Special Day highlights for the 2019 Clay County Fair

No matter who you are, there is something for everyone at the 2019 Clay County Fair, Sept. 7-15.

“While every day at the Fair is full of fun activities, there are some activities that only happen once on a special day,” 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. 9 is Veteran’s Appreciation Day sponsored by Okoboji Motor Company. The day starts with a parade at 10:00am and a special program to follow 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. 10, fairgoers 65 and older can enjoy $6.00 admission on Senior Day. Special activities include a parade of antique tractors, Glenn Henriksen’s “Salute to Seniors” concert, the antique tractor pull, and The Apron Lady.

That night (Sept. 10), Family Night sponsored by the Spencer Chamber of Commerce features free admission for families of all ages after 5:00pm.

Wednesday, Sept. 11 is Disability Awareness Day. The Fair welcomes disabled persons from throughout the region with events planned for them thanks to the Pony Express Riders, GoldStar Amusements, and The Shriners. Persons who have pre-registered for the day can participate in special activities.

The Iowa Corn Growers Association brings Iowa Corn Day on Thursday, Sept. 12 with exhibits and presentations in Central Park showcasing the importance of this crop in Iowa and beyond. The day is also Farmer Appreciation Day presented by CFE, Cooperative Farmers Elevator, and features an Iowa Soybean Association panel discussion and Orion Samuelson presented by DeKalb & Asgrow.

Friday, Sept. 13 is Y100 Kids Day and Iowa Dairy Day. Kids 18 and under are admitted free all day and can buy a special all-day wristband for unlimited rides on the GoldStar Amusements Midway at the price of $25.00 ($22 in advance). Other activities include 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 and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach present Science Saturday on Sept. 14. All ages can participate in the hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities and experiments in various locations throughout the Fair, including Central Park, Dish Plaza, Centennial Plaza.

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

Education and Entertainment add to the Fair fun for all ages

Fun for everyone is always the focus at the Clay County Fair, September 7-15.

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 2019 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 local performers as part of the “Homegrown Talent Series” on the Art Barn Stage at 1:00pm. Performers scheduled include Prarieland Troubadours (Sept. 7), Chris and Allison Oyler (Sept. 8), Jessie James Band (Sept. 9), Robert Johnson (Sept. 10), The House Wrens (Sept. 11), Carter Nath (Sept. 12), DJ Myra Money (Sept. 13), Greg Taylor (Sept. 14), and LD3 (Sept. 15).

The always popular Grandpa’s Barn will include a new edition this year with a free range pasture for the animals to roam during the Fair. Baby animals, growing crops, 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 live animals, hands-on activities, and more. Naturalist programs will be held daily at 10:00am and 2:00pm with activities involving, reptiles, amphibians, bison, mammals, turtles and more. There will be a live bald eagle on Monday, Sept. 9 and Friday, Sept. 13 at 11:00am and 1:00pm. The Great Plains Zoomobile will also be at the Fair on Sunday, Sept. 8 and Saturday, Sept. 14 at 1:00pm and 2:00pm. Along with the Zoomobile on Sunday, Sept. 8, there will be an Insect Zoo from 10:00am until 12:00pm.

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.

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.

Clay County Fair Sprint Car Triple Header features IRA, UMSS Winged & UMSS Traditional Sprint Cars

The long-standing tradition of dirt track racing during the Clay County Fair in Spencer, Iowa will continue this year as the Bumper to Bumper Interstate Racing Association (IRA) and both divisions of the Upper Midwest Sprint Series (UMSS) take to the track at Clay County Fair Speedway on Friday, September 15. Billed as “The World’s Greatest County Fair,” the Clay County Fair is celebrating its Centennial this year.

For the Bumper to Bumper IRA Sprint Series, the event will mark their first visit to the three-eights-mile Clay County Fair Speedway. The series was scheduled to race at the track in 2010, but that event fell to rain. The IRA has raced in the state of Iowa in the past at a number of tracks, including earlier this season at 34 Raceway in West Burlington, Iowa, where Paul Nienhiser was victorious.

Leading the way for the IRA this season is Bill Balog, the multi-time series champion. Balog, who hails from North Pole, Alaska, but now calls Wisconsin home, has racked up 10 victories thus far in 2017 and also leads the series in top-five and top-10 finishes.

