Make plans now to attend the 2022 Fair and save big with deals

Spencer, Iowa — Fairgoers have the opportunity to save big through several pre-Fair deals as they make plans to attend the Clay County Fair powered by SMU, Sept. 10-18.
“We know people in today’s economy are looking for ways to save money,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. “Taking advantage of these pre-Fair discounts is the perfect way to do that.”
Advance adult gate admission tickets (valid from 7:00am-7:30pm every day of the Fair) are available for $8, saving attendees $2 before the gates open on Sept. 10. Tickets can be purchased online at claycountyfair.com, at the Events Center Box Office (Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5:00pm), by phone at (515) 244-2771, or at over 75 different locations throughout northwest Iowa and southern Minnesota.
“We are excited to again partner with many local businesses to sell these tickets,” said Parsons. A list of participating businesses can be found at claycountyfair.com.
New in 2022, all fairgoers can participate in Spencer Chamber of Commerce Nights at the Fair, which is free admission after 7:30pm every night of the Fair.
Advance carnival wristbands for the GoldStar Amusements Midway are available online at claycountyfair.com, at the Events Center Box Office (Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5:00pm), by phone at (515) 244-2771, or at 12 different Godfather’s Pizza locations in Iowa and Minnesota. All-Day wristbands are valid for unlimited rides all day on Saturdays, Sundays, or Y100 Kids Day (Friday, Sept. 16) for $25 in advance, saving $5 with purchase. VIP wristbands are valid for unlimited rides all nine days of the Fair. These wristbands are $55 in advance, saving amusement goers $5 when purchased in advance.
Fair Food Bucks are a special for fairgoers. Each Fair Food Buck is worth $1 and can be redeemed for food or beverage at any non-carnival food and beverage vendor at the 2022 Fair. Fair Food Bucks can be purchased at the Events Center Box Office (Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5:00pm).
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 powered by SMU. Known as “The World’s Greatest County Fair” since 1917, the Clay County Fair attracts more than 300,000 guests each September for nine days of world-class entertainment, competition, food, fun, and the largest farm machinery show at any fair in the United States. Additional information can be found at claycountyfair.com
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Home Wine & Craft Beer Department to include more prizes at 2022 Fair

Spencer, Iowa — The Home Wine and Craft Beer Department will include 15 divisions in the wine category and nine divisions in the craft beer category for the 2022 Clay County Fair powered by SMU, Sept 10-18.
“No matter your skill level, entering your wine or beer exhibit into the Fair is a great way to receive professional feedback from judges who own wineries and breweries,” said Superintendent Kristen Hartwig. “We’re also excited to have the beer or wine label competition sponsored by F8 Creative back. This category allows exhibitors to use their graphic design, painting, or drawing skills to create a wine or beer label.”
Sponsors include InnSpiration Wines and Vines, HyVee, Doll Distributing, Northern Brewer, the Iowa Project Brewing Company, F8 Creative, and West O Beer. Prizes will include wine stoppers, gift certificates, and a one night stay at InnSpiration Winery loft vacation rental.
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. 10-18.
Entries are open to all from any county or state. 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 22. For those who choose not to pre-register, registration can also occur when entries are accepted on Sept. 6 (8:00am-5:30pm).
About The Clay County Fair & Events Center Rooted in Tradition, the Clay County Fair and Events Center is a year-round facility that annually hosts more than 300 events, including its signature event, the Clay County Fair powered by SMU. Known as “The World’s Greatest County Fair” since 1917, the Clay County Fair attracts more than 300,000 guests each September for nine-days of world-class entertainment, competition, food, fun, and the largest farm machinery show at any fair in the United States. Additional information can be found at claycountyfair.com.
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Textiles, Arts, and Crafts name change for the 2022 Fair

