand concert cancellation.

Due to muddy track conditions that affected stage placement and issues with the stage surface, Foreigner felt that the Grandstand stage was unsafe for the band and stage personnel.

The Fair will be offering concert ticket refunds (less handling & processing fees).

Bottom line – if you purchased your tickets via credit card, you don’t have to do anything.  Your refund will be coming to you automatically.  Refunds will be issued in the following ways:

If you purchased your tickets via credit card before June 10, 2019 – a refund check from the Clay County Fair will be mailed to you prior to October 15.  (Due to online merchant protocols, Midwestix can only reverse charges made within the last three months to the credit card of purchase. Therefore, a check must be issued for transactions processed before June 10th.) 

If you purchased your tickets via credit card after June 10, 2019 – your credit card charges will be reversed before September 23 by Midwestix, the Fair’s ticketing partner.

If you purchased your tickets via check or cash – please mail your Foreigner concert tickets, along with a return address, to Ticket Refund, Clay County Fair, PO Box 527, Spencer, IA 51301 prior to October 15.

The Fair does not offer refunds for gate admission.

For any additional questions that you might have, please contact Midwestix at info@midwestix.com.

I know that for many of you, last night’s concert was going to be your highlight of the Fair – I am sorry that we were unable to deliver.  Hopefully, you were at least able to enjoy some other part of “The World’s Greatest County Fair.”

Sincerely,

 

Jeremy Parsons, CFE

CEO/Manager

2019 Fair new foods entice stomachs of Fairgoers

Fairgoers to the 2019 Clay County Fair will have 32 new foods to enjoy during their visit Sept. 7-15, including five that have been named as finalists for the fourth 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. 7 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:

Sirloin Tips (Bryan’s Concessions) – a bed of mashed red potatoes with just the right amount of secret seasoning topped by a skillet of prepared sirloin tips, grilled onions, peppers, and sautéed mushrooms.

Açaí Bowls (Big Açaí Bowls) – refreshing sorbet topped with banana and granola and then your choice of various toppings (strawberries, mixed berries, peaches, cacao chips, chai seeds, hemp seeds, coconut shavings, almond butter, or honey).

Cowboy Cone (Oak Tree Bar-B-Que) – a two-in-one (dessert and dinner) dish: pulled pork topped with baked beans, coleslaw, and BBQ sauce all inside a waffle cone drizzled with chocolate syrup.

The Iowan (Eat It) – a personal-sized shredded pulled pork and roasted corn flatbread pizza with a BBQ creamy sauce.

Chicken Parmesan Waffle Chix (Waffle Chix, LLC) – a juicy chicken tender and parmesan cheese paired on a skewer and baked inside a seasoned waffle, served with marinara sauce and parmesan on the side.

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, Sept. 7 – Wednesday, Sept. 11. The winner will be announced on Thursday, Sept. 12 during the Fair.

Are you a “Fair Foodie?” New 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:

Big Pop Popcorn: Bagged and fresh flavored popcorn

Chicken City: Smoked Chicken Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Food Fire Truck: Grilled Cheeses PorkNcheese

Food Fire Truck: Grilled CheeseTurkeyNtomato

Food Fire Truck: Grilled Cheese Spicy BBQ

Gobblestop Turkey Shop, LLC: Smokehouse Lasagna

Gobblestop Turkey Shop, LLC: Breakfast Chimichanga

McCreary’s Creative Catering: Deep-fried Donuts-on-a-stick

Morley’s Maple Syrup: Maple Root Beer

Oak Tree B-B-Q: Cowboy Cone

Pioneer Wagon: Thick Cut Fried Bologna Sandwich

Pioneer Wagon: Rattlesnake Sausage

Pioneer Wagon: Wild Elk Sausage

Pioneer Wagon: Ranch Hand Bacon and Cheese Sandwich

Pioneer Wagon: Cowboy Beans

Spencer Jaycees: Crackle Burger

TnT Concessions: Fried Cheese Ravioli

TnT Concessions: Fried Beef Ravioli

Village Café: Danish Creme Cake

Waffle Chicks: Chicken Parmesan Waffle Chix

Waffle Chicks: Waffle Stix Brownie

Wok-n-Roll: Pot Stickers

Wok-n-Roll: Veggie Fried Rice

Wok-n-Roll: Lo Mien

Wok-n-Roll: Orange Chicken

Wok-n-Roll: Sesame Chicken

Wok-n-Roll: General Tso’s Chicken,

Wok-n-Roll: Sweet and Sour Shrimp

Wok-n-Roll: Chocolate Covered Cheesecake-on-a-stick

Wok-n-Roll: Frozen Black Raspberry Hawaiian Juleps

To find your favorite foods at the 2019 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.

CCF Bull Riding Challenge returns to Outdoor Arena at the Fair

An evening of bull riding, as well as many other equine events and Muttin’ Bustin’, will be the featured attractions at the Outdoor Arena during the 2019 Clay County Fair, Sept. 7-15.

“The Outdoor Arena will be filled with entertainment for the entire family all day and into the evenings,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. “I’m excited about all of the different activities that are scheduled there.”

During the day, the Outdoor Arena will host open class and 4-H/FFA horse shows. Open class western shows (Paint, Appaloosa, Quarter Horse, Pony Halter and Pony Performance) will be Sept. 7-10 before the start of the 4-H/FFA shows on Sept. 10-12. The second weekend of the Fair, Sept. 14-15, will feature both big (draft) and little (miniature) horses in several open class divisions, including miniature, pony and draft driving, and the North American Cart and Six-Horse Hitch Classic Series.

The North American Cart and Six-Horse Hitches will draw a large number of fairgoers on the last Saturday (Sept. 14) and Sunday (Sept. 15) of the Fair. The show will feature a $1,000 prize for the winning six-horse hitch each day.

Besides daily horse shows, special events will also take over the Outdoor Arena.

NBHA Barrel Racing will begin at 6:00pm on Saturday Sept. 7.  This event will have cowgirls from across the upper Midwest competing for the title and $1,500 in added money.

The CCF Bull Riding Challenge, presented by Barnes Rodeo Company, will take place on Sunday, Sept. 8 at 6:30pm.  This professional competition will feature riders from across the Midwest as they attempt to complete an eight second ride atop a bucking bull.

A new event to the Outdoor Arena will be held on Friday, Sept. 13 when Muttin’ Bustin’ returns to the fair on Kids Day (Friday, Sept. 13). Young fairgoers can pretend they are rodeo stars when they attempt to ride a sheep at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm.

That evening, Cowboy Mounted Shooting will take center stage at 6:30pm. This event includes a timed obstacle course in which riders and horses will go through as quickly as possible while shooting at balloons that are placed on top of stakes.

The last Saturday of the Fair, Sept. 14, the Outdoor Arena will host the Ranch Rodeo which includes various ranch style activities, such as roping a calf, sorting cattle, and milking a wild cow. This event will begin at 6:00pm.

Numerous prizes to be given for blue ribbon cooking at the Clay County Fair

Thirty-two different sponsored items for blue ribbon winners and cash prizes are just some of the things waiting for you and your kitchen creations to win in the Oven Products Department at the 2019 Clay County Fair, Sept. 7-15.

Besides classic categories like chocolate chip cookies, pies, and other baked goods, there are several other contests for exhibitors to enter, including the $1,000 Cinnamon Roll Contest. The contest will be held on Monday, Sept. 9 and is sponsored by Farmer’s Savings Bank, Edward Jones, and Asher Motor Company.

In addition to cinnamon rolls, there are twelve other contests during the Fair, including Mrs. Bonser’s Chicken Noodle Soup Contest (Sept. 9), Clay County Pork Producer’s Breakfast Tacos Contest (Sept. 10), Mrs. Grimes’ Vegetarian Bean and Rice Hot Dish Contest (Sept. 10), Clay County Cattlemen’s Shepherd’s Pie Contest (Sept. 11), Meringue, Soft Pies and Desserts, Cheesecakes, Specialty Cakes, and Frosted Layered Cakes (Sept. 12), Janice Nostrom’s Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls Contest (Sept. 12), NW Iowa Beekeeper’s Honey Contest (Sept. 13), Bruce Piper’s Lemon Meringue Pit Contest (Sept. 13), IBBIA Quick and Easy Monkey Bread Contest (Sept. 14), Jim Anderson’s Favorite Quick Bread Contest (Sept. 14), King Arthur Flour’s Contests (Sept. 15), and Del’s Garden Center’s Guacamole Contest (Sept. 15.)

Superintendent Gayle Simons mentioned there will be sampling of Mrs. Bonser’s Noodles from 10:15am – 11:30am on Sunday, Sept. 8. “Everyone is welcome to attend and we are excited to have a tasting open to all Fairgoers,” Simons stated.

The fun will continue with the Signe Kim Lauridsen-Jones’ Memorable Collections Contest, which 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.

Another popular competition at the Clay County Fair is the Canned Goods and Dried Foods Department. This department will feature many of the same classes as previous years, but Simons is very excited for the new entries.

“Canning is getting more popular so we are encouraging everyone to bring in their products,” said Simons. “The products make a beautiful display for the Fairgoers to look at and exhibitors to showcase.” Simons also noted that all exhibitors are welcome to watch the judging process 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. Although the pre-registration deadline has passed, 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.

Livestock entry deadline approaching for 2019 Clay County Fair

The Clay County Fair open class livestock entry deadline is rapidly approaching. All livestock entries for beef cattle, dairy cattle, swine, sheep, and horses are due on Wednesday, August 15, whether this is online, in person, or via mail.

Daily open class livestock shows are a highlight for many fairgoers with an expcted 500 exhibitors who will show more than 2,000 head of livestock in 2019. In addition to the open classes, there are also more than 800 4-H and FFA exhibitors that show at the Fair.

“Livestock competition is a cornerstone of the Fair,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. “Our hardworking superintendents have made several changes to make the competitions a better experience for the exhibitors and the fairgoers.”

Some of the biggest changes are in the open class dairy show (Sept. 12-13), which is adding open youth shows and showmanship classes for all breeds, along with increased premiums in all classes.

This year, open class horse competitions will feature changes to the horse show schedule (new show times on Saturday Sept. 7 and Saturday, Sept. 14), 29 new classes for Paints, Appaloosas, Quarter Horses and Paints (Sept. 7-9), and several new draft horse classes (Sept. 14-15), including youth draft decorating, youth showmanship, barrel racing, farm equipment, junior driving cart and team, feed team race, and costume class.

The “best of the best” will be judged in the open class beef cattle shows on Sunday, Sept. 15 with the addition of the Supreme Beef Champion selection show.  Check-in times and show times have also been changed for the individual breed shows (Sept. 13-14).

The open class sheep and swine competitions will also see increased premiums for 2019.

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 animal departments is mandatory and can be completed online, by mail, or in person by August 15.

Enter Blue Ribbon Produce at the 2019 Clay County Fair

Gardeners are encouraged to enter their blue ribbon best in the Fields and Gardens Department at the 2019 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 15. 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. 4 (5pm – 8pm) and Thursday, Sept. 5 (9am – 5pm) with judging scheduled for Friday, Sept. 6.

Tradition and new entertainment to perform on Farmers Bank Stage

The Farmers Bank Stage will present six different acts at the nine-day Clay County Fair, Sept. 7-15.

“The Farmers Bank Stage is a popular spot for many of our fairgoers because of its high-quality entertainment acts,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. “The tent in southwest corner of the fairgrounds will be the place to be again this year.”

New to the Clay County Fair this year is Thistle & Lace (Sept. 7-9), an acoustic trio that combines spot-on harmonies with different hits from the past 80 years. The group’s fun and friendly personalities along with audience interactions makes them perfect for any song lover and family.

Along with Thistle & Lace will be Sean Emery, a comedian and juggler with circus skills, showmanship, and funny remarks. Emery, who was a Barnum & Bailey and Ringling Bros. circus clown, will make his audiences laugh and ask, “how does he do that?”.

Sept. 10-12, the Farmers Bank Stage will welcome the return of polka to the Fair with the Marv Nissel Band. Along with the polka band will be Tuey, a comic stunt juggler. Tuey goes above and beyond the usual displays of juggling skills as he includes a wide array of manipulations. He runs, throws cups, and wears flaming headgear.

Another new act to the Fair is Noah Sonie, a mentalist and magician will put on a great show for all attendees. Providing an engaging show with subtle humor, Sonie will create an unforgettable show that will leave audiences cheering  from Sept. 13-15.

Forever Elvis will also appear Sept. 13-15, the last weekend of the Fair. A definite Fair favorite, this tribute band will have fairgoers remembering the moves and powerful sounds from the King of Rock ‘N’ Roll.

Town and Country Innovation celebrates fifth year in 2019

The Town and Country Innovation Show will celebrate its fifth year of competition at the 2019 Clay County Fair, Sept. 7-15.

The Fair’s newest competitive department was started by Karen Schwaller of Milford, who got the idea from watching her family thumb through the “Successful Farming” magazine, specifically, watching them devour the page headlined as “All Around the Farm.” The page features inventions or adaptations by farmers for tools or equipment used around the farm.

After three successful years, the department changed its name to “Town and Country Innovation Show” to incorporate opportunities for more people to exhibit their creations.

“We’ve had so many creative ‘projects’ in the past four years,” said Superintendent Karen Schwaller. “In our youth division alone it’s been amazing to see the projects that young minds have created, including a home-made tool ‘handy holder’, a home-made mouse trap, a yard drag made from feeder house chain from a combine, and a working windmill that created electricity.”

“With the new name of our department, entries can come from anyone regardless of whether they live on the farm or in town, and entries can be anything that is invented or adapted for use for any purpose, in town or on the farm,” said Schwaller. “This competition is literally open to everyone with a mind to invent something or improve on something they are already using, regardless of where they are using it.”

Entries can be anything from a simple improvement to an everyday tool or piece of equipment on the farm or in the house, to a brand new invention that can be used inside or outside, in town, on the farm, on vacation, etc. 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.

“Entries don’t have to look brand new,” Schwaller said. “Part of our judging criteria is appearance, but something that functions well and is very creative might fare better than something that looks shiny and new, but isn’t as creative.”