Scotty Thiel is currently second in the standings, on the strength of four wins. Scotty Neitzel, who is still chasing his first win of the season, is currently third in points. Kyle Marten, who picked up his first-career series win earlier this season, is fourth in points. Jeremy Schultz, the defending IRA champion, rounds out the current top-five.

Also following the tour this season is Blake Nimee, who is sixth in points, Steve Meyer, who sits seventh in the standings, Russel Borland, who is eighth, Dave Uttech, who holds down the ninth spot in points and Wayne Modjeski, who rounds out the top-10.

A strong contingent of drivers from the state of Iowa are also expected to take on the IRA competitors, including Terry McCarl, who won with the IRA at the Dodge County Fairgrounds in Wisconsin back in July. A number of drivers who compete weekly at the famed Knoxville Raceway and Jackson Motorplex are also expected to be in attendance.

Leading the way for the Upper Midwest Sprint Car Series (UMSS) will be Chris Graf, from Glencoe, Wisconsin, who has a pair of wins this season. Kevin Bradwell is currently second in the UMSS standings, followed by Reed Allex, Chase Viebrock and Jared Goerges.

On the UMSS Traditional Sprint Car Series side, Mike Mueller is the point leader on the strength of three victories. Bryan Roach is currently second in the standings, with Jimmy Kouba, who also has three wins, in third. Scott Brandt, who has one win sits fourth in points, with Jake Kouba, who has two victories, rounding out the current top-five. A total of nine different drivers have won with the series this year.

A full race program awaits the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprints, beginning with hot laps, followed by time trials, heat races, a B-main and an A-Feature event. For both divisions of the UMSS, hot laps will open their night, followed by heat races, a B-main (if needed) and an A-Feature event.

Tickets for the Clay County Fair Sprint Car Triple-Header on Friday, September 15 at Clay County Fair Speedway can purchased online at http://www.midwestix.com/organizations/clay-county-fair and at the track on race day. For ticket information, visit www.ClayCountyFair.com.

Get in the Fair Spirit early

It’s time to get in the Centennial Fair spirit with last minute savings and kick off celebrations prior to the opening of the Clay County Fair on Saturday, Sept. 9.

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 Grandstand Ticket 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 gate tickets will also be sold from the Historic Gate A Towers on Thursday and Friday, Sept. 7 and 8.

Advance carnival wristbands for the GoldStar Amusements Midway are available online, at the Grandstand Ticket 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 all 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 Fair. Fair Food Bucks can be bought on the Fair’s website or at the Grandstand Ticket Office.

Everyone can get a taste of the Fair ahead of time by attending “Fair on the Square” Thursday, Sept. 7 from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. This special Centennial “thank you” to Clay County will take place on the Courthouse lawn with free food for the first 1,000 people.  In addition, there will be samples of Fair food along with GoldStar Amusements and free entertainment.

The food contest grabs hearts and stomachs of fairgoers

Back by popular demand, “The World’s Greatest County Fair Food” Contest returns for its second year at the Clay County Fair, September 9-17. Out of 31 new foods at the Fair this year, the contestants have been narrowed down to five finalists.

“We knew we had to bring ‘The World’s Greatest County Fair Food’ Contest back when we saw how popular it was last year,” said CCF Manager Jeremy Parsons.  “I know fairgoers will enjoy all of the great new foods at the Fair this year.”

The five finalists (and the vendor) are as follows:

Waffle Chix (Waffle Chix) is a chicken tender skewered on a stick, baked inside of a waffle.

Thanksgiving Balls (Eat It) are a combination of an abundance of traditional vegetables (carrots, potatoes, corn, celery and sweet potatoes) with Iowa grown turkey – all rolled into a ball, breaded with an herb infused stuffing, deep-fried and drizzled with their homemade sweet ‘n spicy cranberry sauce.

Cookie Dough Kabobs (Dough Boys) are made with safe to eat cookie dough.

Hot Tenderloin Sandwich (Terry Town Enterprises) includes diced breaded tenderloin on bread with mashed potatoes smothered in pork gravy.

Breakfast Quesadillas (Regals Concessions) are made with sausage/egg, bacon/egg, steak/egg, or cheese/egg.

The winner will be announced at the contest judging, which will be held on Saturday, Sept. 9 at 2 p.m. in Central Park.