Spencer, Iowa — The Clay County Fair Textiles, Crafts, and Arts Department has changed its name to the Creative Arts Department for the 2022 Fair powered by SMU, Sept 10-18.
“We decided it was time to update the name because ‘Creative Arts’ just encompasses every category in the competition better,” said first-year Superintendent Cindy Kress. “We’re also excited for this year’s special feature class, ‘Salute to Veterans,’ which allows exhibitors to use textile arts to represent any branch of the military.” This division is open to all ages.
Besides the special feature class, there are more than 30 other sponsored award classes, including woodturning, printed fabrics, fused glass, mixed media, clothing accessories, and molded and youth 2-D paintings and pottery. Sponsors include Seams to Me, Warm Company, Forever, Arts on Grand, Beehive, Prairie Woolens, Consumer’s Lumber, Clover Cottage, Quilters Portable, and Vermeer Glass Art.
Traditional competitions returning include needlework, painting, crochet, quilting, patchwork, garment making and woodworking.
Entries are open to all ages from any county or state. 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 22. For those who choose not to pre-register, registration can also occur when entries are accepted on Friday, Sept. 2 (Noon-7:00pm) and Saturday, Sept. 3 (9:00am-3:00pm).
Update — In Friday’s photography press release, we accidentally left out a photography division — “All in a Day’s Work” (agriculture division sponsored by GWS Farms) is another sponsored division.
About The Clay County Fair & Events Center Rooted in Tradition, the Clay County Fair and Events Center is a year-round facility that annually hosts more than 300 events, including its signature event, the Clay County Fair powered by SMU. Known as “The World’s Greatest County Fair” since 1917, the Clay County Fair attracts more than 300,000 guests each September for nine-days of world-class entertainment, competition, food, fun, and the largest farm machinery show at any fair in the United States. Additional information can be found at claycountyfair.com.
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Picture a blue ribbon at the 2022 Clay County Fair

Spencer, Iowa — Now is a perfect time to begin sorting through all of the photos you have taken and enter them in one of the many photography competitions at the 2022 Clay County Fair powered by SMU, September 10-18.

“We’re really excited to be back for the 2022 Fair,” said Dana Metcalf, superintendent of the Photography Department. “We’re excited to have eight new sponsored theme classes, including new for the 2022 Fair, ‘Batter Up’.”

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.

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

As Metcalf mentioned, the Photography Department is excited to have eight new sponsored special theme classes, including “Batter Up,” a sports division sponsored by the Jim Shriner Family, which is new for the 2022 Fair.

Other sponsored divisions include “A Tree” (objects division sponsored by Spencer Truck Line); “Ripples” (water division sponsored by VW Docks of Spirit Lake); “Texture” (concepts division sponsored by Campbell, Higgins, and Mummert, P.C.); “Capturing Summer Fun” (photojournalism division sponsored by the Spencer Daily Reporter); “Barns” (Beautiful Iowa division sponsored by Clay Mutual Insurance); “Helping the Land” (conservation division sponsored by Clay County Soil Conservation Service); “Jumping” (action division sponsored by Fox, Boyd, Sailer, & Shiver Dental Center); and “All in a Day’s Work” (agriculture division sponsored by GWS Farms).

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 22.  For those who choose not to pre-register, registration can also occur when entries are accepted at the Photography Center on September 2 (Noon-7:00pm) and September 3 (9:00am-3:00pm).

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

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Enter blue ribbon produce at the 2022 Clay County Fair