The “Bucket of Junk Challenge,” which focuses on being innovative and resourceful with a five-gallon bucket of identifiable junk, will return again this year. “This category is especially fun to see, with the exhibitor bringing their own junk from around the farm or house to life,” said Schwaller. “We had some very creative ideas on exhibit last year.”

“Entrants can win $100 for first place in any of these categories, so whatever they enter, it could be worth at least that much in a payout.”

The Town and Country Innovation Show exhibits are judged on workmanship, usefulness, appearance, design and creativity. They also have one “Best Safety Award” and one “Most Creative Use of Resources Award.”

There are no entry fees and exhibitors also do not need to be residents of Clay County. New exhibitors are especially encouraged to enter their creations at the Fair, but return exhibitors are welcomed back as well. Divisions include small and large exhibits for for youth and adults. A group project division is also part of the competition, with entries created by any group of people who work together on a project.

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 15. For those who choose not to pre-register, registration can also occur when entries are accepted at the Ag Marketplace on Thursday, Sept. 5 from 4:00pm-6:00pm, unless an appointment has been made.

Clay County Fair’s 2019 Free Entertainment Lineup Announced

Daredevil stunts, magic, juggling, an Elton John and Billy Joel tribute show, and roving circus stars are just a few examples of the more than 400 shows and $200,000 in entertainment that will be offered FREE to fairgoers during the 2019 Clay County Fair, September 7-15.
Besides entertain, the Fair’s free attractions and shows will also educate through the Awesome Ag Magic Show, a presentation by Medal of Honor recipient Clint Romesha (sponsored by Commstock), the Clay County Fair Historical Museum, and the 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit.
“The Fair will always be tied to September 11, 2001 because that horrific attack on our nation occurred while thousands were enjoying a day at the Fair,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. “We are honored to have the 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit at the Fair this year.”
Below is a complete listing of acts, performance locations, and performance dates. Specific information on each act, as well as performance times, can be found at www.claycountyfair.com.
DISCOVERY STAGE
Awesome Ag Magic Show – Sept. 7-15
Music Technology with Brent Daniels – Sept. 9-13
FARMERS BANK STAGE
Sean Emery (comedy/juggling) – Sept. 7-9
Thistle & Lace (acoustic) – Sept. 7-9
Marv Nissel Band (polka) – Sept. 10-12
Tuey (comedy/juggling) – Sept. 10-12
Noah Sonie (mentalist/magician) – Sept. 13-15
Forever Elvis (Elvis tribute) – Sept. 13-15
NORTHWEST BANK STAGE
The Sound Exchange (a capella) – Sept. 7-9
Miss Myra and the Moonshiners (jazz) – Sept. 7-9
John Bush (comedy) – Sept. 10-12
The Holy Rocka Rollaz (’50s rock) – Sept. 10-12
Phil Thompson (Billy & Elton: The Hits) – Sept. 13-15
Fantastick Patrick (comedy/juggling) – Sept. 13-15
GROUNDS ACTS
Moto Maniacs – Sept. 7-15
Balloon Masters – Sept. 7-15
9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit – Sept. 7-15
STROLLING
Farmer Bob – Sept. 7-15
Allez-OOPS! – Sept. 7-15
Richard Renner – Sept. 7-15
Fantastick Patrick – Sept. 7-12
OUTDOOR ARENA
NBHA Barrel Racing – Sept. 7
CCF Bullriding Challenge presented by Barnes Rodeo Company – Sept. 8
Muttin’ Bustin’ – Sept. 13
Cowboy Mounted Shooting – Sept. 13
Ranch Rodeo – Sept. 14
EVENTS CENTER BALLROOM
SRG Prices are Right – Sept. 8
Veterans Day Program – Sept. 9
Glenn Henriksen & Galaxy Salute to Veterans Concert (Patriotic) – Sept. 9
Glenn Henriksen Concert (Senior Day) – Sept. 10
Phil Baker & the Red Guitar – Sept. 11
Iowa Soybean Association Panel – Sept. 12
Orion Samuelson presented by DeKalb & Asgrow – Sept. 12
Clint Romesha presented by Commstock – Sept. 14
Old-Fashioned Hymn Sing – Sept. 15
OTHER
Art Barn – Sept. 7-15
Boy Scout Experience – Sept. 7-15
Chainsaw Artist Jeff Klatt – Sept. 7-15
Clay County Fair Historical Museum – Sept. 7-15
Grandpa’s Barn – Sept. 7-15
Iowa Great Lakes Auto Club Antique Car Display – Sept. 7-15
NW Iowa Classic Tractors Display – Sept. 7-15
Smoky Mountain Railroad – Sept. 7-15
Sundholm Log Cabin – Sept. 7-15
Tiny Town – Sept. 7-15
50s & ’60s Classic Car Drive-in – Sept. 8
Veterans Day Parade – Sept. 9
Antique Tractor Parade – Sept. 10, Sept. 12
Iowa Corn Day activities – Sept. 12
Western Iowa Dairy Day activities – Sept. 13
Kid’s Pedal Pull – Sept. 13
Science Saturday sponsored by Iowa Lakes Community College & ISU Extension Clay County – Sept. 14

Exciting Updates, New Competitions at 2019 Clay County Fair

The Clay County Fair announces 19 new contests for the 2019 Clay County Fair. Whether you are baker, a tinkerer, a photographer, or an at-home brewer, there is something for everyone to get involved in at this year’s Fair, September 7-15.

Along with the new contests, increased cash premiums and added prizes will make 2019 a year of change for exhibitors. Premiums have been increased in the canned goods and dried foods, fields and gardens, and floriculture departments, while additional prizes have been added to home wine and craft beer making competition.

“The Fair is a showcase for everyone,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. “And by ‘everyone,’ we truly mean ‘everyone’ because anyone in the world can enter their blue ribbon best at the Fair.”

The Town and Country Innovation Show is shifting their entry day to Thursday, Sept. 5, and will again feature the Bucket of Junk Challenge. The challenge, in its second year, allows fairgoers to let their creative juices run wild and create something out of a bucket of junk.

The Oven Products Department makes up a bulk of the new competitions with 14 new additions this year, including Clay County Pork Producer’s Breakfast Tacos, King Arthur Flour’s Classic Apple Crisp Contest, and the Clay County Cattlemen’s Shepherd’s Pie Contest.

Fields and Gardens, formerly the Agriculture Department, has increased cash premiums for the “best of blues” winners. The department also has new check-in times on Wednesday Sept. 4 and Thursday, Sept. 5. The Floriculture Department has also increased cash premiums in some classes, and has added new competitions for sunflowers, planters, and table design. New sponsors and prizes have been added to the Home Wine & Craft Beer Department, including new classes for specialty beer and ale.

The Photography and Textiles, Crafts and Arts Departments will also have new changes this year. For photographers, the new sponsored “Proud” class gives exhibitors a chance for a wide interpretation of capturing the feeling of “Proud to be a Fan.” Crafters can participate in several new sponsored classes including Creative Use of Batting, Yarn Projects, and All in the Hoop Embroidery.

Details about these new competitions, as well as hundreds of other blue-ribbon opportunities, can be found at www.claycountyfair.com. Complete exhibitor handbooks with rules, information, and entry procedures are available online or at the Fair Administrative Offices.

 

Multiple fan favorites return to Fair dirt track

Spencer, Iowa — The Sleep Number Grandstand will showcase multiple fan favorite dirt events, including the final appearance of chuckwagon races, during the nine days of the 2019 Clay County Fair, September 7-15.

A long-standing Fair tradition, Chuckwagon Races will appear at the Fair for the final time Saturday, September 7 and Sunday, September 8 at noon on both days. Adult general admission tickets are $15 and child general admission (ages 12 and under) tickets are $10.

The Chuckwagon Racers of Iowa-Minnesota Association is disbanding following the Fair races, ending a Fair tradition that started in 1962.

“Chuckwagon racing and the Fair have been synonymous for nearly 60 years,” said CCF Manager Jeremy Parsons. “We hope to make their final performances here a highlight as we thank them for entertaining thousands of fairgoers over the years.”

The Antique Tractor Pull will begin at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 10, and will be free to all fairgoers. The historical pieces of machinery are always a highlight during the fair.

The Casey’s General Store IMCA Blue Ribbon Showdown’s hot laps will start at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 12. Adult general admission tickets are $15, child general admission (ages 12 and under) tickets are $10 and pit passes are $30. This will be the final night for IMCA class racing for the 2019 season at the Clay County Fair Speedway. IMCA classes include Hobby Stocks, Sports Mods, Modifieds, Stock Cars and Sports Compacts. The night will also feature the IMCA 305 season championship sprint car race.

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.

Please note Grandstand guest services changes for 2019. Bag checks will be implemented at all Grandstand events at the 2019 Fair. 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.

The Fair will also sell beer at selected Grandstand events during the 2019 Fair.

Outlaw Pullers bring ground-shaking finale to 2019 Clay County Fair

Spencer, Iowa — The season championships of the Outlaw Truck & Tractor Pullers Association, which will include the return of the popular Pro Stocks class, will serve as the grand finale in the Sleep Number Grandstand at the 2019 Clay County Fair. The finals will include two sessions on Sunday, September 15 beginning at 1:00pm and 5:30pm.

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

Formed in 1982, the Outlaw Truck & Tractor Pullers Association (OTTPA) is the largest of sanctioned national pulling associations, endorsing over 40 sessions of pulling in over 37 cities from Texas to South Dakota. OTTPA has 16 classes and more than 350 competing vehicles. These monsters include pullers with rear tires taller than the average human being and engines that literally shake the ground when they’re cranked up during a pull.

Tickets are on sale now. Prices are $20 for adults and $10 for kids 12 and under (general admission). One ticket will be valid for both sessions. Tickets will be available online at www.midwestix.com, by phone at 515-244-2771, or in person at the Events Center Box Office. There will be no additional fees applied to any of these purchase methods.

Please note Grandstand guest services changes for 2019. Bag checks will be implemented at all Grandstand events at the 2019 Fair. 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. 

The Fair will also sell beer at selected Grandstand events during the 2019 Fair.

High-flying ATV action to entertain at 2019 Clay County Fair

Spencer, Iowa — High-flying action will make its debut in the Sleep Number Grandstand at the 2019 Clay County Fair with national touring ATV Big Air Tour. The show will fly into action on Thursday, September 12 at 7:00pm.

“This will be a great night of family-friendly entertainment as our fairgoers will enjoy these high-flying performers,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. “ATVs, motorcycles, and BMX bikes will be soaring off the big ramps located in front of the Sleep Number Grandstand.”

The ATV Big Air Tour is a high-flying, high-energy motocross/off-road show that will get you on your feet screaming and cheering for more. Created by legendary professional ATV riders and Wabasso, MN locals Derek & Jon Guetter, the ATV Big Air Tour will be an event for families and audiences of all ages. In addition to the high-energy show, the Tour makes sure the fans can meet the Big Air Crew at the free meet & greet for photos, autographs, and to see the machines up close.

Tickets are on sale now. Prices are $15 for adults and $10 for kids 12 an under (general admission). Tickets will be available online at www.midwestix.com, by phone at 515-244-2771, or in person at the Events Center Box Office. There will be no additional fees applied to any of these purchase methods.

Please note Grandstand guest services changes for 2019. Bag checks will be implemented at all Grandstand events at the 2019 Fair. 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.

The Fair will also sell beer at selected Grandstand events during the 2019 Fair.

Fair advises concertgoers to be diligent about purchasing Sleep Number Grandstand tickets for 2019 Clay County Fair

Spencer, Iowa — With only 150 days remaining before the 2019 Clay County Fair, fairgoers are asked to use diligence when purchasing tickets for Sleep Number Grandstand events.

The Fair has seen an increase in third-party buyers over the past couple of years, making fans susceptible to ticket scalping. Tickets are purchased by these third-party vendors and then resold at a higher value to make a profit.

“Ticket prices for our Grandstand shows range anywhere from $25 to $60,” said CCF Manager Jeremy Parsons. “If you’re seeing tickets with additional fees or higher prices, you are most likely purchasing from a third-party vendor. We’re seeing ticket prices on third-party sites listed as high as $140 for a $48 ticket.”

Parsons continued that it is important to be a diligent online consumer because tickets not purchased directly through the Fair’s ticket partner MIDWESTIX (online, by phone, or in person at the Events Center Box Office) cannot be guaranteed as valid, and will not be refunded if the event is canceled or postponed.

“The bottom line is that if you buy a ticket from a third-party vendor, you do not have a real ticket,” he said.

Parsons suggests the following to insure you are getting your tickets from the Fair:

  • Click directly from the Clay County Fair website (claycountyfair.com). DO NOT use Google-searching for tickets to Fair concerts or admission. This is the only link you can purchase valid Clay County Fair concert and admission tickets through: http://www.midwestix.com/organizations/clay-county-fair
  • Check the prices of tickets on the Fair’s website before you purchase a ticket. If you are paying more for a ticket than the published price on our website you are not buying from the Fair.
  • All communications (email confirmations etc.) should come directly from MIDWESTIX. If you are seeing a name other than MIDWESTIX on your tickets or correspondence, you are buying an invalid ticket.
  • You will receive your ticket directly from MIDWESTIX. If you receive a receipt and no ticket or receive a MIDWESTIX ticket with a name other than your own on it, you have likely purchased an invalid ticket.
  • If you have any questions or concerns, contact MIDWESTIX at info@midwestix.com or 515-244-2771.

Please note Grandstand guest services changes for 2019. Bag checks will be implemented at all Grandstand events at the 2019 Fair. 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.

The Fair will also sell beer at selected Grandstand events during the 2019 Fair.

Jon Pardi to perform at Clay County Fair

Spencer, Iowa — The Clay County Fair announces Jon Pardi with special guest Jake Rose as part of the SRG Concert Series in the Sleep Number Grandstand at the 2019 Clay County Fair on Friday, September 13 at 7:30pm.

“It will be exciting to have this great night of country music on Friday night at the Fair,” said CCF Manager Jeremy Parsons.

2017 CMA New Artist of the Year and ACM New Male Vocalist of the Year, Jon Pardi has dominated the top of the country music charts with consecutive #1 hits including “Dirt On My Boots,” Platinum-selling “Head Over Boots” and “Heartache On The Dance Floor.” Pardi, bred in the West Coast honky tonks, stocks his album with classic Nashville melody, blue-collar lyrical themes and authentic country instrumentation – real drums, loud-and-proud fiddles and tangy steel guitar.