Other new foods at the Fair include:

Mini donuts with optional side to donuts of chocolate sauce or strawberries (J & F Mini Donuts)

Homemade mac-n-cheese, variety of different flavors (Spencer Dream Center)

Hostess Deep Fried Twinkies (Gobblestop Turkey Shop, LLC)

Jumbo stuffed lobster tots; jumbo stuffed buffalo chicken tots; jumbo stuffed Reuben tots; jumbo stuffed bacon cheddar tots (McLellan’s Concessions, Inc.)

Ollie’s Crab Fritters, made-from-scratch crab fritters with dipping sauce (Regals Concessions)

Quesadillas with homemade salsa filled with chicken, beef, steak, pulled pork, bacon and cheese; nachos topped with beef, nacho cheese, jalapenos, black olives, green onion and sour cream (Regals Concessions)

Cinnamon roasted nuts – almonds, pecans, cashews (Norman Phillips)

Waffle Stix – choice of bratwurst, breakfast sausage, Snickers or MilkyWay skewered on a stick, baked inside a waffle (Waffle Chix, LLC)

Not Your Mommas Taco – deep-fried flour tortilla, layered with tender, shredded, perfectly seasoned turkey and our fresh, home-made veggie slaw, topped with a sweet mango salsa (Eat It)

Pig wings – tender, slow-smoked pork on bone, covered in a sweet and spicy BBQ glaze (Eat It)

Safe to eat cookie dough – create your own dough, cookie dough shakes, blizzards, dough Klondike bars and a gluten free cookie dough (Dough Boys)

Iced coffees, banana bread and zucchini bread (Colonial Nut Roll Company)

Danish kringles, Danish letters, Danish krispies and cream horns (Village Café)

The 2016 winners of the “World’s Greatest County Fair Food” Contest, Spam Curds.

New Vendors join to celebrate the Fair

There will be 46 new additions to the vendor list this year joining the hundreds of favorite commercial exhibits and concessions at the Clay County Fair, Sept. 9-17.

“With nearly 500 vendors, the Clay County Fair will again be an ultimate shopping destination providing everything you need for home and farm,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons.

Some of the new vendors include the following:

Okoboji Canning Company (Spencer) offers over 100 different flavors of salsas, sauces, dressings, preserves, and ketchups, as well as their best-selling butt rubs. They are sure to offer something to satisfy everyone’s taste buds.

Pawsitively Stunning Boutique (Whiting, Iowa) offers something for every stylish pet including pet collars, leashes, bows, flowers, bandanas, goodie bags, pet clothing, harnesses.

 Pressed Jewelry (Spencer) offers hand-stamped metal jewelry inspired by songs, quotes, Scriptures, family, and the Midwest. In addition to jewelry, they will have equally inspired and designed locally printed T-shirts.

Pasta of the Prairie (Marion, Iowa) offers flavored pasta noodles, pasta salad mixes and pasta based soups in numerous flavors.

Krull’s Creations (Spencer) offers handcrafted wooden items: cutting boards, cheese boards, cheese knives, pens, pepper mills, salt mills, wine corkscrews, corkscrew-bottle stopper combo, bottle stoppers, barbecue food flippers, seam ripper, bracelet assistants, and shaving sets.

Other new vendors include:

Corn-Fed Cricket

Sleep Number

Western Iowa Tourism

DISH

Granny B’s Cookie Co.

Lee Unlimited

Uncommon USA. Inc.

2 Crazy Ladies

Cutco

Becker Ag Sales

Boss Supply, Inc.

Carey’s Electronics

Coffee Queen Coffee

Fire Rocks

Southside Monuments, LLC

USM Wear Technologies, LLC

Aqua Lube of Kentucky

Eric’s Elite Guide Service

Gideons International

S&S Innovations

BigIron Auction Company

Energy Wise Outdoor Furnaces

Farm and Home Services

JUG Waterers

Legacy Steel Buildings

Steier Ag Aviation

Breezy Mills

Midwest Mowers and Accessories

Windmill Savers

List Ventures

Underwater Solutions, LLC

Greg’s Repair

Lone Star Enterprises, Inc.

Meridian Manufacturing, Inc.

JD Custom Coatings

Triple S Custom, LLC

Opening in 2017, our latest commercial exhibits building, the Tower Gate Pavilion will feature all new vendors.

Strolling entertainment and local acts take center stage at Fair

New and returning acts will entertain audiences in the KICD Courtyard and around the fairgrounds at the Clay County Fair, Sept. 9-17.