Spencer, Iowa — Gardeners are encouraged to enter their blue ribbon best in the Fields and Gardens Department at the 2022 Clay County Fair powered by SMU, Sept. 10-18.
One of the Fair’s original competitive departments, Fields and Gardens will yet again have another great year of showing. “Even with the cool spring and all the challenges with the weather we are still hopeful for a good turn out on produce and exhibits for Fair,” stated superintendent Jerry Groenewold.
The Fields and Gardens Department will again feature the Largest Pumpkin Contest, where producers can enter the largest weighing pumpkin from their patch and see who will win the title. Along with this contest, there is also the Best Corn Contest where an exhibitor can bring in their best ten ears of corn to be judged.
Although vegetables are a large portion of the Fields and Gardens Department, there are fruit classes as well. The apple division has a best tray contest where the exhibitor with the best five apples can win the prize. Other fruit categories are plums, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and watermelons.
Entries are not limited to just fruits and vegetables. There are categories focused on people’s creative skills through the garden scarecrow and yard people contest. This contest is open for all ages and any groups that would like to participate. Other contests within the department not focused around produce are birdhouse gourds and decorative corn with husks.
Entries are open to anyone from any county or state. 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 22. For those who choose not to pre-register, registration can also occur when entries are accepted at the Fields and Gardens Building on Wednesday, Sept. 7 (5:00pm-8:00pm) and Thursday, Sept. 8 (9:00am-5:00pm) with judging scheduled for Friday, Sept. 9.
About The Clay County Fair & Events Center Rooted in Tradition, the Clay County Fair and Events Center is a year-round facility that annually hosts more than 300 events, including its signature event, the Clay County Fair powered by SMU. Known as “The World’s Greatest County Fair” since 1917, the Clay County Fair attracts more than 300,000 guests each September for nine-days of world-class entertainment, competition, food, fun, and the largest farm machinery show at any fair in the United States. Additional information can be found at claycountyfair.com.
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Purchase your tickets for the 2022 Fair Grandstand line-up