Jake Rose, a singer-songwriter from a pumpkin farm north of Minneapolis, spent his early years bailing hay, building fences, and side stage at his Dad’s country band shows, “Stampede.” His first single “Sleeves,” co-written with hitman Craig Wiseman, debuted on The Highway and CMT. Rose spent 2018 opening for Tim McGraw, Billy Currington, FGL, Eli Young Band, Russell Dickerson and LoCash to name a few.

Tickets will go on sale Friday, April 12 at 10:00am. Prices are $53 (general admission stage front standing), $43 (reserved Grandstand seating), and $38 (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. There will be no additional fees applied to any of these purchase methods.

Please note Grandstand guest services changes for 2019. Bag checks will be implemented at all Grandstand events at the 2019 Fair. 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.

The Fair will also sell beer at selected Grandstand events during the 2019 Fair.

RAIN – A Beatles Tribute

Spencer, Iowa — The Clay County Fair announces RAIN – A Tribute to the Beatles as part of the SRG Concert Series in the Sleep Number Grandstand at the 2019 Clay County Fair on Sunday, September 8 at 7:30pm.

“Thousands have seen this spectacular show at the Civic Center in Des Moines or the State Theatre in Minneapolis,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. “I’m excited to bring this production to Spencer and the Fair.”

Seen by over 2 million people worldwide, RAIN – A Tribute to the Beatles is a live multi-media spectacular that takes you through the life and times of the world’s most celebrated band. Featuring high-definition screens & imagery – RAIN is a stunning concert that delivers a note-for-note theatrical event that is the next best thing to The Beatles.

Tickets will go on sale Friday, March 29 at 10:00am. Prices are $35 (general admission stage front seating), $30 (reserved Grandstand seating), and $25 (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. There will be no additional fees applied to any of these purchase methods.

Please note Grandstand guest services changes for 2019. Bag checks will be implemented at all Grandstand events at the 2019 Fair. 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.

The Fair will also sell beer at selected Grandstand events during the 2019 Fair.

Clay County Fair announces RAIN – A Tribute to the Beatles

The Clay County Fair announces RAIN – A Tribute to the Beatles as part of the SRG Concert Series in the Sleep Number Grandstand at the 2019 Clay County Fair on Sunday, September 8 at 7:30pm.

“Thousands have seen this spectacular show at the Civic Center in Des Moines or the State Theatre in Minneapolis,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. “I’m excited to bring this production to Spencer and the Fair.”

Seen by over 2 million people worldwide, RAIN – A Tribute to the Beatles is a live multi-media spectacular that takes you through the life and times of the world’s most celebrated band. Featuring high-definition screens & imagery – RAIN is a stunning concert that delivers a note-for-note theatrical event that is the next best thing to The Beatles.

Tickets will go on sale Friday, March 29 at 10:00am. Prices are $35 (general admission stage front seating), $30 (reserved Grandstand seating), and $25 (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. There will be no additional fees applied to any of these purchase methods.

Please note Grandstand guest services changes for 2019. Bag checks will be implemented at all Grandstand events at the 2019 Fair. 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.

The Fair will also sell beer at selected Grandstand events during the 2019 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 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.

Michael W. Smith to perform at Clay County Fair

The Clay County Fair announces Michael W. Smith with special guest We Are Messengers as part of the SRG Concert Series in the Sleep Number Grandstand at the 2019 Clay County Fair on Tuesday, September 10 at 7:30pm.

“One of the most iconic contemporary Christian artists of all time coupled with one of the best of the up-and-coming artists will make for an unforgettable Family Night at the Fair,” said CCF Manager Jeremy Parsons.

During a storied career spanning more than three decades, multi-Platinum artist and bestselling author Michael W. Smith has written 35 No. 1 singles and sold more than 15 million albums while accumulating numerous accolades, including three GRAMMY® Awards, 45 Dove Awards, an American Music Award and, most recently, induction into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

Originally from Ireland, We Are Messengers saw their career explode with the release of their self-titled debut album in 2016. The album earned them their first Dove Award nomination for New Artist of the Year and included Top 5 hits “Everything Comes Alive,” “Magnify” and “Point to You.” Their new album, featuring the Top 10 single “Maybe It’s Ok,” is already a fan favorite.

Tickets will go on sale Friday, March 15 at 10:00am. Prices are $35 (general admission stage front standing), $30 (reserved Grandstand seating), and $25 (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. There will be no additional fees applied to any of these purchase methods.

Please note Grandstand guest services changes for 2019. Bag checks will be implemented at all Grandstand events at the 2019 Fair. 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.

Country Gold Tour to perform at 2019 Clay County Fair

The Clay County Fair announces the Country Gold Tour, starring Leroy Van Dyke, Jimmy Fortune of the Statler Brothers, T. Graham Brown, Steve & Rudy Gatlin, and Moe Bandy, as part of the SRG Concert Series in the Sleep Number Grandstand at the 2019 Clay County Fair on Monday, September 9 at 7:30pm.

“It has become a tradition at the Fair that Monday evening’s Grandstand show is a patriotic salute featuring classic country music,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons.  “It will be an honor to have some of the most decorated artists in country music history on our Grandstand stage.”

The Country Gold Tour, by definition, is a stellar evening featuring renowned classic country music performers who have topped the charts and had massive media exposure. Enjoy them in person as they perform the celebrated Nashville sound that took their music around the world and back including hits like “Auctioneer,” “Walk on By,” “All the Gold in California,” “She Used To Be Somebody’s Baby,” “Elizabeth,” “My Only Love,” “Too Old to Die Young,” “Don’t Go to Strangers,” “Darlene,” and more.

Tickets will go on sale Friday, February 15 at 10:00am. Prices are $27 (general admission stage front seating), $27 (reserved Grandstand seating), and $22 (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. There will be no additional fees applied to any of these purchase methods.

Please note Grandstand guest services changes for 2019. Bag checks will be implemented at all Grandstand events at the 2019 Fair. 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.

The Fair will also sell beer at selected Grandstand events during the 2019 Fair.

Clay County Fair announces Foreigner

The Clay County Fair announces a night with Foreigner as part of the SRG Concert Series in the Sleep Number Grandstand at the 2019 Clay County Fair on Saturday, September 7 at 7:30pm.

“One of the greatest rock acts of all time will be a perfect start to the 2019 Fair,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. “I know this high energy show will have the crowd singing along the whole time.”

With ten multi-platinum albums and sixteen Top 30 hits, Foreigner is universally hailed as one of the most popular rock acts in the world with a formidable musical arsenal that continues to propel sold-out tours and album sales, now exceeding 75 million. Responsible for some of rock and roll’s most enduring anthems including “Juke Box Hero,” “Cold As Ice,” “Hot Blooded,” the worldwide #1 hit “I Want To Know What Love Is,” and many more, Foreigner continues to rock the charts more than 40 years into the game with massive airplay and continued Billboard Top 200 album success.

Tickets will go on sale Friday, February 1 at 10:00am. Prices are $43 (general admission stage front standing), $38 (reserved Grandstand seating), and $33 (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. There will be no additional fees applied to any of these purchase methods.

Please note Grandstand guest services changes for 2019. Bag checks will be implemented at all Grandstand events at the 2019 Fair. 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.

The Fair will also sell beer at selected Grandstand events during the 2019 Fair.

Clay County Fair announces Grandstand changes

Citing the need to provide a safer and more relevant Grandstand concert and event experience, the Clay County Fair has announced several changes for the 2019 Fair, September 7-15.

“The Fair is known for its long tradition of bringing big-name entertainment to Spencer each September,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons.  “While our goal is to maintain and build on that tradition, the rapidly changing world means that we must make changes to stay relevant to today’s Grandstand concert and event attendees.”

Bag checks will be implemented at all Grandstand events at the 2019 Fair, as well as some public events held throughout the year at the Clay County Regional Events Center.

“One of our top priorities is to keep our guests safe, and in today’s world that means security measures like bag checks,” said Parsons.  “The Grandstand is a large venue, which makes it a potential large target, and we want to take preventative steps to keep people safe.”

Parsons said that the bag checks, which will be conducted upon entrance into the Fair’s Grandstand, will be similar to the checks implemented at other concert venues and stadiums.

“We wanted to get the word out now so that as people plan their Grandstand ticket purchases and visits to the Fair, they can plan accordingly for the bag checks – allowing for extra time and making sure they do not carry in any prohibited items like alcohol,” he said.

The Fair will also begin selling beer at selected Grandstand events at the 2019 Fair.

“In today’s changing world, beer sales at concerts and events is part of the normal social experience,” said Parsons.  “Although the Fair has a long tradition of being ‘dry,’ if we want the Grandstand to remain relevant as an entertainment venue, we must change some of our practices.”

While beer will be sold at selected Grandstand events, the Fair’s family friendly atmosphere will remain the same, according to Parsons.

“Beer will only be sold during selected Grandstand events and cannot be carried out of the Grandstand,” he said.  “It will be completely contained in the Grandstand area.”

The first announcement for the 2019 Clay County Fair Grandstand schedule will be made next week with the entire line-up released through the spring.

“These changes, along with some tweaks to our Grandstand schedule, will make for an exciting 2019 at the Fair,” he said.

Clay County Fair announces admission changes for 2019

Clay County Fair families will save big at the 2019 Fair with free daily admission for all fairgoers age 12 and under.

“Being an affordable family destination is an important goal of the Fair,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. “While the Fair has always allowed children age 7 and under to attend for free, expanding the age to 12 should help families in our region enjoy the Fair more often.”

Adult admission for the 2019 Fair, which last increased in 2017, will remain the same.

Hairball returns to Events Center

The Clay County Fair & Events Center welcomes back Hairball to the Clay County Regional Events Center on Friday, February 22 at 7:30pm as a part of the 2019 SRG Concert Series.

“We’re excited to add Hairball to the Events Center winter schedule,” said CEO Jeremy Parsons. “Announcing before Christmas gives rock fans the perfect opportunity to purchase tickets at a special stocking stuffer pre-sale price of just $18 this week.”

Hairball, in its 19th year in 2019, isn’t one of your typical “80’s Tribute” bands that you find across the country. Hairball is an experience, an attitude, and expression of music that isn’t simply a retro flashback.

Tickets will go on sale Tuesday, December 18 at 10:00am. Prices are $23 in advance and $28 at the door. Pre-sale tickets will be available December 18-21 for $18. Tickets will be available online at www.midwestix.com, by phone at 515-244-2771, or in person at the Events Center Box Office.

Clay County Fair & Events Center receives international recognition

2018 IAFE award winning photo of roper and horse.

Presented at the Closing Party and Awards Reception on November 30, the Fair received first place recognition in two categories, along with 10 other awards, at the annual International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) Convention held this week in San Antonio.

First place honors included “Single Photo of Rodeo” and “New Single Class in Competitive Exhibits.”

The IAFE awards program allows member fairs to enter competitions based on competitive exhibits, agricultural education and communications. The entries are evaluated and judged by teams of industry leaders. For the awards program, the approximately 1,100 member fairs of the IAFE are split into five categories based on attendance. The Clay County Fair competes in Division 3, which is limited to fairs across the globe with an attendance of 250,000-500,000.

Taking top honors in the Agriculture Awards for “Single Photo of Rodeo” was a photo taken by Jim Steffens of Steffens Game Day Photography during the Fair’s PRCA Rodeo on September 9.

The Fair also received first place in Competitive Exhibits Awards for “New Single Class in Competitive Exhibits” featuring the new Memorable Collections class in the Creative Living Center. The Memorable Collections class, under the direction of Gayle Simons, received 22 entries in its first year at the Fair.

“These awards are all due to the hard work of our Board of Directors, staff, sponsors and partners, and volunteers,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. “It is an honor to receive these awards and recognition from our peers in the fair industry.”

Besides the two first place awards, the Fair claimed the following other awards:

– Second place, “Single Photo of Livestock,” Agriculture Awards – photo by Spencer Daily Reporter

– Second place, “Newspaper Ad – Black and White,” Communications Awards

– Second place, “Promotional Event,” Communications Awards – Iowa Lakes Community College Science Saturday

– Third Place, “Single Photo of Horticulture/Crops,” Agriculture Awards – Photo by Judy Hemphill

– Third place, “New Display Method and/or Prop,” Competitive Exhibit Awards – Ag Department corn display racks

– Third place, “Single Photo of Competitive Exhibit Display,” Competitive Exhibits Awards – Canned Goods Department – Photo by Judy Hemphill

– Third place, “Photo Series of Competitive Exhibit Display,” Competitive Exhibits Awards – Ag Department Scarecrows – Photos by Andrea Wiesenmeyer

– Third place, “Photo Series of a General Display,” Competitive Exhibits Awards – Smoky Mountain Railroad – Photos by Andrea Wiesenmeyer

– Third place, “Best Magazine Ad,” Communications Awards

– Third place, “Social Media Campaign,” Communications Awards

About IAFE The IAFE is a voluntary, not-for-profit corporation, serving state, provincial, regional, and county agricultural fairs, shows, exhibitions, and expositions. Its associate members include state and provincial associations of fairs, non-agricultural expositions and festivals, associations, corporations, and individuals engaged in providing products and services to its members, all of whom are interested in the improvement of fairs and allied fields.

2018 By the Numbers

Nine days of warm sunny weather made the “The World’s Greatest County Fair” a perfect September get-away for thousands of fairgoers, September 8-16.

“Although crowds appeared to be affected the last weekend when temperatures hit the 90 degree mark, we were fortunate to get nine consecutive dry days,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. “Great weather, great programming, and great improvements to the fairgrounds all made for a successful 2018 Fair.”

Parsons continued that the success of the 2018 Clay County Fair can be measured in several metrics, including:

Fairgoer Satisfaction

  • According to data from surveys conducted by Iowa Lakes Community College, 79% of fairgoers said they were “very satisfied” with the Fair (compared to 74.7% in 2017).
  • Additionally, 91.5% of those surveyed said they “definitely would” or were “very likely” to recommend attending the Fair to their friends and family (compared to 89% in 2017).