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

Matt’s Family Jam also returns to the Fair with their variety of genres, including rock’n’roll, jazz, swing, country and gospel with tight family harmonies. Together they encourage families to have fun and enjoy building relationships and performing for audiences at fairs and festivals all over. They will be riding around the fairgrounds once again on their Beat Bus rolling stage and performing at 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Fairgoers will be amazed by the award winning eco-magician, Steve Trash. As a strong advocate of the Green Movement, he promotes environmental friendliness and even created the world’s first eco-friendly green magic set made of renewable bamboo and rubber tree wood. He performs his magic acts at theatres, fairs and festivals all over the world. He will have strolling performances on grounds at 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Texas Terry will have crowds laughing with his family-friendly and funny shows. Performances will be Sunday, Sept. 10 through Sunday, Sept 17 strolling on grounds at 11:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Back by popular demand, the Boy Scout Experience will return for the second year in the KICD Courtyard beginning at 9 a.m. daily. Learn about Dutch oven cooking and foil packet cooking – complete with samples. Fairgoers will recognize the signature large teepee in the green space of the Courtyard. Other fun activities also included water rocket demonstrations and rope-making using a special machine. Area Boy Scout troops will be camping on location, allowing people to see what the troops do and how they work throughout the day.

There will be various acts on the KICD Courtyard Stage throughout the week as well. Elle-Shante and Kyle Verner will perform acoustic and vocal music on Sept. 9 and 16. Living Word Worshipis a Christian worship band that will perform on Sept. 10. Sept. 11 and 14 will be Grand Ole Country which is classic country. Also classic country, Frank Tuma will perform on Sept. 12 and 15. Norweiga, a youth band, will perform on Sept. 17. Each of these performances will be at 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on their perspective days.

In addition to these performances, the strolling acts will have daily stage performances as well. Each day at 10:30 a.m. audiences can enjoy Steve Trash’s magic show, followed by T. Texas Terry at 2:30 p.m., ending with Matt’s Family Jam at 6:30 p.m.

These acts, plus many more, make up the $180,000 worth of free entertainment that can be found at the 2016 Clay County Fair. For a complete listing, please visit www.claycountyfair.com.

Entertaining performances and educational experiences add to Fair fun

Family fun for everyone is always the focus at the Clay County Fair, September 9-17.

“Our guest surveys tell us that the number one reason people attend the Fair each year is family time and tradition,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons.  “Much of that family time is spent in several traditional places on the fairgrounds that provide activities for all ages.”

Arts on Grand and the Clay County Fair join once again for fairgoers to enjoy fun activities and unique pieces at the Art Barn during the Fair.  Fairgoers will be able to watch working art demonstrations, purchase unique items, and even participate in making art through the Clay County Fair Mural Project.

Each day will present a performer on the Art Barn Stage at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9 will be Molly Brandt on keyboard and guitar. Greg Taylor will play guitar on Sunday, Sept. 10. Jim and Jessie Howard of The Jessie James Band will perform on Monday, Sept. 11. Tuesday, Sept. 12 will be Robert Johnson & Friends. Clint Riedel will perform on guitar Wednesday, Sept. 13. Stephan Baker and Friends will play the ukulele on Thursday, Sept. 14 and Saturday, Sept. 16. Rounding out the Fair on Sunday, Sept. 17 will be Duane Davis & Family Band, known as LD3.

Families can enjoy Grandpa’s Barn this year again and develop an appreciation for everything related to Iowa’s number one industry, agriculture. There will be a large assortment of animals ranging from cows and pigs to peacocks. Also, there will be corn, beans and other crops grown at the crop plots, which were planted in late May, to walk through. In addition, there will be a play area near the barn for children.

Smoky Mountain Railroad, one of the largest model train displays in the Midwest, will be enjoyed by all in The Depot Building. It made its debut at the Fair in 1947 in the KICD Building, replacing the featherless chicken display and has been entertaining crowds ever since.

Sundholm Environmental Education Center will once again bring fun educational opportunities to the Fair with live animals, hands on activities and more. Naturalist programs will be held daily at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The counties involved will be Monona, Palo Alto, Ida, O’Brien, Dickinson, Pocahontas, Cherokee, Sioux, Buena Vista, Plymouth, Lyon, Sac and Woodbury. They will have activities involving butterflies, bison, elk, snakes, and more.  There will be a live bald eagle with Christina Roeloffs on Monday, Sept. 11 at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Closing the Fair on Saturday, Sept. 16 will be the Great Plains Zoo from 1 p.m.-2 p.m.

