Mannheim Steamroller on-sale announced

Mannheim Steamroller will present the best the holiday has to offer this season. The group will perform live at the Clay County Regional Events Center on Tuesday, November 19. Tickets for the event will go on sale July 26.

“Attending Mannheim Steamroller at the Events Center is a tradition in northwest Iowa,” said Fair & Events Center CEO Jeremy Parsons. “We hope everyone will celebrate ‘Christmas in July’ and buy tickets for this great show.”

Chip Davis, founder and creator of Mannheim Steamroller, will celebrate the 35th Anniversary of his annual Christmas concert tour, making it the longest running consecutive concert tour in the entertainment industry.

This year’s show will feature the original classic Christmas hits from the first Mannheim Steamroller Christmas along with multimedia effects in an intimate setting.  Davis will direct and co-produce Tour performances with MagicSpace Entertainment.

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis is co-produced by MagicSpace Entertainment. The company is headed by Lee D. Marshall, Joe Marsh, John Ballard, and Steve Boulay and has been producing and presenting national tours, Broadway shows, concerts and museum exhibits worldwide for over 35 years. They have an office in Park City, UT. www.magicspace.net

Tickets will go on sale Friday, July 26 at 10:00am. Prices are $74 and $59 (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.

About Chip Davis and Mannheim Steamroller From his longtime home in Omaha, Neb., Mannheim Steamroller creator and founder Chip Davis makes innovative music inspired by the sounds of another age.  This former teacher and jingle writer founded the music industry’s largest independent recording label, American Gramaphone, in 1974 when industry executives said Davis’ innovative 18th century instrumental rock sound would never sell.  In addition to a Grammy Award, Davis is largely credited with establishing the New Age music category.

His first Christmas album in 1984, revolutionized the making and marketing of holiday music,  the album’s success made Christmas records a “must do” for all music artists.  With more than 29 million Christmas albums sold, Davis is the #1-selling Christmas artist of all time with Elvis coming in at a distant 17 million holiday records sold.  Having 19 gold, 8 multi-platinum and 4 platinum-certified records, Davis is among an elite group of music artists with this number of RIAA records. He is also one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the music industry, offering a rich array of lifestyle products on www.mannheimsteamroller.com including hot chocolate, food, apparel and novelty items.  His latest achievement is creating a cutting edge psychoacoustic technology that is being used in major medical institutions such as Mayo Clinic.

Tradition continues on the Northwest Bank Stage

Spencer, Iowa — The Northwest Bank Stage will feature six different quality acts at the nine-day Clay County Fair, Sept. 7-15. This is just a portion of the $200,000 in free entertainment offered to fairgoers.

“Fairgoers have come to expect top-notch free entertainment when they attend our Fair,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. “That expectation will be met again this year with nine unbelievable acts on the Northwest Bank Stage.”

An instrumental and singing group that transports their audience to the streets of New Orleans and the night clubs of Paris, Miss Myra & The Moonshinershave a fresh take on 1920’s and 1930’s jazz and blues classics, Sept. 7-9.

Joining Miss Myra and the Moonshiners will be The Sound Exchange, an a capella group that does it all. They sing, dance, and are extremely entertaining to watch. The band brings dazzling harmonies and wise-cracking audience interaction together in a whirlwind experience.

John Bush, a stand-up comedian, will hit the stage Sept. 10-12. Bush has spent his life on the stage making people laugh with him, at him, and themselves. With him on the stage he will have a “tool box” filled with impressions and characters.

Fairgoer favorite and 50’s band The Holy Rocka Rollazwill be joining Bush with their authentic trip back through the years. The band holds a prestige of providing nothing but pure, early American rock ‘N’ roll.

Starting on Sept. 13 and rounding out the Fair will be comic juggler Fantastick Patrick. Patrick brings an exciting and fresh take with a full show of tricks and comedy. His shows are like no other, and he is an entertainer with a ton of crowd interaction and hilarity.