Youth Participation

  • 903 4-H and FFA exhibitors from 48 counties in Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska participated in livestock and human sciences events at the Fair.
  • 1,219 third and fourth grade students from 21 regional schools visited the Fair as part of the AgCiting and SciCiting field trip programs coordinated by ISU Extension Clay County.

Fairgoer Spending

  • Fairgoer spending on food, beverage, specialty concessions, and carnival rides totaled $2,282,267.94 (up more than $28,000 over 2017).
  • Specifically, Gold Star Amusements, the Fair’s carnival provider, set an all-time Fair record for carnival ride gross sales – a 5% increase over the previous record set in 2017. 

Exhibitor Participation

  • 503 commercial exhibitors, concessionaires, and vendors showcased at the Fair (up from 497 in 2017). With 150 ag-specific exhibitors, the Fair again hosted the largest farm machinery and ag equipment show at any fair in the United States.
  • 1,398 exhibitors participated in various open class livestock and non-livestock competitions and took home nearly $100,000 in premiums, ribbons, trophies, and awards. (1,593 open class exhibitors participated in 2017.)

Attendance

  • The Sleep Number Grandstand attracted 21,335 fairgoers to multiple stage performances and dirt events, down slightly from 21,831 fairgoers in 2017. The top four attended events were Lee Brice (3,195); Lauren Daigle/Zach Williams (2,973); Chuckwagon Races (2,810-two sessions); and Oak Ridge Boys/Jimmy Fortune (2,746).
  • Overall Fair attendance totaled 308,603. Complete daily attendance numbers can be found at www.claycountyfair.com.

“I know avid fairgoers will try to compare this year’s attendance numbers with previous years’ numbers,” said Parsons. “Unfortunately, comparing this year’s attendance to any previous year’s attendance is not an apples-to-apples comparison. Technology changes this year allow us to present a more accurate number.”

Changes to the Fair’s ticketing procedures, including digitally scanning some advance admission tickets in 2018, allowed the Fair to create a more accurate attendance reporting model replacing the former attendance estimates.

“Fair attendance is a source of civic pride and curiosity for all of our stakeholders,” said Parsons. “While we recognize and celebrate that importance, the Fair also has a responsibility to be transparent and accountable. However, in order for that accountability to occur, we must take the time to present an accurate attendance number, which is difficult to do while the Fair is still going on.”

For the first time in recent Fair history, estimated daily attendance numbers were not released during the Fair in an attempt to provide a more accurate attendance number.

More detailed information on the 2018 Clay County Fair will be made available at the Clay County Fair Association’s annual meeting on October 30.  Lifetime memberships to the Fair Association are available for $100.  Call (712) 580-3000 for more information.

Home Free – A Country Christmas

The Clay County Fair & Events Center is pleased to announce Home Free – A Country Christmas presented as part of the SRG Concert Series Saturday, December 15, 2018. The show, which will be held in the Clay County Regional Events Center, will begin at 7:30pm.

“The Events Center Christmas show has become a tradition in northwest Iowa,” said Fair & Events Center CEO Jeremy Parsons. “This outstanding night with Home Free will be the perfect addition to that tradition.”

Home Free, known for their show-stopping performances that mix their signature no-instrument, all-vocal music with their quick-witted humor, is sure to entertain all ages with their Country Christmas. The five-man a capella group will perform country and holiday favorites, including music from their Billboard No. 2 album, “Full Of (Even More) Cheer.”

Tickets are on sale. Prices are $48, $38, and $28 (reserved seating). A “Holiday Cheer” option that includes a pre-show party with unlimited food and drink is available for $20 (limited number available). Tickets will be available online at www.midwestix.com, by phone at 515-244-2771, or in person at the Events Center Box Office.

Gate Access Updates for 2018 Clay County Fair

Fairgoers to the 2018 Clay County Fair will want to take note of several changes that may affect their selected route and parking because of construction related to the City of Spencer’s 4th Avenue West CDBG Project, Phase II.

“A major improvement like the City’s 4th Avenue West project is exciting for both the future of the Fair and the City of Spencer,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. “However, a project of this size cannot be completed without adequate time so fairgoers need to be aware of some temporary changes for 2018.”

Despite recent progress on the street and the paving of a majority of driveway approaches and sidewalks, 4th Avenue West will remain closed to through traffic during the Fair to protect the new improvements. Although the street will be closed, fairgoers will see very little disruption.

“We have worked closely with the City to make this the best possible situation for fairgoers,” said Parsons. Items for fairgoers to note are as follows:

  • The Silver Lot (east of the main Fairgrounds on 4th Avenue West) will be accessible from all entrances.
  • Gate C (the corner of West 14th Street and 4th Avenue West) will be accessible from the east and south
  • Gate A will be accessible for walk-in traffic. The circle drive in front of Gate A will be accessible for the RIDES shuttle service and other mass transit options for visiting the Fair. Private vehicular traffic will not be permitted at Gate A.

Kids Day adds new fun to the 2018 Clay County Fair

The Fair tradition continues with Y100 Kid’s Day being celebrated on Friday, Sept. 14.

“Thanks to the cooperation of Clay County schools, Kid’s Day is a great Fair tradition for many families,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. “We are excited this year to take that tradition to a new level by jamming the day full of even more activities for our young fairgoers.”

Kids 18 and under are able to enter the Fair for free. A special Kid’s Day wristband (available only at the Fair) will be available as well. This wristband will include unlimited carnival rides for $23. In addition, the Fair will be partnering with Y100 for the chance to receive VIP wristbands at an even greater discount – free. Beginning August 22nd, listen to Y100 every Wednesday leading up to the Fair for a chance to win the wristband giveaway.

Besides free admission and a special wristband deal from GoldStar Amusements, there are many other kid-friendly activities scheduled for Sept. 14.

The Dollipops is an engaging, high-energy, highly interactive kids’ show. The characters Dolli and Pop will have kids ready to sing, laugh, and dance with all of the interactions. These two sisters will have kids and their parents moving, making memories, and grooving. The event will take place in the Eurocast Events Center Ballroom at three different times: 11:00am, 1:00pm, and 3:00pm.

Another Fair favorite — Muttin’ Bustin’ – moves from Tuesday to Friday to create new excitement for young cowboys. Two rounds will be held at 2:00pm and 4:00pm in the Indoor Arena. Upon arrival, kids and parents will need to sign up to participate.

Another popular event is the Kids Pedal Pull located at Grandpa’s Barn (location change from 2017) and will take place at 5:00pm. Registration will also be accepted at the time of the event.

Performance both educational and entertaining add to the Fair fun

Fun for everyone is always the focus at the Clay County Fair, September 8-16.

The Clay County Fair will once again join Arts on Grand for fairgoers to enjoy fun activities and unique items at the Art Barn during the 2018 Fair. Fair attendees will be able to view working art demonstrations, participate in marking art, and even purchasing outstanding items.

Each day, the Art Barn will host performers on the Art Barn Stage at 1:00pm. Performers scheduled include Stephan Baker (Saturday, Sept. 8), Greg Davis (Sunday, Sept. 9), Robert Johnson (Monday, Sept. 10), Becky Boyer (Wednesday, Sept. 12), Jim and Jessie Howard of The Jessie James Band (Thursday, Sept. 13), Stephen Baker and Friends (Friday, Sept. 14), and Duane Davis (Saturday, Sept. 15).

The new Grandpa’s Barn includes almost double the space for families to enjoy and develop and appreciation for everything related to Iowa’s leading industry – agriculture. Baby animals, tractor cab simulators presented by Clay County Farm Bureau, and a milking parlor sponsored by MaxYield will educate fairgoers of all ages.

The Sundholm Log Cabin will bring fun educational opportunities to the Fair with hands on activities, live animals, and more. Naturalist programs will be held daily at 10:00am and 2:00pm with activities involving, bison, black bears, minnows, owls, and more. There will be a live bald eagle on Monday, Sept. 10 and Friday, Sept. 14 at 11:00am, and 1:00pm. The Great Plains Zoomobile will also be at the Fair on Sunday, Sept. 9 and Saturday, Sept. 14 at 2:00pm.

The Smoky Mountain Central Railroad, one of the largest model train displays in the Midwest, will be enjoyed by all in The Depot. The railroad has been a part of the Fair since 1947.

2018 new foods grab eyes and stomachs of Fairgoers

Fairgoers to the 2018 Clay County Fair will have more than 30 new foods to try during their visit Sept. 8-16, including five that have been named as finalists for the third edition of the “The World’s Greatest County Fair Food” Contest.

“Fantastic food is a highlight for many fairgoers,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. “The quality and uniqueness of food found at the Fair is second-to-none.”

“The World’s Greatest County Fair Food” Contest will be judged on Saturday, Sept. 8 at 1:45pm on the Coca-Cola Atlantic Bottling Stage with one entry taking home the title, “The World’s Greatest County Fair Food.”

The five finalists (and vendors) are as follows:

Pickle Popper (TnT Concessions) – A whole dill pickle cut in two then stuffed with cream cheese, shredded cheese, bacon, jalapenos and mandarin oranges. Finally, dipped in a batter and deep fried.

Barnyard Burger (Spencer Jaycees) – Comprised of a tender chicken breast, a juicy 1/3 lb hamburger, and a succulent pork loin all layered with 3 different cheeses of your choice (Swiss, American, and/or pepper jack). Fairgoers can also choose to add extra toppings such as, jalapeños, sautéed onions, and mushrooms.

Spudnater (Wyman’s Spudnuts) – A chocolate glazed donut coated with a chocolate frosting, topped with mini chocolate chips, and drizzled with a chocolate ganache.

Tiny Tators (Eat It) – Tiny whole potatoes boiled and fried, then covered in a buttery garlic ranch sauce and topped with parmesan cheese.

Smoked Mac-N-Cheese (Gobblestop Turkey Shop, LLC) – Creamy, cheesy mac n cheese smoked to perfection and served hot and ready.

An added category this year is a “People’s Choice” Award. Fairgoers can sample the five finalists and cast their vote at any of the Fair’s information booths from Saturday, Sept. 8 – Tuesday, Sept. 11. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, Sept. 12 during the Fair.

Other new foods at the upcoming Fair include:

Duck wontons (Benoit Distributing Company)

Polish sausage corn dogs (Campbell’s Concessions, Inc.)

Muffins (Creative Cakes by Mindy)

Rolled ice cream (Dough Boys)

Chicken City (Eat It!)

Smoked Chicken Legs (Eat It!)

Chicken gizzards and livers (Eat It!)

Orange frosty (Eat It! Everything Orange)

Orange slush (Eat It! Everything Orange)

Orange shakeup monkey ice (Eat It! Everything Orange)

Breakfast taco wrap (Jones Lunch)

Stuffed pickles (Judy’s Husband’s Stuffed Pickles)

Bacon ice cream sundae (Kiwanis After 5)

Muffins (Kiwanis Club – Daybreakers)

Reuben (traditional) (McCreary’s Creative Catering)

Rachel Ruben (turkey Ruben) (McCreary’s Creative Catering)

Cuban (pulled pork Ruben) (McCreary’s Creative Catering)

Vegetarian (veggie Ruben) (McCreary’s Creative Catering)

Deep-fried grilled cheese (McCreary’s Creative Catering)

Deep-fried brownies (McCreary’s Creative Catering)

Frozen hot chocolate (McCreary’s Creative Catering)

Frozen Lemonade (McCreary’s Creative Catering)

Maple cotton candy (Morley’s Maple Syrup)

Maple lollipops (Morley’s Maple Syrup)

Pure maple syrup (Morley’s Maple Syrup)

Maple bourbon aged syrup (Morley’s Maple Syrup)

Maple cream (Morley’s Maple Syrup)
Apple cider syrup (Morley’s Maple Syrup)

Chocolate mint muddy buddies (Spencer Area Shrine Club ATV)

Luau sandwich (Spencer Jaycees)

Spudnut burger (Spencer Jaycees)

Custom-made wood-fired pizza (Stump’s Wood-Fired Pizza)

Thelma’s handmade ice cream sandwiches (Thelma’s Treats)

The Original Minneapple Pie (The Original Minneapple Pie)

European licorice ropes (Timbo’s Licorice Ropes)

Danish coffee cake (Village Café)

Handcrafted wild rice and beef burgers (Westrum Quality Foods)

The Fair has made it easier to find your favorite food by using the Food Finder at claycountyfair.com. The food finder allows you to search and locate your old and new favorite foods.

PRCA Rodeo to headline Outdoor Arena events

An evening of PRCA Rodeo, as well as many other equine events, will be the featured attractions at the Outdoor Arena during the 2018 Clay County Fair, Sept. 8-16.

“Due to a last minute change in the PRCA’s scheduling, we are fortunate to be able to bring in a night of top-notch rodeo action,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. “As a bonus to our great fairgoers, this event will be free with gate admission.”

The PRCA Rodeo, presented by Barnes Rodeo Company, will take place on Sunday, Sept. 9 at 6:30pm. The full rodeo replaces the previously announced CCF Bull Riding Challenge.

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. 8-10 before the start of the 4-H and FFA shows on Sept. 11-13. The second weekend of the Fair, Sept. 15-16, 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 Cart and Six-Horse Hitches will draw a large number of fairgoers on the last Saturday (Sept. 15) and Sunday (Sept. 16) of the Fair. The show will feature a $1,000 prize for the winning hitch both days. New in 2018, 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.

NBHA Barrel Racing will begin at 6:00pm on Saturday Sept. 8. This event will have cowgirls from across the upper Midwest competing for the title and $1,500 in added money.

Another show that will take center stage at the Outdoor Arena will be Cowboy Mounted Shooting, on Friday, Sept. 14 at 6:30pm. This event includes a time obstacle course in which riders and horses will go through as quickly as possible while shooting at balloons that are placed on top of stakes.

The day (Sept. 14) begins with another Fair favorite, Team Roping, at 11:00am.

The last Saturday of the Fair, Sept. 16, the Outdoor Arena will host the Ranch Rodeo which includes various ranch style activities, such as roping a calf, sorting cattle, and milking a wild cow. This event will begin at 6:00pm.

A Country Christmas comes to Clay County Fair & Events Center

Spencer, Iowa — The Clay County Fair & Events Center is pleased to announce Home Free – A Country Christmas presented as part of the SRG Concert Series Saturday, December 15, 2018. The show, which will be held in the Clay County Regional Events Center, will begin at 7:30pm.