Spencer, Iowa — Tickets are available now for nine nights of Grandstand events – including the six shows that are part of SRG Concert Series – at the 2022 Clay County Fair powered by SMU, September 10-18.
“From multiple GRAMMY Award winners to fresh up-and-comers, this year’s concert line-up is by far the most diverse in the history of the Fair,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. “Add in three nights of incredible dirt events, and the Grandstand will be the place to be during the 2022 Fair.”
Tickets are available online at www.midwestix.com, by phone at 515-244-2771, or in person at the Fair & Events Center Administrative Offices (Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5:00pm).
Handling & processing fees, which are applied to all purchase methods, are included in the advertised price.
The complete Grandstand line-up is as follows:
Russell Dickerson with special guest Adam Sanders – Saturday, September 10, 7:30pm
Russell Dickerson is a multiplatinum Nashville-based singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. In 2017, his gold-certified full-length debut, Yours, bowed at #5 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart. The album yielded three consecutive #1 smashes, including the double-platinum “Yours,” the platinum “Blue Tacoma,” and “Every Little Thing.” Nominations followed at the Academy of Country Music Awards, CMT Music Awards, and iHeartRadio Music Awards. In 2020, he released his second full-length album, Southern Symphony, led by the singles “Love You Like I Used To,” “Home Sweet,” and “Never Gets Old.”
Named as “one of Music Row’s hottest young songwriters,” breakout country music artist Adam Sanders has earned his reputation as an artist to watch with the release of his newest album “What If I’m Right.” After writing hit songs for Dustin Lynch, Cole Swindell, Luke Bryan, Dierks Bentley and Blake Shelton, the highly sought-after songwriter is betting the odds on a career as an artist that has already earned him over 100 million streams, over 70,000 singles sold and landed him on Billboard’s Top 40 Country Albums chart.
CeCe Winans with special guest Riley Clemmons – Sunday, September 11, 7:30pm
The best-selling and most-awarded female gospel artist of all time, CeCe Winans has influenced a generation of gospel and secular vocalists over the course of her astonishing career. Her mantel today holds a staggering 12 GRAMMY Awards, 20 Dove Awards and 7 Stellar Awards. She’s sold in excess of 5 million albums in the U.S., topping the gospel charts repeatedly while crossing over with smashes like “Count on Me,” her duet with Whitney Houston from the multi-platinum Waiting to Exhale soundtrack, which sold 2 million copies and cracked the Top 10 on the pop, R&B, and adult contemporary charts.
One of contemporary Christian music’s newest stars, Riley Clemmons’ first single, “Broken Prayers,” took flight in 2017 and racked up 30 million-plus streams. In support of her 2018 self-titled debut album, she hit the road for the first time with Tauren Wells and grew into a powerhouse presence on stage. Her second album, Godsend, was released in 2020 with her fastest growing single to date, “Keep on Hoping,” which has quickly climbed the Billboard and radio airplay charts.
The Leroy Van Dyke Country Gold Tour featuring Leroy Van Dyke, Jimmy Fortune, T.G. Sheppard, T. Graham Brown, David Frizzell, The Malpass Brothers and Mandy Barnett – Monday, September 12, 7:30pm
This stellar evening will feature renowned classic country music performers who have topped the charts. Enjoy them in person as Leroy, Jimmy, T.G., David, and T. Graham perform the celebrated Nashville sound that took their music around the world including hits like “Auctioneer,” “Walk on By,” “Elizabeth,” “My Only Love,” “I Loved ‘Em Every One,” “Strong Heart,” “Don’t Go to Strangers,” “Darlene,” and more. Joining will be public television favorites, the Malpass Brothers, and Mandy Barnett, the original star of the musical Always…Patsy Cline.
Lucas Oil ASCS and Tri-State Late Models – Tuesday, September 13, 7:00pm (Hot Laps)
The Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series returns after a successful debut in 2021 and will be joined again by the Tri-State Late Models.
IMCA Blue Ribbon Showdown – Wednesday, September 14, 7:00pm (Hot Laps)
The 2022 racing season at the Clay County Fair Speedway winds down with an IMCA showdown that includes Hobby Stocks, Sports Mods, Modifieds, Stock Cars, and Sports Compacts.
Vanilla Ice with special guest Ying Yang Twins – Thursday, September 15, 7:30pm
The iconic Robert Van Winkle, aka Vanilla Ice, exploded on the rap/pop music scene in 1990, selling 10 million albums in four months and topping the Billboard charts with the #1 single, “Ice Ice Baby,” and the #1 album. With worldwide album sales of more than 15 million, Vanilla Ice has won 2 MTV Awards, a People’s Choice Award, and was nominated for a GRAMMY. He has toured consistently throughout his career since 1990 performing all over the world, as well as appearing in movies, TV shows, and stage productions.
The Ying Yang Twins are an American hip hop duo consisting of Kaine (born Eric Jackson) and D-Roc (born Deongelo Holmes). The group debuted in 2000 and rose to mainstream popularity in 2003 collaborating with Britney Spears on her album In the Zone and with Lil Jon on “Get Low.” In 2004 and 2005, Ying Yang Twins became more popular with party singles “Salt Shaker”, “Wait (The Whisper Song)”, “Shake” and “Badd.”
Dwight Yoakam with special guest Runaway June – Friday, September 16, 7:30pm
Country superstar Dwight Yoakam has sold more than 25 million albums worldwide, and he is a 21-time nominated, multiple GRAMMY Award winner. He has 12 gold albums and 9 platinum or multi-platinum albums, with five of those albums topping Billboard’s Country Albums chart. Nearly 40 of his singles have charted on Billboard, with 14 peaking in the Top 10. In 2016, Yoakam released his bluegrass album Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars, which reflects the love for bluegrass music that he developed at an early age in Kentucky.
Proclaimed by Billboard as the “next hot trend in country music,” Runaway June is comprised of Naomi Cooke (lead vocals/guitar), Natalie Stovall (vocals/fiddle/guitar), and Jennifer Wayne (vocals/guitar). Their single “Buy My Own Drinks” peaked at #5 on the Mediabase Country Chart, the highest charting song by a female group since The Chicks in 2003. Their debut album Blue Roses (2019) received critical acclaim and was included on Rolling Stone’s best albums of the year lists.
Grand Funk Railroad and Blue Oyster Cult – Saturday, September 17, 7:30pm
Originating from Flint, Michigan in 1969, this top selling American rock group of the 70’s is “comin’ to your town to help you party it down.” Internationally acclaimed, Grand Funk Railroad’s widespread appeal is evident in its prestigious recording achievements. Over their career, Grand Funk has had 19 charted singles, eight Top 40 hits, and two #1 singles (“We’re an American Band” and “Locomotion”). The group has now accumulated 13 gold and 10 platinum records with record sales in excess of 25 million copies sold worldwide.
Since its debut album in 1972, Blue Öyster Cult has occupied a unique place in rock history because it’s one of very few hard rock/heavy metal bands to earn both genuine mainstream critical acclaim as well as commercial success. The band is often cited as a major influence by other acts such as Metallica, and BÖC was listed in VH1’s countdown of the greatest hard rock bands of all time. BÖC’s canon includes three stone-cold classic songs: “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper,” “Godzilla,” and “Burnin’ for You.”
Outlaw Truck and Tractor Pull – Sunday, September 18, 1:00pm and 5:30pm
For the third time, the Fair will conclude with the season championships of the Outlaw Truck & Tractor Pullers Association featuring two thunderous sessions of pulling action.
About The Clay County Fair & Events, Center Rooted in Tradition, the Clay County Fair and Events Center is a year-round facility that annually hosts more than 300 events, including its signature event, the Clay County Fair powered by SMU. Known as “The World’s Greatest County Fair” since 1917, the Clay County Fair attracts more than 300,000 guests each September for nine days of world-class entertainment, competition, food, fun, and the largest farm machinery show at any fair in the United States. Additional information can be found at claycountyfair.com.
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Admission details announced for 2022 Fair