Joining Fantastick Patrick the final three days of the Fair is Billy & Elton: The Hits, A Tribute Concert by Phil Thompson. This tribute concert, which is new to the Fair, will sing and play some of Billy Joel’s and Elton John’s biggest hits for the past several decades.

Enter your blue ribbon textiles, crafts, and arts at the Clay County Fair

The Clay County Fair Textiles, Crafts, and Arts Department will again showcase memorable creativity in the Creative Living Center at the 2019 Fair, Sept 7-15.

“We always look forward to the wide variety of exhibits brought to the fair, and this year there are a few new changes to the sponsors,” said Superintendent Terri Chalstrom. “Quilting on Main in Pocahontas, Warm Company of Lynnwood, Quilt n Kaboodle of Cherokee, and Quilters Portable of Mallard are all new sponsors for this year’s Fair.”

The 2019 Fair will also exhibit a special feature class with the theme of “pigs” as Iowa raises more pigs than any other state. The challenge of this class is to showcase an entry of pigs within any class of the department.

The variety of exhibits can be entered under several different classes including needlework, painting, crochet, quilting, patchwork, garment making, woodworking, and computer generated work.

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

“With new sponsors and a new layout, the Textiles, Crafts and Arts Department will have a fresh look at the 2019 Fair,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. “We hope everyone enters their blue ribbon best.”

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

Check out the exhibitor handbook online at www.claycountyfair.com or pick one up at the Fair Administrative Offices to find the rules and guidelines to enter your work at the Fair. Pre-registration for all exhibits is encouraged and can be completed online, by mail, or in person by August 15. For those who choose not to pre-register, registration can also occur when entries are accepted on Aug. 30 (Noon-7:00pm) and Aug. 31 (9:00am-3:00pm). No entries will be accepted after 3:00pm on Aug. 31.

Picture a blue ribbon at the 2019 Clay County Fair

With new themes and a new sponsor, now is a perfect time to begin sorting through all of the photos you have taken since the 2018 Fair and enter them in one of the many photography competitions at the 2019 Clay County Fair.

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

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

“Each year we get more entries, and the quality and interpretation of our themes is better every year,” said Dana Metcalf, superintendent of the Photography Department.

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

Sponsored divisions include “Proud to be a Fan” (Proud division sponsored by VW Docks of Spirit Lake); “Standing on the Edge” (Concepts division sponsored by Campbell, Higgins, and Mummert, P.C.); “Up in Smoke” (Photojournalism division sponsored by the Spencer Daily Reporter); “Seasons” (Beautiful Iowa division sponsored by Clay Mutual Insurance); “Protecting our Wildlife” (Conservation division sponsored by Clay County Soil Conservation Service); and “Sports” (Action division sponsored by Fox, Boyd, Sailer, & Shiver Dental Center).

Metcalf also mentioned that the Photography department is still looking for a sponsor of the Objects division. The theme for this year is “Flags.” Sponsors are open to all and every business and group.

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 Photography Center on Aug. 30 (Noon-7:00pm) and Aug. 31 (9:00am-3:00pm).

Home Wine & Craft Beer Department to include more prizes at 2019 Clay County Fair

The 2019 Clay County Fair Home Wine and Craft Beer Department will include 15 divisions in the wine category and eight divisions in the craft beer category.

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

Sponsors include Doll Distributing, HyVee, The Hen House, Northern Brewer, and West O Beer, and prizes will include cash premiums, gift certificates, growlers, and beer signs.

All exhibitors planning to enter a project within this department must enter two bottles of wine or craft beer. This allows for the entry to be judged and displayed during the nine days of the Fair, Sept. 7-15.

“We know how popular home brewing and homemade wine is today,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. “The addition of new classes in this department will give even more fairgoers to opportunity to showcase their best at the Fair.”

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 Creative Living Center on Sept. 3 1:00pm-7:00pm).