“The Events Center Christmas show has become a tradition in northwest Iowa,” said Fair & Events Center CEO Jeremy Parsons. “This outstanding night with Home Free will be the perfect addition to that tradition.”

Home Free, known for their show-stopping performances that mix their signature no-instrument, all-vocal music with their quick-witted humor, is sure to entertain all ages with their Country Christmas. The five-man a capella group will perform country and holiday favorites, including music from their Billboard No. 2 album, “Full Of (Even More) Cheer.”

Tickets will go on sale Friday, August 3 at 10:00am. Prices are $48, $38, and $28 (reserved seating). A “Holiday Cheer” option that includes a pre-show party with unlimited food and drink is available for $20 (limited number available). Tickets will be available online at www.midwestix.com, by phone at 515-244-2771, or in person at the Events Center Box Office.

 

Make plans now to attend the 2018 Clay County Fair and save big with deals

Fairgoers have the opportunity to save big through several pre-Fair deals as they make plans to attend the Clay County Fair, Sept. 8-16.

Advance adult gate admission tickets are available for $7, saving attendees $3 before the gates open on Sept. 8. 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 12 different Godfather’s Pizza locations in Iowa and Minnesota. All-Day wristbands are valid for unlimited rides all day on Saturdays or Sundays for $22 in advance, saving $3 with purchase. VIP wristbands are valid for unlimited rides all nine days of the Fair. These wristbands are $49 in advance, saving amusement goers $6 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 2018 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, three truck and tractor pulls, and two chuckwagon races.

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.

Blue-ribbon creations at the Clay County Fair

The Clay County Fair Textiles, Crafts, and Arts Department will again showcase blue ribbon creativity in the Creative Living Center at the 2018 Fair, Sept 8-16.

“We always look forward to the wide variety of exhibits brought to the fair, whether these projects are quilts or blown glass,” said Superintendent Terri Chalstrom. “There is always a class for everyone to enter their creations.”

The variety of exhibits can be entered under several different classes including quilting, needlework, woodworking, painting, garment making, and drawing.

Along with showcasing the variety of exhibits, the Creative Living Center will also host the following different demonstrations throughout the span of the Fair: metal crafting, coloring with Crayola on fabric, fun with yoyos, and making a penny rug out of wool.

“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 also 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 2 to 92, 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 15. For those who choose not to pre-register, registration can also occur when entries are accepted on Aug. 31 (Noon-7:00pm) and Sept. 1 (9:00am-3:00pm).

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.

Clay County Fair’s 2018 Free Entertainment Lineup Announced

Alligators, Elvis, bucking bulls, lumber jills, and roving circus stars are just a few examples of the more than 400 shows and $200,000 in entertainment that will be offered FREE to fairgoers during the 2018 Clay County Fair, September 8-16.

“Our goal each year is to provide unique, fun entertainment that will appeal to all ages,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. “We have definitely hit the mark this year with hundreds of performances that will be scattered all through the Fair.”

Below is a complete listing of acts, performance locations, and performance dates. Specific information on each act, as well as performance times, can be found at www.claycountyfair.com.

DISCOVERY STAGE

Awesome Ag Magic Show – Sept. 8-16

Music Technology with Brent Daniels – Sept. 10-14

 

FARMERS BANK STAGE

Hit Ticket (variety) – Sept. 8-10

Eric E. (variety) – Sept. 8-10

Barbary Coast Dixieland Band (Dixieland jazz) – Sept. 11-13

The Looney Lutherans (comedy) – Sept. 11-13

SongBlast (dueling guitars) – Sept. 14-16

Coyote Wild (country) – Sept. 14-16

 

NORTHWEST BANK STAGE

Tim Harmston (comedian) – Sept. 8-10

Kazual (a capella) – Sept. 8-10

Scott Novotny (comedian) – Sept. 11-13

Becky Schlegel Trio (bluegrass/country) – Sept. 11-13

Jerry Frasier (comic magician) – Sept. 14-16

Forever Elvis: The Spirit Lives (Elvis tribute) – Sept. 14-16

 

GROUNDS ACTS

Timber Tina’s “World Champion Lumberjills” – Sept. 8-16

Kachunga and the Alligator Show – Sept. 8-16

 

STROLLING

Farmer Bob – Sept. 8-16

Rock-it the Robot – Sept. 8-16

Allez-OOPS! – Sept. 8-16

Spoon Man – Sept. 8-16

 

COCA-COLA STAGE

Blue Ribbon Showcase (local entertainers) – Sept. 8-16

 

INDOOR/OUTDOOR ARENA

NBHA Barrel Racing – Sept. 8

CCF Bullriding Challenge – Sept. 9

Muttin’ Bustin’ – Sept. 14

Team Roping – Sept. 14

Cowboy Mounted Shooting – Sept. 14

Ranch Rodeo – Sept. 15

 

EVENTS CENTER BALLROOM

KICD Prices are Right – Sept. 9

Veterans Day Program – Sept. 10

Glenn Henriksen’s Salute to Veterans (Patriotic) – Sept. 10

Glenn Henriksen’s Salute to Seniors (Senior Day) – Sept. 11

Dollipops (Kids Day) – Sept. 14

Dr. Temple Grandin Presentation presented by Commstock – Sept. 15

Glenn Henriksen’s Gospel Celebration (Gospel) – Sept. 16

 

OTHER

Chainsaw Artist Jeff Klatt – Sept. 8-16

Boy Scout Experience – Sept. 8-16

Art Barn – Sept. 8-16

Fair Museum – Sept. 8-16

50s & ’60s Classic Car Drive-in – Sept. 9

Pedal Pull – Sept. 14

Science Saturday – Sept. 15

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.

New Competitions added to 2018 Clay County Fair

The Clay County Fair announces nineteen new contests for the 2018 Clay County Fair. Whether you are baker, a tinkerer, a photographer, or an at-home brewer, there is something for everyone to get involved in at this year’s Fair, September 8-16.

“The Fair is a showcase for everyone,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. “And that means we need to provide new opportunities each year for people to show off their skills, talents, and hobbies.”

Town and Country Innovation, formerly the Farm Gadget Show, has had a name change. “We have always welcomed innovative entries from on the farm or off, so we wanted to make the name more reflective of that,” said Superintendent Karen Schwaller. Additionally, the Bucket of Junk Challenge has been added to this year’s list of classes. The challenge allows fairgoers to let their creative juices run wild and create something out of a bucket of junk.

The Oven Products Department makes up a bulk of the new competitions with fourteen new additions this year. Some of these contests include: Janice Nostrom’s Apple Crumb Pie Contest, Clay County Cattlemen’s Spaghetti and Meatballs Contest, and the Clay County Pork Producers’ Shredded Pork Sandwiches Contest.

Oven Products Superintendent Gayle Simons is very excited to introduce the Memorable Collections contest this upcoming Fair too. “This contest is for everyone to take part in, and should bring back lifetime memories whether they are from collecting jewelry or fishing bobbers,” Simons said. “I hope that everyone takes part in this as there is also fives placing’s of collections with a grand total prize of $1,000 among the winners.”

The Photography and Home Wine & Craft Beer Departments will also have new changes this year. For photographers, the new sponsored-class “Pearly Whites” gives exhibitors a chance for a wide interpretation, whether it is a photograph of smiling faces or a vintage white pearl dress and necklace.

Within the Home Wine & Craft Beer Department, there are two new divisions for exhibitors to try a chance to earn a blue ribbon, specialty beer and ale.

Details about these new competitions, as well as hundreds of other blue-ribbon opportunities, can be found at www.claycountyfair.com. Complete exhibitor handbooks with rules, information, and entry procedures are available online or at the Fair Administrative Offices.

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.

Dirt Events take center stage at 2018 Clay County Fair

The Sleep Number Grandstand will showcase five separate dirt events during the nine days of the 2018 Clay County Fair, September 8-16.

A long-standing Fair tradition, Chuckwagon Races will kick off dirt events Saturday, September 8 and Sunday, September 9 at noon on both days. Adult general admission tickets are $15 and child general admission (ages 12 and under) tickets are $10.

The Antique Tractor Pull will begin at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 11, and will be free to all fairgoers. The historical pieces of machinery are always a highlight during the fair.

The IMCA Blue Ribbon Showdown’s hot laps will start at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 12. Adult general admission tickets are $12, child general admission (ages 12 and under) tickets are $6 and pit passes are $25. This will be the final night for IMCA class racing for the 2018 season at the Clay County Fair Speedway. IMCA classes include Hobby Stocks, Sports Mods, Modifieds, Stock Cars and Sports Compacts.

The Outlaw Elite National Truck and Tractor Pull will show its power at 2:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 13. Adult general admission tickets are $20 and child general admission (ages 12 and under) tickets are $10. One ticket is good for both sessions, featuring a total of 11 classes. The Outlaw Truck and Tractor Pulling Association is the top-notch pulling association in the Midwest.

“We are excited to be partnering again with the Outlaw Pulling Association,” said CCF Manager Jeremy Parsons. “Tractor pull enthusiasts will get a great bargain since one ticket will be good for admission to both sessions.”

For the second year, an all-sprint car show will wrap up racing at the Fair on Friday, September 14 with the CCF Sprint Car Triple Header. The race will again feature 410, 360 and non-wing sprint cars. Hot laps will start at 6:30 p.m. with racing at 7:30 p.m. Adult general admission tickets are $25, and children general admission (ages 12 and under) tickets are $10. The IRA was founded in the mid 1960’s were known as winged super modifieds, and later converted to sprint cars and a regional touring schedule.

Tickets for all Dirt Events go on sale Friday, June 1 at 10:00 a.m. Tickets will be 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 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.

Sesame Street Live to take the stage at 2018 Fair

The Clay County Fair announces that “Sesame Street Live! C is for Celebration” will be a part of the SRG Concert Series in the Sleep Number Grandstand at the 2018 Clay County Fair on Saturday, September 15 at 3:30pm and 7:30pm.

An interactive stage production inspired by the iconic, Emmy award-winning television program Sesame Street, the show is considered a celebration for the whole neighborhood where everyone is invited. The excitement from the performance is guaranteed to bring everyone laughter, fun, and furry friends.

“The Fair is a family celebration for all ages,” said CCF Manager Jeremy Parsons. “We realized that our youngest fairgoers, however, did not have the opportunity to enjoy a memorable Grandstand experience so we decided to bring something for them and their parents and grandparents to enjoy.”

From singing and dancing with Elmo to shaking it up with Cookie Monster and being amazed as Super Grover flies, join Elmo, Cadabby, Cookie Monster, and the whole gang for excitement, laughter, and music. Sesame Street Live! C is for Celebration is what family, friends,

and forever memories are all about.

“This top-notch production from Feld Entertainment will create blue ribbon memories for our youngest fairgoers,” said Parsons.

In an attempt to accommodate family schedules, show times will be at 3:30pm and 7:30pm. The J&M Fireworks Spectacular presented by Farmers Bank will follow the 7:30pm performance.

Tickets go on sale Friday, May 25 at 10:00am. Prices for each performance are $25 (general admission stage front seating), $20 (reserved Grandstand seating), and $20 (general admission bleacher seating). Tickets will be 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 Feld Entertainment Feld Entertainment ® is the worldwide leader in producing and presenting live touring family entertainment experiences that bring people together and uplift the human spirit. Properties include Monster Jam ®, Monster Energy Supercross, Disney on Ice, Disney Live!, Marvel Universe LIVE!, Sesame Street Live!, DreamWorks Trolls The Experience (coming Fall 2018) and Jurassic World Live (coming Fall 2019). Across the brand portfolio, Feld Entertainment has entertained millions of families in more than 75 countries and on six continents. Visit feldentertainment.com for more information.

About Sesame Workshop Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit media and educational organization behind Sesame Street, the pioneering television show that has been reaching and teaching children since 1969. Today, Sesame Workshop is an innovative force for change, with a mission to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. We’re active in more than 150 countries, serving vulnerable children through a wide range of media, formal education, and philanthropically-funded social impact programs, each grounded in rigorous research and tailored to the needs and cultures of the communities we serve. For more information, please visit sesameworkshop.org

 

CCF&EC welcomes two new employees

Clay County Fair and Events Center welcomes Phil Poutre, as the new executive chef and Talor Batschelet as the new receptionist for the Fair & Events Center. 

Phil Poutre, executive chef, brings more than 16 years of food industry experience to his position. Poutre grew up in northern Iowa and studied culinary arts and business at the Le Cordon Bleu Institute at Brown College in the Twin Cities. He spent a large portion of his career working for private country clubs in the Naples, Florida area. 

“I really enjoy working in Spencer, and I am proud to be part of such a great team of people,” said Poutre. “I am excited to bring new offerings to the menu in the near future.”

Poutre and his family relocated back to the Midwest. In his spare time, he enjoys woodworking, the beach and riding off-road vehicles.

When you stop at the Fair & Events Center Administative Offices, Talor Batschelet will be the first to greet you as the new receptionist.  Batschelet considers herself a “returnee” to the Fair & Events Center; she originally joined the team in the spring of 2016 as summer office help and was in charge of open class competitive exhibits entry during the 2016 Fair. 

Batschelet, who grew up in Everly, was recently married to her husband Caleb, who works for Clay County as an equipment operator, and farms with his family. The couple lives in Spencer with their cat, Teddy.

“I feel like I have always been a part of the Fair because my grandpa, Jack Schoelerman, used to be on the Clay County Fair Board,” said Batschelet. “I loved that he got golf cart privileges, and I always felt so important when I got to ride around the fairgrounds with him.”

Oak Ridge Boys return to Clay County Fair

The Clay County Fair announces that The Oak Ridge Boys with special guest Jimmy Fortune will perform as part of the SRG Concert Series in the Sleep Number Grandstand at the 2018 Clay County Fair on Monday, Sept. 10 at 7:30pm.

One of the most distinctive and recognizable sounds in the music industry, the four-part harmonies and upbeat songs of The Oak Ridge Boys have spawned dozens of country hits, earned them Grammy, Dove, CMA, and ACM awards, and garnered a host of other industry and fan accolades. Every time they step before an audience, the Oaks bring four decades of charted singles and 50 years of tradition to a stage show widely acknowledged as among the most exciting anywhere. And each remains as enthusiastic about the process as they have ever been.