Spencer, Iowa — A new promotion providing free admission after 7:30pm each day highlights some admission changes for the 2022 Clay County Fair powered by SMU, Sept. 10-18.
“To be able to provide a free experience for literally anyone to come enjoy the Fair is an incredible opportunity,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons. “This will especially benefit those fairgoers who are just attending an evening Grandstand event.”
Sponsored by the Spencer Chamber of Commerce, Spencer Chamber Nights will provide free admission for everyone after 7:30pm and replace the previously offered evening discount.
Adult admission, which last increased in 2017, will remain at $10 from 7:00am-7:30pm with free admission after 7:30pm. Children 12 and under always attend the Fair for free. Advance adult gate admission will be $8.
“We encourage fairgoers to buy those tickets early and save 20 percent on gate admission,” Parsons said. Complete details on how to purchase those tickets can be found at www.claycountyfair.com.
Besides advance admission, other discount days include the following:
·        Veterans Appreciation Day (Monday, September 12) – Veterans and Active Military, Free
·        Senior Day (Tuesday, September 13) – Age 65 & over, $8
·        Kids Day (Friday, September 16) – Kids 18 and Under, Free
About The Clay County Fair & Events Center Rooted in Tradition, the Clay County Fair and Events Center is a year-round facility that annually hosts more than 300 events, including its signature event, the Clay County Fair powered by SMU. Known as “The World’s Greatest County Fair” since 1917, the Clay County Fair attracts more than 325,000 guests each September for nine-days of world-class entertainment, competition, food, fun, and the largest farm machinery show at any fair in the United States. Additional information can be found at claycountyfair.com.
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Farm to Fork FUNdraiser