Floriculture Department rooted in tradition at Clay County Fair

The tradition continues at the Clay County Fair with the Creative Living Center being a location that hosts local art, culinary creations, floral designs, and different demonstrations, Sept. 8-16.

A portion of that blue ribbon tradition is the Floriculture department, which catches fairgoer’s attention with roses, gladioli, dahlias, annuals, perennials, container-grown plants, trees and shrubs daily.

Along with these plants, the gourd show will take place Sept. 8-10. The decorative gourds can be formed into birdhouses, musical instruments, holiday décor, dolls, lamps, or jewelry and can be entered into this competitive class.

“We are excited to have the educational exhibits in the gourd category back this year,” said Floriculture Superintendent Victoria Rute. “This allows exhibitors to teach other people how to grow and design with gourds.”

The department is unique because there are different exhibits displayed throughout the nine days of the Fair. The opening show days, Sept. 8-10, will include gladioli, trees and shrubs, and gourds. Roses, annuals and perennials will be displayed on Sept. 11-12. The open class show will take place on Sept. 13-14 along with the container-grown plants. Ending the 2018 Fair will be dahlias on Sept. 15-16.

Along with educational exhibits, there are exhibits and categories for all ages and experience levels. “You do not need to be a member of the garden club to exhibit in the Floriculture Department,” said Rute.

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. Every age group, from age 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. All exhibits will be received beginning at 6:00pm the day before the show until 10:30am on the first day of the show.

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.

Tradition with fun interactions on Farmers Bank Stage

The Farmers Bank Stage will bring six different acts to the nine-day Clay County Fair, Sept. 8-16. This is just a portion of the $180,000.00 of free entertainment that will be offered to fairgoers.

“From comedy to Dixieland jazz to music from the past 60 years, the Farmers Bank Stage will have something for everyone,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons.  “The tent in southwest corner of the fairgrounds will again be a popular spot to see great free entertainment.”

New to the Clay County Fair this year is Hit Ticket (Sept. 8-10), a tribute group focusing on the greatest music from the past six decades. The group is composed of four sensational vocalists, and the audiences will be astonished by their high energy choreography and anthems, amazed by their harmonies, and refreshed with their clean humor.

Another new act to the Fair is Eric E., a comedian and stellar guitarist who will put on a great show for all attendees. Providing an interactive, variety-filled, and high energy show, his skill is irresistible and the audience will be cheering from Sept. 8-10.

A returning favorite Sept. 11-13 is the Barbary Coast Dixieland Band. A Dixieland jazz band that has been putting performances on since 1967 and was inducted into the 2001 Minnesota Music Hall of Fame, this group of gentlemen will be sure to put on a show bringing fairgoers to their feet and keeping a beat.

The Looney Lutherans will also appear Sept. 11-13.  A definite Fair favorite, this trio of wacky gals is working hard to promote their new cookbook. With a mixture of comedy, audience interactions, and music, these ladies will share wisdom on how to live a long healthy life.

On the Fair’s final weekend (Sept. 14-16), be sure to check out SongBlast.  These two dueling guitars will deliver a fast-paced, interactive experience with a non-stop show of sing-alongs and comedy.

Along with SongBlast is Coyote Wild, a country rock band. The show will feature a blend of talent and creativity showcasing music from the genres of classic rock and contemporary country. Coyote Wild will be sure to put on a fast paced and moving show to make the audience want to stand up, sing, and dance.

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.

Special Day highlights for the 2018 Clay County Fair

No matter who you are, there is something for everyone at the 2018 Clay County Fair, Sept. 8-16.

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

Monday, Sept. 10 is Veteran’s Appreciation Day starting with a parade at 10:00am and a special program at 11:00am. All veterans and active duty military will receive free admission to the Fair, as a thank you for their service to our Nation. In addition, there will be a special patriotic music program at 2:00pm by Glenn Henriksen in the Events Center Ballroom.