“Each time The Oak Ridge Boys return to the Fair, their enthusiastic crowd grows,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. “It’s an honor to bring them back this year to help us celebrate Veterans Appreciation Day.”

Jimmy Fortune, tenor for the legendary Statler Brothers, wrote the group’s second #1 hit, “Elizabeth,” and followed that with two more #1 hits – “My Only Love” and “Too Much on My Heart.” When the Statler Brothers retired in 2002, Fortune seized the opportunity to launch a solo career, and continues tour as a solo artist.

Tickets will go on sale Friday, April 20 at 10:00am. Prices are $29 (general admission stage front seating), $29 (reserved Grandstand seating), and $24 (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 (M-F, 9am-4pm).

Blood, Sweat & Tears to close out 2018 Clay County Fair

The Clay County Fair announces that Blood, Sweat & Tears with special guest Journey former lead vocalist Steve Augeri will perform as part of the SRG Concert Series in the Sleep Number Grandstand at the 2018 Clay County Fair on Sunday, Sept. 16 at 6:30pm.

It’s been more than four decades since drummer/producer Bobby Colomby and friends assembled into the genre-crossing sound and style of Blood, Sweat & Tears. The band is most notable for their fusion of rock, blues, pop music, horn arrangements and jazz improvisation into a hybrid that came to be known as “jazz-rock.” Hit songs such as “You Made Me So Very Happy,” “Spinning Wheel,” and “And When I Die,” use the styling of rock, pop and R&B/soul music with big band, while also adding elements of 20th century classical and small combo jazz traditions.

“As always, our goal is something for everyone in the Grandstand at the Fair,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. “This will be a great night of hits for ‘70s rock fans.”

Known for his soaring vocals, gritty tenor and powerful stage presence, Steve Augeri, former lead vocalist of Journey, brings his signature blend of rock and soul into every event singing the songs that made Journey famous including, “Don’t Stop Believing,” “Faithfully,” “Lights” and more.

Tickets will go on sale Friday, March 30 at 10:00am. Prices are $30 (general admission stage front standing), $25 (reserved Grandstand seating), and $20 (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 (M-F, 9am-4pm).

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.

About Spencer Radio Group (SRG) Spencer Radio Group (SRG), based out of Spencer, is made up of three premier radio stations KICD1240 AM, BIG Country 107.7, and MORE 104.9. SRG not only provides a radio avenue to reach a range of audiences, but also partners with online solutions to optimize the success of their clients.

Lee Brice to open 2018 Fair

The Clay County Fair announces that Lee Brice will perform as part of the SRG Concert Series in the Grandstand at the 2018 Clay County Fair on Saturday, Sept. 8 at 7:30pm.

Two time CMA/ACM/Grammy Song of the Year nominee Lee Brice will take listeners to church, school, home and out on a Saturday night. Brice’s wide range of hit singles, include four number one Billboard Hot Country Songs: “A Woman Like You,” “Hard to Love,” “I Drive Your Truck,” and “I Don’t Dance.” He has also charted within the top 10 with “Love Like Crazy,” “Parking Lot Party,” “Drinking Class,” and “That Don’t Sound Like You.” “Love Like Crazy” was the top country song of 2010 according to Billboard, and broke a 62-year-old record for the longest run on the country chart.

Besides his own material, Brice has co-written singles for Garth Brooks, Adam Gregory, Eli Young Band, and Tim McGraw. One of Brice’s compositions, Brooks’ “More Than a Memory,” was the first song ever to debut at number one on the country chart, while another, Eli Young Band’s “Crazy Girl,” was the Billboard Year-End top country song of 2011.

“Lee Brice is one of the most talented songwriters and performers coming out of Nashville today,” said Fair CEO Jeremy Parsons. “This great night of country music will be an event that Fair concert goers won’t want to miss.”

An opening act for this concert will be announced later this spring.

Tickets will go on sale Friday, March 16 at 10:00am. Prices are $43 (general admission stage front standing), $38 (reserved Grandstand seating), and $33 (general admission bleacher seating). Tickets will be available online at www.midwestix.com, by phone at 515-244-2771, or in person at the Clay County Regional Events Center Box Office.

Fair Association plans $600,000 in improvements for 2018

Spencer, Iowa —The Clay County Fair & Events Center will look a little different after $600,000 worth of capital improvement projects are completed prior to the 2018 Fair, September 8-16.

Highlighting the list of projects will be the construction of a new Grandpa’s Barn. This 6,000 square-foot facility will almost double the space of the Fair’s popular ag education attraction.

“We are excited to build a suitable permanent home for one of the Fair’s newest and fastest growing attractions,” said Fair & Events Center CEO Jeremy Parsons. “The new Grandpa’s Barn will be a versatile facility with many options for non-Fair usage.”

2018 will also mark the completion of Centennial Plaza, the new park-like area located on the former location of the Ag Building. The Plaza, which will also feature multiple storm water treatment practices, will incorporate opportunities for people to remember their greatest Fair memories.

A third highlight will be the construction of a permanent Fair Museum in the southwest lobby of the Events Center, which will create a place for people to learn about the history of the Fair year-round.

Other improvements include storm water sewer improvements around the livestock facilities; an exterior overhaul of the Commercial Exhibits Building; remodeling of the restrooms in the Grandstand, Carnival, and Livestock Pavilion; installation of handrails in the Grandstand; addition of water and sewer utilities to a portion of the North Campgrounds; resurfacing of the asphalt on “Food Row” and south of the Grandstand; purchase of new tables, chairs, and projection screens for the Events Center; as well as numerous other upkeep projects.

The projects, which piggyback on $1 million in improvements made in 2016 and 2017, will be funded almost entirely by private donations to the Fair’s recent Centennial Vision capital campaign.

“When we announced our Centennial Vision capital campaign in 2014, our goal was to make the Fair & Events Center a shining jewel for not only the Fair’s Centennial in 2017, but for its next 100 years of use,” said Parsons. “Thanks to hundreds of generous donors, we can continue that effort with these exciting projects.”

These projects, coupled with two planned City of Spencer projects (the expansion of the trail system and the reconstruction of 4th Avenue West), will make the Fair & Events Center and surrounding neighborhood a center of construction in the upcoming months.

“I think people enjoy seeing progress, and the progress will be noticeable when these projects are completed,” said Parsons. “These projects will make the Fair & Events Center a better place for our community.”

8th Annual Family Fest to be held on Saturday, March 3

The Clay County Fair & Events Center and Positively Spencer Youth will host the 8th Annual Family Fest at the Clay County Regional Events Center on Saturday, March 3rd from 9:00am to 2:00pm.

Family Fest is free for all to attend and is open to the public.

Families can enjoy activities for all ages and learn what local businesses, groups and organizations can do for families. This year will include two special performances at 11:00am and 1:00pm by The Dollipops, an engaging, high-energy, highly interactive kids’ show.

“Family Fest is becoming a tradition for many local families,” said Fair & Events Center CEO Jeremy Parsons. “The addition of The Dollipops will make this great family experience even more enjoyable.”

Other features include Safety City, which will allow families to interact with local law enforcement, firefighters and EMT staff; Spencer Hospital’s “glow germ” hand washing activity; the H.E.A.T. Tactical Vehicle; and Spencer Municipal Utilities “touch a truck” station.

ISU Extension and Outreach Clay County returns with exciting activities for 4-H Find-out Day, including bunny hopping and dog obedience courses. Extension will also feature a FLEx Trailer and Bee-Bots.

STEM activities provided by Iowa Lakes Community College offers an exciting and fun way for kids to have a chance to learn about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. There will also be a KidZone sponsored by Spencer Family YMCA that will have a number of activities including the popular Gaga Pit.

The Clay County Fair & Events Center and Positively Spencer Youth would like to thank the sponsors who help make this event a success: Clay County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Farmers Trust & Savings Bank, Spencer Municipal Utilities, Spencer Family YMCA, Community Bank, Iowa Lakes Community College, and Arnold Motor Supply. Visit www.claycountyfair.com for more information.

Tesla set to rock Clay County Fair September 9

Spencer, Iowa —The Clay County Fair announces that Tesla will perform as part of the SRG Concert Series in the Grandstand at the 2018 Clay County Fair on Sunday, Sept. 9 at 7:30pm.

Over the course of their thirty-year career, the critically acclaimed iconic hard rock quintet, Tesla, has sold more than 25 million albums and performed to sold out crowds across the world. The band’s journey kicked into high gear with 1986’s platinum-certified debut, Mechanical Resonance, which solidified them as a household name. With signature anthems such as “Love Song,” “Signs,” What You Give,” “Modern Day Cowboy,” and more, the band remains a mainstay in rock music today.

“As always, our goal with Grandstand concerts at the Fair is to provide something for everyone,” said Fair CEO Jeremy Parsons. “We know this great band – which has been requested by many over the past several years – will create a powerful night of music for our rock fans.”

An opening act for this concert will be announced later this spring.

Tickets will go on sale Friday, March 2 at 10:00am. Prices are $40 (general admission stage front standing), $35 (reserved Grandstand seating), and $30 (general admission bleacher seating). Tickets will be available online at www.midwestix.com, by phone at 515-244-2771, or in person at the Clay County Regional Events Center Box Office.

Lauren Daigle to perform at the 2018 Clay County Fair

Spencer, Iowa — The Clay County Fair announces that Lauren Daigle with special guest Zach Williams will perform as part of the SRG Concert Series in the Grandstand at the 2018 Clay County Fair on Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 7:30pm.

In a short time, Lauren Daigle has made an impressive mark on the Christian music scene. Blessed with a voice that is both smoky and sweet, Daigle has forged a unique sound that combines soulful, heart-in-throat vulnerability with the passionate fire to serve. Her songs are ripe with the kind of compelling lyrics and engaging melodies that invite listeners to draw closer to their creator.

2018 GRAMMY® Award winner Zach Williams comes from a place of humility and honesty as his songs are a direct reflection of God’s redemption in his life. Chain Breaker, Zach Williams’ debut album, has already impacted millions of people with songs such as “Chain Breaker,” Survivor,” My Liberty,” and “Fear is a Liar.”

“Our Tuesday contemporary Christian Grandstand concert is becoming a tradition on Family Night,” said Fair CEO Jeremy Parsons. “This will be an unbelievable night featuring two of the biggest names in Christian music right now.”

Tickets will go on sale Friday, February 16 at 10:00am. Prices are $35 (general admission stage front standing), $30 (reserved Grandstand seating), and $25 (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 (M-F, 9am-4pm).

Lauren Daigle to perform at the 2018 Clay County Fair

The Clay County Fair announces that Lauren Daigle with special guest Zach Williams will perform as part of the SRG Concert Series in the Grandstand at the 2018 Clay County Fair on Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 7:30pm.

In a short time, Lauren Daigle has made an impressive mark on the Christian music scene. Blessed with a voice that is both smoky and sweet, Daigle has forged a unique sound that combines soulful, heart-in-throat vulnerability with the passionate fire to serve. Her songs are ripe with the kind of compelling lyrics and engaging melodies that invite listeners to draw closer to their creator.

2018 GRAMMY® Award winner Zach Williams comes from a place of humility and honesty as his songs are a direct reflection of God’s redemption in his life. Chain Breaker, Zach Williams’ debut album, has already impacted millions of people with songs such as “Chain Breaker,” Survivor,” My Liberty,” and “Fear is a Liar.”

“Our Tuesday contemporary Christian Grandstand concert is becoming a tradition on Family Night,” said Fair CEO Jeremy Parsons. “This will be an unbelievable night featuring two of the biggest names in Christian music right now.”

Tickets will go on sale Friday, February 16 at 10:00am. Prices are $35 (general admission stage front standing), $30 (reserved Grandstand seating), and $25 (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 (M-F, 9am-4pm).

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.

About Spencer Radio Group (SRG) Spencer Radio Group (SRG), based out of Spencer, is made up of three premier radio stations KICD1240 AM, BIG Country 107.7, and MORE 104.9. SRG not only provides a radio avenue to reach a range of audiences, but also partners with online solutions to optimize the success of their clients.

Applications now being accepted for 2018 Clay County Fair Queen Contest

The search is underway for candidates to compete for the title of Clay County Fair Queen. The winner, to be crowned Sunday, April 8, will reign over this year’s Clay County Fair and will also compete for the State Fair Queen title.

Females between the ages of 16 and 21 by August 9, the first day of the 2018 Iowa State Fair, may apply. Candidates must never been married, cannot be a professional model, cannot represent any other organization, and must reside in Clay County or an adjoining county if the majority of her activities are in Clay County. Applicants must be a member of at least one service organization such as 4-H, Girl Scouts or a church group. (Eligibility is not limited to 4-H or FFA membership.)

The Clay County Fair Queen will represent the Clay County Fair at the Flagfest Parade in June, the Iowa State Fair during the queen contest, selected celebrations during the summer, and the Clay County Fair in September. The Fair will be flexible with appearance dates if the queen has educational conflicts during her reign.

Contestants may pick up an application from their school counselor or online at www.claycountyfair.com. The application must be submitted to the Clay County Fair Queen Contest, PO Box 527, Spencer, Iowa 51301 or emailed to info@claycountyfair.com on or before March 19. A committee will then select the finalists who will compete for the title on Sunday, April 8 at the Spencer Community Theatre.

Finalists will be notified by March 26 and will receive more information regarding the next phase of the competition. Candidates will be judged on personality, attitude, awareness, leadership and citizenship, contribution to the community, overall appearance, charm poise and her three-minute or less self-expression portion. All judges’ decisions will be final.

Please call the Clay County Fair (712-580-3000) or email info@claycountyfair.com with any questions.

Arch Allies to headline 4th Annual Rock’n Bac’n Brew’n

Clay County Fair & Events Center announces that Arch Allies will headline Rock’n Bac’n Brew’n at the Clay County Regional Events Center on Saturday, April 7.

Arch Allies, a timeless tribute band centered around making classic rock sing-alongs from the bands Journey, Styx, Boston, REO Speedwagon and Bon Jovi, will take the stage starting at 7:00pm. The band brings non-stop excitement and energy throughout their concerts with the addition of their huge video screen, confetti and light show.