Spencer, Iowa — A four-course meal prepared with locally sourced ingredients, musical entertainment by Fair favorites The Britins, auctions, and a 50/50 raffle will highlight a brand-new fundraising event for the Clay County Fair Charitable Trust on Saturday, June 4.
“The Fair’s core mission is agriculture,” said Fair & Events Center CEO Jeremy Parsons. “To incorporate that core mission into a fundraising event to ensure future success for the Fair is very exciting.”
The meal, which will be prepared by Fair & Events Center Executive Chef Phil Poutre, will be four courses all sourced from local producers. Those producers will then be present during the event to teach attendees how they work diligently to provide healthy and safe locally grown food items.
“The ability for the attendees to hear directly from the producers will make the evening a top-notch educational event,” he said.
The fundraising component for the event will include both live and silent auctions, as well as a 50/50 raffle. The silent auction is available online, and potential bidders do not need to attend the event in order to participate in the silent auction.
Complete event information, including the four-course meal menu, a listing of live auction items, and a link to the online silent auction can be found at www.claycountyfair.com.
Providing entertainment during the event will be the Beatles tribute band, The Britins, who have performed on free entertainment stages numerous times during the Fair.
Tickets for this brand-new event are on sale now. Prices are $100 per person, $175 per couple, or $2,000 per table sponsorship which includes eight (8) tickets. Tickets may be purchased online at www.claycountyfair.com or in person at the Events Center Box Office.
About the Clay County Fair Charitable Trust Established in 1993, the CCF Charitable Trust is a 501(c)3 non-profit whose goal is to ensure a blue ribbon future for “The World’s Greatest County 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 powered by SMU. Known as “The World’s Greatest County Fair” since 1917, the Clay County Fair attracts more than 325,000 guests each September for nine-days of world-class entertainment, competition, food, fun, and the largest farm machinery show at any fair in the United States. Additional information can be found at claycountyfair.com.

Seven girls to contend for title of 2022 Clay County Fair Queen

Spencer, Iowa – Seven young ladies will compete for the title of Clay County Fair Queen on Sunday, May 1 at the Clay County Regional Events Center.

Contestants include Rebekah Buettner of Webb, the daughter of Beau and Sara Buettner; Autumn Erdman of Spencer, daughter of Terry and Jolene Hansen and Bob Erdman; Lizzy Findling of Royal, the daughter of Jennifer Findling; Bri Holt of Spencer, the daughter of Jason and Laura Holt; Laci Seymour of Spencer, the daughter of Tifany and Jeremy Thiesen and Robert and Ronda Seymour; Kamdyn Van Gelder of Spencer, the daughter of Jay and Shantel Van Gelder; and Ellie Wallace of Spencer, the daughter of Brad and Ruth Wallace.

The contest will conclude with the pageant, including the self-expression portion of the contest and the crowning, at 7:00pm.  The event is open to the public.

The Queen will represent the Fair at area parades, the Iowa State Fair during the queen contest, selected celebrations during the summer, and the Clay County Fair in September.

Candidates will be judged on personality, attitude and awareness, leadership and citizenship, contribution to the community, overall appearance, charm, poise and self-expression.

Each contestant will receive a Summer Statements watch and cosmetic bag with cosmetics from Avon; a tote bag from Weaver’s; a tumbler from Creative Stitches; a movie basket from Southpark Mall; and a single stem rose from Hy-Vee.

The Queen will also receive many valuable prizes, including $1,500 cash from Community State Bank; a Vera Bradley bag package from Hen House; a Boussivie designer watch from Avon; personal care sessions from Design Masters; a bracelet from Nelson Jewelry; $200 cash from Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative; an official Fair Queen photo from Studio 309; a $100 gift certificate from Elegance Bridal and Prom Boutique; a tanning package from Royal Tan; $50 cash for travel expenses from H&N Chevrolet-Buick; an one-year membership to the Spencer Family YMCA; $100 gift card from Clay County Farm Bureau; a teeth whitening tray from Van Hofwegen & Munter Family Dentistry; a one-hour session of interview coaching from Treva Graves; and a dozen roses from Hy-Vee.

The First Runner-up also receives many prizes including $1,000 cash from Community State Bank; a Vera Bradley bag package from Hen House; a Boussivie designer watch from Avon; a tanning package from Royal Tan; and half-dozen roses from Hy-Vee.

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Complete 2022 Fair Grandstand line-up announced

Spencer, Iowa — The Clay County Fair announces all nine nights of Grandstand events – including the six shows that are part of SRG Concert Series – for the 2022 Clay County Fair powered by SMU, September 10-18.