Special days, deals highlight 2017 Clay County Fair

No matter who you are, there is something for everyone at the Clay County Fair, Sept. 9-17.

 “We are extremely proud of the fact that every person can attend the Fair at least once for free if they take advantage of the great promotions we have on our special days at the Fair,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons.  “The special days give you an extra reason to attend the Fair.”
Monday, Sept. 11 is Veteran Appreciation Day with a parade at 10 a.m. and a special appreciation program at 11:00 a.m. As a thank you for their service to our Nation, veterans and active duty military receive free admission to the Fair. In addition, there will be a special patriotic music program at 2 p.m. by local gospel group The Browns in the Events Center Ballroom.
Fairgoers 65 and older can enjoy $6 admission and special activities throughout Senior Day on Tuesday, Sept. 12. That night, Family Night allows families of all ages to enjoy free admission after 5 p.m. thanks to the Spencer Chamber of Commerce.  Special activities including Muttin’ Bustin’ will also be held that night.
Wednesday, Sept. 13 is Disability Awareness Day sponsored by Amerigroup. The Fair welcomes disabled persons from throughout the region with events planned just for them thanks to the Shriners, Pony Express Riders, Smith Concessions and GoldStar Amusements.
The Iowa Corn Growers Association brings Iowa Corn Day on Thursday, Sept. 14 with exhibits and presentations in Central Park showcasing the importance of corn in Iowa and beyond. Thursday is also Farmer Appreciation Day sponsored by Producers Hybrids.
Friday, Sept. 15 is Iowa Dairy Day sponsored by Western Iowa Dairy Alliance. Learn about the importance of the dairy industry in Iowa through special activities and displays in Central Park.
Also on Sept. 15 is Y100 Kids Day. Kids 18 and under are admitted free and can buy an all-day wristband to the GoldStar Amusements Midway for $23. This year there will be a special show, Curious George Live, which will take the stage for three free performances in the Events Center Ballroom that kids and families can enjoy.
Iowa Lakes Community College presents Science Saturday on Sept. 16. All ages can participate in hands-on science activities and experiments throughout the day in Central Park and the Activities Center located in the Depot. Hands-on activities include a bicycle unit and an Air Zooka, which shows how much energy one can generate. In addition, audience members will have the chance to balance a beach ball with the wind.
Sunday, Sept. 17 is Centennial Celebration Sunday, with $5 admission. This will give fairgoers one last day to “Come Home” and celebrate the Fair.  The highlight of Centennial Day will be the Centennial Birthday Bash in the Grandstand at 7:00 p.m. This once-in-a-lifetime show will feature a wide variety of entertainment and conclude with the largest fireworks show in Fair history.

Centennial Plaza brings new life to center of Fair

This year the Clay County Fair, September 9-17, will be introducing the beginnings of what will become Centennial Plaza, a new area in the middle of the fairgrounds where the Ag Building was formerly located.

While Centennial Plaza is set to be completed in 2018, this year will give everyone a sense of what is to come.

“There will be many new and exciting educational opportunities for fairgoers to experience,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons.  “We are excited to introduce this new area at the Fair to everyone.”

The Northwest Iowa Opportunities Hub, presented by the Iowa Lakes Corridor, Iowa Lakes Community College, and IowaWORKS, will feature a Mobile Heavy Equipment Simulator to give fairgoers an idea of some of the job openings in the region.  The Hub will also include various daily themes focusing on construction, health care, tech, IT and wind energy, agriculture, and manufacturing.

The Mobile University of Iowa Museum will be a fun feature this year. The Mobile Museum inspires visitors by bringing exhibits with cutting-edge research, one-of-a-kind artifacts, and interactive digital media. The museum has three exciting exhibits. “Oneota Archeological Connections” focuses on Native American artifacts and teaches viewers how to care for archeological sites. “Delving Deep: Scientific Studies from Iowa’s Ancient Sea” explores various fossils from Iowa’s ancient past when the land was covered in a warm shallow sea, 465 million years ago. Finally, “Speaking of Work: The Iowa Labor History Oral Project” looks into the history of Iowa labor and how it has changed over the years.

FarmHer shines a light on the importance of women in the agriculture industry. While women have been a large aspect of this industry for years, they have often been overshadowed. Founded in Iowa in 2013, FarmHer has become a voice and community for women in agriculture and brings to life the often unseen, yet important aspect of the agriculture industry- women.