“We know from their recent concerts at the Arnolds Park Green Space, Arch Allies is a band that people could sing along to and have fun with,” said Fair & Events Center CEO Jeremy Parsons. “Arch Allies entertains with three hours of hits by some of the best bands of the 80’s.”

In its fourth year, Rock’n, Bac’n Brew’n will again offer sampling of craft beer and bacon specialties. Sampling for the event will be from 3:00pm – 6:00pm. In addition to samples, the Iowa Beer Bus will be back serving pints from your favorite brewery, and food trucks will be on site serving up your pork-tastic favorites. The bacon-eating contest returns and the inaugural stein-hoisting contest will be held from 6:00pm – 7:00pm.

Tickets, which include 15 sampling choices and admission to the concert, are on sale now. Tickets are $17 and can be purchased at the Events Center Box Office (M-F, 9a-5p), online at www.midwestix.com, or charge by phone 515-244-2771.

Clay County Fair & Events Center receives international recognition

Presented at the Closing Party and Awards Reception on November 29, the Fair received first place recognition in four categories, along with six other awards, at the Annual International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) Convention held this week in Las Vegas.

First place honors included “Best Television Ad,” Best Printed Promotional Material,” “Magazine Ad,” and “Best Single Brochure or Flyer.”

The IAFE awards program allows member fairs to enter competitions based on competitive exhibits, agricultural education and communications. The entries are evaluated and judged by teams of industry leaders. For the awards program, the approximately 1,100 member fairs of the IAFE are split into five categories based on attendance. The Clay County Fair competes in Division 3, which is limited to fairs across the globe with an attendance of 250,000-500,000.

The 2017 Clay County Fair animated television commercial took top honors for “Best Television Ad.” Created by F8 Creative in Spencer, this ad encompasses a full day of Fair fun as shown through characters specially designed for the Fair.

Taking top honors for “Best Printed Promotional Material” was the Centennial history book. The book was created through the vision of the Fair’s Centennial Celebration committee and the efforts of committee members Kristen Hartwig, Dana Metcalf, Braden Falline, and Cindy McGranahan. The committee worked with F8 Creative for design and the Spencer Daily Reporter for printing. Copies of the book were handed out throughout the summer on the Centennial Booster Tour as well as at the 2017 Fair.

The Fair also received first place for “Magazine Ad” featuring the Fair’s Historic Gate A in a “then and now” photo created by the Fair’s in-house marketing department.

The Fair’s final first place award was for “Best Single Brochure or Flyer”. The 2017 Fair brochure, designed in partnership with the Fair marketing department and Web Graphics of Milford, and printed by Web Graphics of Milford, was distributed to 350,000 people throughout Iowa, South Dakota, Nebraska and Minnesota.

“These awards are all due to the hard work of our Board of Directors, staff, sponsors and partners, and volunteers,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. “It is an honor to receive these awards and recognition from our peers in the fair industry.”

Besides the four first place awards, the Fair claimed the following other awards:

– Second place, “Color Newspaper Ad,” Communications Awards

– Second place, “Single Photo of Competitive Exhibit Display,” Competitive Exhibits Awards – Country Wine and Craft Beer Department

– Third Place, “Website,” Communications Awards

– Third Place, “Commemorative Poster,” Communications Awards – Centennial Art Piece, created by Megan Raethler

– Third place, “Del’s Potato Salad Contest – Memorable picnic food traditions at the Clay County Fair,” Competitive Exhibit Awards – Creative Culinary Department

– Third place, “Photo Series of Competitive Exhibit Display,” Competitive Exhibits Awards – Photography Department

About IAFE The IAFE is a voluntary, not-for-profit corporation, serving state, provincial, regional, and county agricultural fairs, shows, exhibitions, and expositions. Its associate members include state and provincial associations of fairs, non-agricultural expositions and festivals, associations, corporations, and individuals engaged in providing products and services to its members, all of whom are interested in the improvement of fairs and allied fields.

2017 Christmas Show Announced

The Clay County Fair & Events Center is pleased to announce the George Maurer Big Band Holiday Show presented by Farmers Bank on Thursday, December 14. The show, which will be held in the Clay County Regional Events Center, will begin at 7:30pm.

“George Maurer has performed multiple times at the Fair on our free stages, and it’s an honor to bring a Fair favorite back to Spencer for a Christmas show,” said Fair & Events Center CEO Jeremy Parsons. “For those looking for an affordable evening full of Christmas music with great musicians and vocalists, this is a night you won’t want to miss.”

Led by pianist/composer George Maurer, the George Maurer Big Band is a 16-piece ensemble that performs traditional jazz to swing, blues to bebop, and a healthy dose of originals, encompassing a range of Christmas favorites from Oh Tannenbaum to Baby, It’s Cold Outside. Just as varied as the great music they perform are the personalities of the musicians who perform it. It is that fun “family” style of relating…to each other, to the audience, to their instruments, that makes up a George Maurer Big Band experience.

Tickets for the concerts go on sale Friday, Nov. 3. Ticket prices for the show are $22 and $17 plus fees. Tickets can be purchased at the Events Center Box Office (M-F, 9a-5p), online at www.midwestix.com, or charge by phone 515-244-2771.

Clay County Fair & Events Center unveils new brand identity at annual meeting

On the heels of its most successful Fair to date, the Clay County Fair & Events Center unveiled a new logo and brand identity at its annual meeting this evening. Celebrating the Fair’s rich history and agricultural roots, the new logo features the Fair’s iconic main gates and the tagline “Rooted In Tradition” for a classic, timeless look.

The new logo will replace all Clay County Fair and Clay County Regional Events Center logos used in the past. The new brand identity tagline “Rooted In Tradition” will be used in addition to the beloved “World’s Greatest County Fair” slogan.

“After the merger of the Clay County Regional Events Center and the Clay County Fairgrounds, we realized a need for a cohesive brand identity solution that would better represent the collective nature of the Fair and the year-round event space that we have in the Clay County Regional Events Center,” said Fair CEO/Manager Jeremy Parsons. “That new identity needed to be timeless to visually carry the Fair and events space forward together for generations to come. We were able to accomplish that by pairing iconic images of the fairgrounds with a tagline that pays homage to our deep agricultural tradition.”

Several other announcements, recognitions, and awards were made as part of the annual meeting.

Fifty employees, representing a combined 490 years of service to the Clay County Fair, received “Fairs of Service” awards. Three individuals, Deb K. Feldman, Richard Hoffman and Linda O’Clair, were honored for 30 years of service.

Representatives from Spencer Community Theatre, Spencer Community Schools, Clay Central-Everly Community Schools, and Sioux Central Community Schools each picked up checks in the amount of $1,168 for their participation in the Fair’s Centennial Birthday Bash on the final night of the Fair, Sept. 17.

According to preliminary information provided by Board Treasurer Dan Skelton, the Fair’s operating expenses were down nearly $200,000 from 2016 due to increased efficiencies in operation as well as a reallocation of the Fair’s entertainment and attractions budget. He also reported that since April of 2016, the Fair has spent $1,000,000 on capital improvements – preparing the Fair for the Centennial as well as the next 100 years of growth.

Nine members were elected to the 27-member Board of Directors for a three-year term – Kathy Anderson, Bob Bendlin, Mike Bryan, Charles Elser, Cindy Kress, Dana Metcalf, VerDon Schmidt, Dave Simington, and Chuck White. Steve Waller was elected to a one-year term, filling the position left open by the resignation of Leon Rodas.

In the Board organizational session held following the annual meeting, Charles Elser was elected as the new chairman, Dave Potratz was elected as vice chairman and Dan Skelton was re-elected as treasurer. Other Executive Committee members elected include VerDon Schmidt, Dave Simington, Dana Metcalf, Bob Bendlin, Gayle Simons, Steve Waller, and Tracy Small. Elser succeeds Dave Simington as Board chairman, who did not seek re-election after serving as chairman since 2005. Long time Executive Committee member David Brugman announced his retirement at the meeting. Brugman has served on the Executive Committee and as horse superintendent since 1994.

Livestock competition deadline approaching

The entry deadline of August 15 is rapidly approaching for exhibitors to register their award-winning sheep, swine, dairy cattle, rabbits, horses and beef cattle for competitive shows at the 2017 Clay County Fair.

“Livestock competition is a cornerstone of the Fair experience,” said CCF Manager Jeremy Parsons.  “We encourage exhibitors to get their entries to us by August 15.”

Daily open class livestock and horse shows are a highlight for many fairgoers each year with 700 exhibitors showing 2,223 open class livestock exhibits in 2016.  Additionally, several hundred 4-H and FFA exhibitors also show at the Fair.

New to this year’s Fair open class livestock competitions is the Hereford swine division. The Hereford swine show will be held on Saturday, Sept. 9.  Changes have also been made to the draft horse show, including added premium money.  The North American Six-Horse Hitch Classic Series, which will feature $10,000 in prize money for the beautiful hitches, will begin at 1:30pm on Saturday, September 16 and Sunday, September 17, giving fairgoers two afternoons to watch the draft horses.

“Our goal is to constantly expand our livestock shows to give more people the opportunity to show,” Parsons said.

Check out the exhibitor handbooks online at www.claycountyfair.com to find the rules and guidelines, as well as online registration, to enter livestock at the 2017 Clay County Fair. Deadline for open class livestock entries is August 15.

Clay County Fair Booster Tour headed to your community

The Clay County Fair Centennial Booster Tour powered by Winnebago is kicking off an 84-city tour of Clay County and eight neighboring counties on Tuesday, August 1 with visits to Sibley, Ashton, Sheldon and Allendorf.

The Booster Tour will continue on Tuesday August 2, with visits to Lake Park, Harris, Ocheyedan and May City.

 The Booster Tour, which is contained in a fully wrapped 28’ Winnebago Era RV, has been traveling throughout the upper Midwest this summer promoting the Centennial Celebration of “The World’s Greatest County Fair” in Spencer, Sept. 9-17.

Visitors to the 84-city Booster Tour will be able to pick up Fair information and free give-away items. Additionally, the first person to find the Booster Tour in each community will win a Fair prize pack. Follow the Clay County Fair on Facebook for times the Tour is setting up at each stop as well as clues to the RV’s location.

“The Clay County Fair has been a northwest Iowa tradition because of the passionate support it receives from its fairgoers,” said CCF Manager Jeremy Parsons. “We thought it would be great to visit our fairgoers in their hometowns and thank them for their support.”

Monday, August 1Sibley, Ashton, Sheldon, Allendorf
Tuesday, August 2Lake Park, Harris, Ocheyedan, May City
Monday, August 7Moneta, Hartley, Melvin, Sanborn, Archer
Tuesday, August 8Primghar, Paullina, Germantown, Calumet, Gaza
Friday, August 11Washta, Quimby, Aurelia, Cherokee
Monday, August 14Marcus, Cleghorn, Meriden, Larrabee
Tuesday, August 15Hanover, Alta, Truesdale, Storm Lake
Wednesday, August 16Sulphur Springs, Newell, Varina, Fonda
Thursday, August 17Palmer, Pocahontas, Rolfe, Plover
Friday, August 18Mallard, West Bend, Rodman, Cylinder
Monday, August 21 Ayrshire, Curlew, Emmetsburg, Ruthven
Tuesday, August 22Terril, Wallingford, Graettinger, Ringsted
Wednesday, August 23 Estherville, Gruver, Maple Hill, Armstrong, Dolliver
Thursday, August 24Superior, Orleans, Spirit Lake, Montgomery
Friday, August 25Okoboji, Arnolds Park, Milford, Wahpeton, West Okoboji
Monday, August 28 Sioux Rapids, Marathon, Albert City, Laurens, Havelock
Tuesday, August 29 Sutherland, Peterson, Linn Grove, Rembrandt
Wednesday, August 30Everly, Royal, Rossie
Thursday, August 31Dickens, Gillette Grove, Greenville, Webb
Friday, September 1Spencer, Langdon, Milford, Fostoria

Come Home and enjoy unique entertainment at the 2017 Fair

This year’s Clay County Fair, Sept. 9-17, 2017, will feature two exciting shows, Disconnected K9’s and “Wild about Monkeys.”

Fairgoers will be in awe of the world champion dogs with their unique tricks and stories, as well as the movie-star monkeys and the educational experiences that come with them.

“One of our free entertainment goals is to provide unique experiences for our fairgoers,” said CCF Manager Jeremy Parsons. “These two great acts are just a portion of the $180,000 in free entertainment we will be offering at this year’s Fair.”

The Disconnected K9’s has been entertaining audiences since trainer Lawrence Frederick discovered the disc dog world in 1989. The team, which has performed all over the world in many different events, consists of several dogs, many of which have champion titles to their name.

One unique factor of the Disconnected K9’s is every dog on the team is a “rescue” dog, meaning they have come from either abandoned, homeless, sheltered, humane society, etc. backgrounds. Frederick hopes this shows audiences that any dog can become incredible if they are well cared for and shown the love and attention they deserve.

With over 25 years of experience in the animal business, Kevin Keith brings an exciting show to not only entertain, but to enrich audience members’ knowledge about relationships and bonds that exist between animal and man. After a decade working at Marine World, Keith created his own company, Monkey Business Productions, and started the show “Wild about Monkeys” alongside Martina Tamelova-Keith. He and his animal family have accumulated an impressive list of credits that include titles from feature films, television, and commercials. In fact, Mickey, one of the stars of the show, starred next to Tom Cruise in the movie “Rock of Ages” as “Hey Man” back in 2012. Along with these features, “Wild about Monkeys” continues to rate among the highest live animal productions in the nation.

Kid’s Day returns to the 2017 Clay County Fair

A long time Fair tradition returns in 2017 with a new twist when Y100 Kid’s Day is celebrated on Friday, September 15 at the Centennial Clay County Fair.

“Kid’s Day is always a highlight of the Fair,” said Fair Manager, Jeremy Parsons. “That highlight becomes even brighter in 2017 with the addition of a new sponsor (Y100) and a free stage show (“Curious George Live”).