On Tuesday, Sept. 11, fairgoers 65 and older can enjoy $6.00 admission on Senior Day sponsored by Telco Triad Community Credit Union. Special activities include a parade of antique tractors, Glenn Henriksen’s “Salute to Seniors” concert, the antique tractor pull, and The Apron Lady.

That night (Sept. 11), Family Night sponsored by the Spencer Chamber of Commerce features free admission for families of all ages after 5:00pm.

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

Wednesday, Sept. 12 is Disability Awareness Day. The Fair welcomes disabled persons from throughout the region with events planned for them thanks to the Pony Express Riders, Smiths Concessions, GoldStar Amusements, and Shriners. Persons who have pre-registered for the day can participate in carnival rides and a special luncheon.

The Iowa Corn Growers Association brings Iowa Corn Day on Thursday, Sept. 13 with exhibits and presentations in Central Park showcasing the importance of this crop in Iowa and beyond. The day is also Farmer Appreciation Day presented by LG Seeds, and features the Outlaw Elite National Truck and Tractor Pulls.

Friday, Sept. 15 is Y100 Kids Day and Iowa Dairy Day.  Kids 18 and under are admitted free all day and can by a special all-day wristband for unlimited rides on the GoldStar Amusements Midway at the price of $23.00. Other activities include free performances by the Dollipops, a pedal tractor pull, and Muttin’ Bustin’. Sponsored by the Western Iowa Dairy Alliance, dairy day lets fairgoers learn about the importance of the dairy industry in Iowa through different displays and activities at Central Park.

Iowa Lakes Community College presents Science Saturday on Sept. 15. All ages can participate in the hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities and experiments in various locations throughout the Fair.

The final Sunday of the Fair (Sept. 15) is Last Chance Sunday. On this day admission is half-price ($5.00 for adults and $2.00 for juniors), which will give all fairgoers one last day to experience the Fair.

About The Clay County Fair & Events Center Rooted in Tradition, the Clay County Fair 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.

Tradition with a new twist to be featured on the Northwest Bank Stage

The Northwest Bank Stage will feature six different quality acts at the nine-day Clay County Fair, Sept. 8-16. This is just a portion of the $180,000 in free entertainment offered to fairgoers.

While the schedule and variety of acts (three new acts and three returning favorites) is a fair tradition, the location of the Northwest Bank Stage will be new.  The stage will be located in the new Centennial Plaza.

“We are excited to feature top-notch entertainment in a new venue,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons.  “Fairgoers will be able to enjoy a wide variety of entertainment in a new setting.”

A stand-up comedian using a creative blend of “out there” one-liners and well-written jokes, Tim Harmston will make his audience think outside the box Sept. 8-10.  The show that is goofy, smart, and uses side effects allows for edgy entertainment with respectful material.

Joining Harmston will be Kazual, an a cappella group that does it all. They sing, dance, and are extremely entertaining to watch. This family band mixes the sounds of hip hop, pop, and R&B to create a mind blowing experience for their audience.

Scott Novotny, another stand-up comedian, will hit the stage Sept. 11-13. Over his thirty years of being a professional, he has made people laugh from coast to coast. Using clean and physical comedy he sure knows how to make an audience chuckle, otherwise known as “getting the job done.”

Songstress Becky Schlegel will be joining Novotny with her original music rooted in genres of classic country, bluegrass, folk, and thoughtful spirit. She has been known to take her audiences on a musical journey by having her voice float between whispers and soars of the highest music quality.

Starting on Sept. 14 and rounding out the Fair will be magic comedian Jerry Frasier. Frasier is known for bringing his acts to the next level with making audience members the stars of the show. From close ups to stage illusions, there will be smiles and giggles at this unforgettable free stage entertainment.

Joining Frasier the final three days of the Fair is Forever Elvis: The Spirit Lives. This tribute band will make the audience feel as if it were Elvis himself on the stage.

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.