“We thought we would change things up a bit this year and announce the entire line-up at once,” said Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons.  “This gives our enthusiastic fairgoers more time to plan their entire Fair visit, plus it gives us all something to look forward while we still ‘enjoy’ winter.”

Parsons continued that tickets for all of these events will go on sale throughout the upcoming weeks.  “This is more of a ‘save the date’ type of announcement with more specifics to come in the weeks ahead,” he said.

Russell Dickerson with special guest Adam Sanders – Saturday, September 10, 7:30pm

Russell Dickerson is a multiplatinum Nashville-based singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. In 2017, his gold-certified full-length debut, Yours, bowed at #5 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart. The album yielded three consecutive #1 smashes, including the double-platinum “Yours,” the platinum “Blue Tacoma,” and “Every Little Thing.” Nominations followed at the Academy of Country Music Awards, CMT Music Awards, and iHeartRadio Music Awards. In 2020, he released his second full-length album, Southern Symphony, led by the singles “Love You Like I Used To,” “Home Sweet,” and “Never Gets Old.”

Named as “one of Music Row’s hottest young songwriters,” breakout country music artist Adam Sanders has earned his reputation as an artist to watch with the release of his newest album “What If I’m Right.” After writing hit songs for Dustin Lynch, Cole Swindell, Luke Bryan, Dierks Bentley and Blake Shelton, the highly sought-after songwriter is betting the odds on a career as an artist that has already earned him over 100 million streams, over 70,000 singles sold and landed him on Billboard’s Top 40 Country Albums chart.

CeCe Winans with special guest Riley Clemmons – Sunday, September 11, 7:30pm

The best-selling and most-awarded female gospel artist of all time, CeCe Winans has influenced a generation of gospel and secular vocalists over the course of her astonishing career. Her mantel today holds a staggering 12 GRAMMY Awards, 20 Dove Awards and 7 Stellar Awards. She’s sold in excess of 5 million albums in the U.S., topping the gospel charts repeatedly while crossing over with smashes like “Count on Me,” her duet with Whitney Houston from the multi-platinum Waiting to Exhale soundtrack, which sold 2 million copies and cracked the Top 10 on the pop, R&B, and adult contemporary charts.

 One of contemporary Christian music’s newest stars, Riley Clemmons’ first single, “Broken Prayers,” took flight in 2017 and racked up 30 million-plus streams. In support of her 2018 self-titled debut album, she hit the road for the first time with Tauren Wells and grew into a powerhouse presence on stage. Her second album, Godsend, was released in 2020 with her fastest growing single to date, “Keep on Hoping,” which has quickly climbed the Billboard and radio airplay charts.

 The Leroy Van Dyke Country Gold Tour featuring Leroy Van Dyke, Jimmy Fortune, T.G. Sheppard, T. Graham Brown, The Malpass Brothers and Mandy Barnett – Monday, September 12, 7:30pm

 This stellar evening will feature renowned classic country music performers who have topped the charts.  Enjoy them in person as Leroy, Jimmy, T.G., and T. Graham perform the celebrated Nashville sound that took their music around the world including hits like “Auctioneer,” “Walk on By,” “Elizabeth,” “My Only Love,” “I Loved ‘Em Every One,” “Strong Heart,” “Don’t Go to Strangers,” “Darlene,” and more.  Joining will be public television favorites, the Malpass Brothers, and Mandy Barnett, the original star of the musical Always…Patsy Cline.

 Lucas Oil ASCS and Tri-State Late Models – Tuesday, September 13, 7:00pm (Hot Laps)

The Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series returns after a successful debut in 2021 and will be joined again by the Tri-State Late Models.

IMCA Blue Ribbon Showdown – Wednesday, September 14, 7:00pm (Hot Laps)

 The 2022 racing season at the Clay County Fair Speedway winds down with an IMCA showdown that includes Hobby Stocks, Sports Mods, Modifieds, Stock Cars and Sports Compacts.