CURIOUS GEORGE LIVE! is the can’t miss musical that will entertain the whole family. Three live performances, which are free with gate admission, will be held in the Event Center Ballroom on Sept. 15. Curious George is the adorable and loveable little monkey who takes everyone along on intriguing problem-solving adventures. Live on stage, Curious George swings and flips his way through a fun-filled story that takes the audience on an exciting journey. Both young and old alike will enjoy the tap-your-feet worthy songs and the laugh-out-loud moments with this monkey and his friends as they compete to win the Golden Meatball Contest.

Kids 18 and under are able to enter the Fair for free on Kids Day. A special Kid’s Day wristband (available only at the Fair) will be available as well.

In addition, the Fair will be partnering with Y100 for the chance to win VIP wristbands, which are good for unlimited rides all nine days of the Fair. Beginning August 16, listen to Y100 every Wednesday leading up to the Fair for a chance to win the VIP wristband giveaway.

“Come Home” to the Floriculture Department at the Fair

The Creative Living Center will be a popular location to take in local art, culinary skills, floral designs and a variety of demonstrations at the 2017 Clay County Fair, Sept. 9-17.

The Floriculture department continues to expand and grow in popularity. Fairgoers will enjoy roses, gladioli, dahlias, annuals, perennials, container-grown plants, trees and shrubs daily. As extended last year, the gourd show will once again be a three-day-long event (Sept. 9-11). Decorative gourds can be formed into birdhouses, dolls, musical instruments, jewelry, holiday décor, or lamps to be entered into a competing class.

Educational exhibits have also been added within the gourd category to teach people how to grow and design with gourds. Youth are also encouraged to participate in this expanding category, with two youth classes; intermediate, ages 8-12, and advanced, ages 13-17.

“We are really trying to ‘grow’ the next generation of floral gardeners by encouraging youth participation,” says Victoria Rute, floriculture superintendent.

In addition to gourds, fairy gardens are a main focus for the Floriculture department this year. This is a fun landscaping/scenery category lasting two days (Sept. 14-15) that encourage participants of all ages to show their creativity and use their imagination. Fairy gardens do not necessarily put emphasis on plant material, but must have some live plant material(s) to qualify.

There are still openings in several design classes including decorative niches, pedestals, mantels, and tables. Also, for those still interested in participating, there will be open classes on Sept. 14 for both botanical as well as floral designs. Beginning this year, all plant material used in a design must be listed on a card; either botanical and/or common name will be acceptable.

Check out the exhibitor handbooks to find the rules and guidelines to enter your work at the Clay County Fair.

“Come Home” for the Fun Entertainment on Farmers Bank Stage

The Farmers Bank Stage will bring nine days of quality entertainment to the Clay County Fair Sept. 9-17, just a portion of the $180,000 in free entertainment that will be offered to fairgoers as part of the Fair’s Centennial Celebration.

“The entertainment at the Farmers Bank Stage will be a perfect blend at the 2017 Fair,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. “It will be a mix of great Fair favorites along with unbelievable new acts that will quickly become Fair favorites.”

Fairgoers will enjoy a variety of music and entertainment to kick off the Fair, Sept. 9-11, with performances by the talented a capella group Six Appeal, and Fantastick Patrick, a comic and juggler.

Fantastick Patrick brings something fresh and exciting to the world of live entertainment with a show full of comedy and incredible tricks. From juggling fire, swords, and balls, to an awesome yo-yo act, plate-spinning, and free-balancing massive objects on his face, Fantastick Patrick will entertain all ages.

Six Appeal, a long-time favorite of many fairgoers, is a world class vocal ensemble infused with impeccable comedic timing and the energy and vitality of a rock band. 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.

Sept. 12-14 brings polka and a band of merry sidekicks to tickle your funny bone.

Kris and the Riverbend Dutchmen is an upbeat and energetic polka band headquartered near Mankato, Minnesota. The band blends traditional German, Czech, and Bohemian Polka with a unique style and energy, uncommon in many old time polka bands.

Laugh with ventriloquist David Malmberg and his sidekicks; comedy, voice tossing, story telling, and music will leave you laughing for weeks. The wisecracking antics of the lovable Simon Spencer, America’s grouchiest farmer, Leonard Cribble, and the totally clueless Lars Gunderson, provide one sizzling laugh after another.

Rounding out the entertainment for the Farmers Bank Stage Sept. 15-17 are Jared Sherlock, an award winning illusionist, and the variety duo The Memories.

Jared Sherlock, a comic magician, combines modern magic and clean comedy entertainment. Audience members joining Jared onstage, high-energy comedy juggling, and a contemporary performance of the infamous bullet-catch using a paintball gun are just a few of the things you might encounter during the show.

For more than 40 years The Memories have entertained audiences across the country. With their unique harmonies and great songs, this Wisconsin-based duo is made up of Warren Petryk and Tim Stevens. Another Fair favorite, The Memories continue to deliver a show has been described as “Music, Laughter, and Wonderful Times.”

Entertainment sponsored by Farmers Bank does not end with the free stage performances. The fireworks that light up the night sky after each U.S. Cellular Grandstand concert event would not be possible without Farmers Bank participation.

Make plans now to “Come Home” and save with big deals

Fairgoers have the opportunity to save big through several pre-Fair deals as they make plans to “Come Home” for the Centennial Clay County Fair.

Advance adult gate admission tickets are available for $7, saving fairgoers $3 before the gates open Sept. 9. Tickets can be purchased online, at the Clay County Fair and Events Center Box Office, or at more than 70 locations throughout northwest Iowa and southern Minnesota. To purchase those tickets (or 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 the Events Center Box Office, or at various Godfather’s Pizza locations in Iowa and Minnesota. All-Day wristbands are valid for unlimited rides all day on Saturdays or Sundays for $22 in advance (another $3 savings). VIP wristbands are valid for unlimited rides all nine days of the Fair. The wristbands are $49 in advance, saving fairgoers $6 if purchased in advance. To purchase those 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 2017 Centennial Clay County Fair. Fair Food Bucks can be bought on the Fair’s website or at the Events Center Box Office.

Tickets for all U.S. Cellular Grandstand events 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 the six concerts, two auto races, two chuckwagon races and three truck and tractor pulls.

Enter your blue-ribbon creations at the Fair

The Textiles, Crafts and Art department will again showcase people’s blue ribbon creativity in the Creative Living Center at the 2017 Clay County Fair, Sept. 9-17.

Three new classes of competition, two which are based on the Fair’s Centennial theme of “Come Home,” will also create new opportunities for exhibitors to bring home ribbons, gift certificates, special awards, and cash premiums.

“From glass art to wood carving, there is something for everyone to enter in this department,” said CCF Manager Jeremy Parsons. “We hope everyone who is even the tiniest bit ‘creative’ will enter something in this year’s Fair.”

One of the new competitions is a special “Coming Home” Centennial display, which allows participants to enter past blue-ribbon winning entries. Participants are asked to provide the year that the item entered received a blue ribbon. Other new competitions include a batik fabric quilt class and a theme class for “Coming Home” wallhangings made of fabric.

These new competitions join the hundreds of other classes in the Textiles, Crafts and Art department, which include painting, drawing, quilting, needlework, garment making, and woodworking.

There is no fee to enter any of the competitions and exhibitors do not need to be residents of Clay County. To encourage new exhibitors, there is a first time exhibitor class available.

Check out the exhibitor handbooks to find the rules and guidelines to enter your work at the Clay County Fair. Entries are accepted noon to 7 p.m. on Sept. 1 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sept. 2 or any time before if mailed to the Fair. Every age group, 2 to 92, will find a class tailored for them.

Come Home for The Britins, Country Roads and more on Northwest Bank Stage

The Northwest Bank Stage will bring nine days of quality entertainment to the Clay County Fair Sept. 9-17, just a portion of the $180,000 in free entertainment that will be offered to fairgoers as part of the Fair’s Centennial Celebration.

“Our free entertainment stages have always been popular spots for our fairgoers because of the incredible options that are provided,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. “This year’s Northwest Bank line-up will definitely continue that tradition.”

Beatle “mania” will again hit the Fair Sept. 9-11 with The Britins (Beatles tribute act). One of the Fair’s most requested groups returns to take fairgoers on a trip back to the ‘60s with the sights and sounds recreated with authentic Beatles gear and costumes.

Joining the Britins, Tommy Ryman (comedian) will also perform Sept. 9-11. Ryman earned the title of semifinalist on NBC’s television show “Last Comic Standing.”

The Holy Rocka Rollaz (50’s rock) and Divas Through the Decades (variety) will entertain fairgoers with rock ’n’ roll hits from the 40’s through today Sept. 12-14. These acts will keep visitors rocking to hits from Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, and Johnny Cash to Tina Turner, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Celine Dion, Aretha Franklin, and many more.

Have you ever met a talking dog, a real talking dog? Get ready to meet the funniest character on four legs Sept. 15-17. Todd Oliver and Friends (ventriloquist) is a show enjoyed by audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Audience participation and personalizing each show is a part of Oliver’s proven successful formula.

 

Farm Gadget Show will again be part of 2017 Fair

Exhibitors everywhere are invited to be part of this year’s Farm Gadget Show at the 2017 Clay County Fair.

The show, which started in 2015, began from the “All Around the Farm” page that comes out in the back of every “Successful Farmer” magazine.

“Exhibits don’t have to be something you made (or make) from scratch, but could be something you have improved on to make it work for the job you need done on the farm,” said Karen Schwaller, show superintendent.

Schwaller said farmers tend to be problem solvers. “If farmers can’t find what they need or want, they often go back to their farm shops to make what they need—whether it’s something they build from scraps out of the iron pile or wood pile, or they might make an improvement on an existing piece of machinery to change or improve the way it operates,” she said.

Exhibits can be something as small as a hand-held object, to something that needs to be hauled onto the fairgrounds on a trailer. Whatever the “gadget,” it needs to be something that can be used on the farm. Photo exhibits will also be accepted if the gadget cannot physically be brought to the Fair, but will be used for exhibit purposes only, and will not be eligible for cash prizes.

Farm Gadget Show exhibits are judged on workmanship, design, usefulness, appearance, safety and creative use of resources. The Fair offers $100 for first place in each category, $50 for second place and $25 for third place.

“We have categories for adult and youth individuals, along with groups of adults and groups of youth,” said Schwaller. “Any farm inventions or machine changes/improvements you bring are fair game as long as they follow the guidelines on the Fair’s website.”

Exhibitors don’t have to be farmers, but the exhibit does need to be farm-related. Exhibits do not have to look like they came from the showroom floor, either, Schwaller said.

This year’s show will also showcase old-time farm gadgets as the Fair celebrates its Centennial. Anyone with an old/antique exhibit they would like to bring in for display purposes only is welcome to do so. Those exhibits will be protected in glass cases, and fairgoers will have a chance to guess what the “gadgets” are to win gift certificates to eating establishments at the Fair.

“This new competition area has gotten much traffic in its first two years at the Fair, and fairgoers do seem interested in looking at the exhibits and reading about how they are used,” said Schwaller.

CLICK HERE for an exhibitor handbook and learn more about the show’s guidelines and rules.

CLAY COUNTY FAIR RECOGNIZED FOR CONTRIBUTIONS TO IOWA’S $8.06 BILLION TOURISM INDUSTRY

In honor of National Travel and Tourism Week, the Iowa Tourism Office recently recognized the Clay County Fair for its contributions to the state’s $8.06 billion tourism industry.

National Travel and Tourism Week (May 7-13), now in its 34th year, unites communities across the country to celebrate what travel means to employment, economic growth and personal well-being.

“We value and appreciate our partners for the work they do year-round to enhance the state’s economy through tourism,” said Shawna Lode, manager of the Iowa Tourism Office. “We’re taking this special week to recognize communities, events, attractions, restaurants and lodging facilities in all 99 counties and thank them for those efforts.”

“It was an honor to host Shawna and brainstorm ideas about how we can promote the Clay County Fair and, in turn, Iowa,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. “We take seriously our role as one of the largest tourism events in the state and the impact that it has on Spencer and Clay County.”

Travel is an integral part of the state’s economy because people who visit Iowa annually generate more than $450 million in state tax revenue that pays for programs that benefit residents. The industry also supports the jobs of more than 67,000 Iowans – jobs that can never be outsourced to another location.

Local numbers:

  • 730 jobs are supported by travel and tourism in Clay County
  • Travel and tourism generates $1.34 million in local tax revenue for Clay County

In addition to its benefits for the local economy, travel can also have a positive effect on personal well-being for residents of and visitors to Iowa. Numerous research studies have confirmed the positive health effects of travel and time off, from reducing the risk of heart disease to decreasing depression. Using time off to travel with family is good for everyone, especially our children—kids who travel with their families are more likely to attend college and earn more as adults.

PARSONS RECEIVES INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FAIRS AND EXPOSITIONS CERTIFIED FAIR EXECUTIVE STATUS

Jeremy Parsons of the Clay County Fair in Spencer, Iowa, was honored at the 2017 Management Conference of the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) as a recipient of the Certified Fair Executive (CFE) designation.

The purposes of the CFE program are: a) to provide incentive for professional improvement in fair management; b) to recognize those who achieve the specific standards; and c) to develop professional status in the field of fair management. Certification also honors those members who have demonstrated their abilities through years of service to their fairs, fair associations, communities, and the Association.

He was one of 9 CFE recipients this year that were honored during a ceremony at the IAFE Management Conference in Spokane, Wash.

Parsons has served as CEO/Manager of the Clay County Fair since November 2011. Billed as “The World’s Greatest County Fair” and home to the largest farm machinery and ag equipment show at any fair in the United States, the Clay County Fair draws nearly 330,000 people each year during its nine-day run in September.

He also served as executive director of the Missouri State Fair Foundation, and prior to that, was a high school teacher and coach at Newtown-Harris R-3 in Newtown, Mo.

Parsons, a native of Leon, Iowa, is a 1995 graduate of Central Decatur High School and a 1998 graduate of Southwest Baptist University.

He and his wife, Kelsi, have three sons and live in Spencer.

ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FAIRS AND EXPOSITIONS (IAFE)

The International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE), based in Springfield, Mo., is a voluntary, nonprofit corporation, serving state, provincial, regional, and county agricultural fairs, shows, exhibitions, and expositions. Its associate members include non–agricultural expositions and festivals, associations, corporations, and individuals engaged in providing products and services to its members, all of whom are interested in the improvement of fairs, shows, expositions, and allied fields.