If you have ever wanted to visit the State Historical Museum in Des Moines but have never got the chance, the wait is over. The Mobile Museum is headed to the Fair this year. Iowa History 101 Museum: History on the Move features several artifacts from Iowa’s history that will give fairgoers an insight to how Iowa has changed over the years.

Highlighting the area and giving a Centennial “feel” to the Plaza will be a unique birthday sculpture made of straw, “Farm Party.”  This interactive sculpture will give fairgoers the chance to take photos with four-footed friends.

Another new and exciting addition to the Plaza will be the Family Place. Located in the old Fair Administration Building, the Family Place will be the new home to First Aid, and will give families a quiet place to take a break while at the Fair. There will be private rooms for mothers to nurse, change infants, and take care of our youngest fairgoers.

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Horses to highlight the Outdoor Arena

Horses once again highlight the events at the Outdoor Arena during the 2017 Clay County Fair, Sept. 9-17.

However, another species of animals will return to the Arena on Sunday, Sept. 10 when bull riding returns to the Fair.

“Whether it’s to enjoy a horse show or rodeo events, the Outdoor Arena will provide something for everyone at the 2017 Fair,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons.

The Arena will host daily open class shows, as well as 4-H and FFA horse shows. In addition, special events and activities will occur throughout the Fair.

Open Class Paint, Quarter Horse and Pony Performance shows will be Sept. 9-11 before changing to 4-H and FFA shows Sept. 12-14. The second weekend of the Fair (Sept. 15-17) will feature open class Pony, Appaloosa and Miniatures, Antique Buggies and Pony Hitches.

The Arena will be packed the final weekend when the Fair concludes with Draft Horse Hitches on Sept. 16-17.  The North American Six-Horse Hitch Classic Series will feature $10,000 in prize money for the beautiful hitches. New in 2017, the hitch classes will begin at 1:30pm giving fairgoers two afternoons to watch the draft horses.

Besides daily horse shows, special events will also take center stage in the Arena.

NBHA Barrel Racing will begin at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 9 attracting cowgirls from across the upper Midwest as they compete for $1,500 in added prize money.

Bull riding will be making its much anticipated return to the Fair this year courtesy of Barnes PRCA Rodeo out of Peterson, Iowa. This award-winning company has been going strong since 1950 and the Fair will be just one of 30 events they will participate in throughout 2017. This event will take place at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 10.

Back by popular demand, Cowboy Mounted Shooting will be on Friday, Sept. 15 at 6 p.m. In this event, horses and riders will go through a path as quickly as possible while shooting at balloons on top of stakes. Also on Friday will be the classic event, Team Roping, at a new time of 10 a.m.

Saturday, Sept. 16 is the Ranch Rodeo which includes various ranch activities for exhibitors to compete in such as roping a calf and sorting cattle. This event will begin at 6 p.m.

All Outdoor Arena events are free with gate admission.

 

“Come Home” and see what is new at the Fair

With a Centennial Celebration in mind, the Clay County Fair will celebrate Sept. 9-17 with some new additions as well as some rearranging for fairgoers to enjoy for the next 100 years.

“When you invite people to come to your home for a special celebration, you always take the opportunity to clean out the closets and rearrange some furniture,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons.  “It’s been no different here as we prepare for our big Centennial celebration.  We’ve done some rearranging.”

The Photography Center, formerly the Industrial Building located south of the Commercial Exhibits Building, will display blue ribbon photography and give viewers a chance to explore Fair history and classic cars with the Centennial Historical Exhibit, presented by the Clay County Heritage Center and the Iowa Great Lakes Car Club.

For daily educational opportunities at the brand-new FarmU, fairgoers will want to visit the Ag Marketplace, formerly the Innovation Pavilion. Ag vendors at the Fair will be given space and time to do daily presentations and demonstrations as part of FarmU.  In addition, this building will feature the Farm Gadget Show, as well as ag-related vendors.

Take in blue ribbon fruits, vegetables, grains, farm crops, scarecrows, and giant pumpkins at the newly renovated Fields & Gardens Building, next to the Art Barn.

More than 50 of the 500 vendors will be exhibiting in the Tower Gate Pavilion located on the east end of the fairgrounds.  This new 12,000 square foot building also includes restrooms.

Calling all thrill-seekers, Bull Riding has once again returned to the Fair. This event will be held on Sunday, September 10 at 6:00 p.m. in the Outdoor Arena. It will be free with gate admission and is presented by Barnes Rodeo Company.