Red, white, dark or light exhibits take on the 2018 Clay County Fair

The Clay County Fair Home Wine and Craft Beer Department is excited for another year of exhibits in the Creative Living Center. With a successful first year, the craft beer division will return with new additions.

With the two new classes to the craft beer division – ale and specialty – there are now a total of eight different classes within the division. Along with the addition, Superintendent Sharon Simington has been working diligently on finding sponsors and prizes for exhibitors.

“I am excited for more entries in both the craft beer and home wine categories,” said Simington.  “There are good prizes from local businesses as well.”

Two of the prizes that will be awarded are a $125 gift certificate from The Hen House and three growlers from West O Beer.

All exhibitors planning to enter a project within this department must enter two bottles of wine or craft beer. This allows for the entry to be judged and displayed during the nine days of the fair, Sept. 8-16.

“We know how popular home brewing and homemade wine is today,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons.  “The addition of new classes in this department will give even more fairgoers to opportunity to showcase their best at the Fair.”

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 Creative Living Center on Sept. 4 (1:00pm-7:00pm).

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.

Learn culinary secrets from the best at the 2017 Fair

“Come Home” for special demonstrations in the Creative Living Center during the 2017 Fair.

Adam Sorenson from Dakota Grills will present ideas for second day meals with “Hoping for Leftovers – Pulled Pork, Canadian Bacon, Butternut Fish” on Tuesday, Sept. 12 at 3:00 p.m.

Join Margo Sievers and the Chefferettes from Sioux Rapids for an entertaining culinary experience of “Ya’ll Come Home Now Ya Hear” on Wednesday, Sept 13.

Finally, on Thursday, Sept 14, Chef Suzanne Bicknese will present “Salads from the 1920’s – Caesar Salad, Aspic, & Waldorf Salad”.

Gayle Simons, superintendent, invites fairgoers of all ages to not only learn from the best, but to show off their own culinary skills with one of our 14 new baking contests, “We’ve got a contest for everyone this year, from our famous Cinnamon Roll Contest to fried chicken and potato salad, as well as youth contests; we encourage everyone to enter something in this year’s Centennial Fair.”

For more information on these contests as well as other competitions at the Fair, please visit www.claycountyfair.com to download an exhibitor handbook.

FarmHer to be a part of Clay County’s Centennial Celebration

FarmHer, an organization dedicated to shining a light on women in agriculture, will be at the 100th Clay County Fair supporting a different perspective of agriculture; the women.

The FarmHer display will be featured at the Centennial Plaza, September 14-17. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about the important roles women play in agriculture through FarmHer images displayed on a 36-foot trailer, screens airing FarmHer images and short video clips from the award-winning FarmHer TV series as well as FarmHer merchandise. The FarmHer theme for the 2017 Clay County Fair is “Are you a FarmHer fan?” and anyone who signs up for the FarmHer mailing list will receive a free folding fan, featuring a FarmHer photograph. It wouldn’t be a fair without temporary tattoos, and visitors to the trailer will have the opportunity to wear home their FarmHer pride.

“Being an Iowa-based organization, we are proud to be a part of not only the largest county fair in the nation, but its 100th year celebration,” says Marji Guyler-Alaniz, Founder and President of FarmHer. “We shared FarmHer at the fair two years ago and are excited to be back to share all of the new and exciting aspects of FarmHer, including the TV show, in our home state of Iowa.” To find out more, visit www.farmher.com.

About FarmHer: FarmHer was founded in 2013 to change the image of agriculture, depicting women taking an active role in the industry through photographs and by sharing their stories. It quickly became clear that women in agriculture not only appreciated FarmHer, but they needed it. And they asked for more. Today, FarmHer has grown into much more than just a gallery of images; it is changing the way people perceive a farmer. The brand includes a national, award-winning weekly television show, events for women around the country, merchandise and home goods. Women are rising to the forefront of agriculture and FarmHer is excited to be a driving force behind this effort.