In addition, there will be a new ride this year in the Gold Star Midway. 2Xtreme is guaranteed to raise adrenaline my spinning riders 360 degrees high in the air.

Embrace the change with the beginnings of Centennial Plaza, the new park that is being created on the site of the former Ag Building. This latest improvement project will feature educational opportunities and give families a place to take a break with the Family Place, a building devoted to guest services.

Experience various job opportunities in the Plaza area with hands-on simulators at the Northwest Iowa Opportunities Hub presented by the Iowa Lakes Corridor, Iowa Lakes Community College and IowaWORKS.

Variety of talent to entertain at DISH Plaza and Ag Partners Discovery Stage during 2017 Fair

DISH Plaza as well as the Ag Partners Discovery Stage will pull in a variety of free entertainment from music to magic during the 2017 Clay County Fair, Sept. 9-17

“These two stages will provide just a portion of the $180,000 in free entertainment that will be offered to fairgoers as part of the Fair’s Centennial Celebration,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons.

Talented local musician Glenn Henriksen will play twice daily at DISH Plaza Sept. 9-17.  In honor of the Fair’s Centennial, he and the wide variety of other talented musicians with him will perform music from a different decade each day. His repertoire includes ragtime, pop and rock, gospel and classical, ensuring every fairgoer will enjoy a tune.

Entertaining audiences on the Ag Partners Discovery Stage this year will be an Awesome Ag Magic Show, along with Music Technology with Brent Daniels.

A favorite of many fairgoers, the Awesome Ag Magic Show is back at the Fair with multiple performances daily. Fairgoers can laugh while they learn. Audience members might even find themselves participating in all the family-friendly fun, teaching the importance of agriculture.

Making his debut at the Fair, Brent Daniels will amaze audience members of all ages with music technology. Daniels has performed for thousands of schools over the past few decades entertaining and teaching students about electronic music production and the importance of education. As a music producer, multi-instrumentalist, sound designer, singer, remixer, and recording artist, Daniels has worked with many performers as well as had his music featured on several television shows and movies.

14 new contests highlight creative culinary competition at Fair

“Come Home” and showcase your baking talents at this year’s Clay County Fair, Sept. 9-17.  With 14 new special contests in the Oven Products department in 2017, there is certainly something for everyone.

In honor of this year’s Fair Centennial, as well as Riecke’s Bayside Gallery’s thirty-year celebration, a special prize of a large, matted Robert Duncan painting will be awarded to the exhibitor with the most entries in the department. Each exhibitor will also receive a special commemorative ribbon to help celebrate this year’s Centennial Clay County Fair.

In addition, each recipe entered this year will be a part of a Centennial cookbook available for purchase in 2018.

New special contests honoring the Centennial Celebration include KAF’s Centennial Red, White and Blue Contests where each adult will enter a Berries and Crème Tart and juniors will make Red, White and Blue Blondies. Farmer’s Trust and Savings Bank will be sponsoring a new “Heritage” Recipe Contest where individuals are encouraged to make a 100-year-old family recipe and add a short background. Finally on Sunday, September 17, there will be two contests featuring Clay County Fair’s most memorable picnic food traditions (fried chicken and potato salad) to commemorate this special year.

The $1,000 Cinnamon Roll Contest is returning once again this year, sponsored by Farmer’s Savings Bank, The Pothast Family, Edward Jones, and Asher Motor Company. This big-prize contest on Monday, September 11, contributes to the total of more than $5,400 of prize money available for the special contests.

In addition to these fun contests, there will be many others as well. IBBIA’s Biscuits and Gravy Egg Bake Contest will kick off the Fair on Sunday, September 10. Both the Beef Calzone Contest and the Pork Tenderloins Fixed Your Way Contest will be on Tuesday, September 12. On Wednesday, September 13, there will be the Awesome Appetizers That You Would Serve at an Opening Night Play/Show Party Contest. The contest implemented last year in memory of Janice Nostrom will return, this year focusing on Honey Oatmeal Yeast Bread. Mrs. Grimes Black Beans and Corn Salsa Contest will be on Friday, September, 15. Also on Friday, the contest created in memory of Bruce Piper will feature “America’s Favorite Dessert Contest” – Bruce Piper’s Apple Pie. Finally, wrapping up the week-long festivities will be the Del’s Potato Salad Contest.

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