 Vanilla Ice with special guest Ying Yang Twins – Thursday, September 15, 7:30pm

The iconic Robert Van Winkle, aka Vanilla Ice, exploded on the rap/pop music scene in 1990, selling 10 million albums in four months and topping the Billboard charts with the #1 single, “Ice Ice Baby,” and the #1 album. With worldwide album sales of more than 15 million, Vanilla Ice has won 2 MTV Awards, a People’s Choice Award, and was nominated for a GRAMMY. He has toured consistently throughout his career since 1990 performing all over the world, as well as appearing in movies, TV shows, and stage productions.

The Ying Yang Twins are an American hip hop duo consisting of Kaine (born Eric Jackson) and D-Roc (born Deongelo Holmes). The group debuted in 2000 and rose to mainstream popularity in 2003 collaborating with Britney Spears on her album In the Zone and with Lil Jon on “Get Low.” In 2004 and 2005, Ying Yang Twins became more popular with party singles “Salt Shaker”, “Wait (The Whisper Song)”, “Shake” and “Badd.”

Dwight Yoakam with special guest Runaway June – Friday, September 16, 7:30pm

Country superstar Dwight Yoakam has sold more than 25 million albums worldwide, and he is a 21-time nominated, multiple GRAMMY Award winner. He has 12 gold albums and 9 platinum or multi-platinum albums, with five of those albums topping Billboard’s Country Albums chart. Nearly 40 of his singles have charted on Billboard, with 14 peaking in the Top 10. In 2016, Yoakam released his bluegrass album Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars, which reflects the love for bluegrass music that he developed at an early age in Kentucky.

Proclaimed by Billboard as the “next hot trend in country music,” Runaway June is comprised of Naomi Cooke (lead vocals/guitar), Natalie Stovall (vocals/fiddle/guitar), and Jennifer Wayne (vocals/guitar). Their single “Buy My Own Drinks” peaked at #5 on the Mediabase Country Chart, the highest charting song by a female group since The Chicks in 2003. Their debut album Blue Roses (2019) received critical acclaim and was included on Rolling Stone’s  best albums of the year lists.

Grand Funk Railroad and Blue Oyster Cult – Saturday, September 17, 7:30pm

Originating from Flint, Michigan in 1969, this top selling American rock group of the 70’s is “comin’ to your town to help you party it down.” Internationally acclaimed, Grand Funk Railroad’s widespread appeal is evident in its prestigious recording achievements. Over their career, Grand Funk has had 19 charted singles, eight Top 40 hits and two #1 singles (“We’re an American Band” and “Locomotion”). The group has now accumulated 13 gold and 10 platinum records with record sales in excess of 25 million copies sold worldwide.

Since its debut album in 1972, Blue Öyster Cult has occupied a unique place in rock history because it’s one of very few hard rock/heavy metal bands to earn both genuine mainstream critical acclaim as well as commercial success. The band is often cited as a major influence by other acts such as Metallica, and BÖC was listed in VH1’s countdown of the greatest hard rock bands of all time. BÖC’s canon includes three stone-cold classic songs: “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper,” “Godzilla,” and “Burnin’ for You.”

Outlaw Truck and Tractor Pull – Sunday, September 18, 1:00pm and 5:30pm

For the third time, the Fair will conclude with the season championships of the Outlaw Truck & Tractor Pullers Association featuring two thunderous sessions of pulling action.

Tickets for all of these events will go on sale throughout the upcoming weeks.  Keep checking the Fair’s website (www.claycountyfair.com) or follow the Fair’s social media channels for the most up-to-date information.

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

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IAFE 2020 Wrap Up

“The World’s Greatest County Fair” lived up to its billing by winning multiple awards and recognitions at the 2020 International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) “Virtual Vision” held November 30-December 1. “Virtual Vision” replaced the IAFE Annual Convention, which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Although we could not gather in person, ‘Virtual Vision’ still gave members of the Fair Executive Committee and staff the opportunity to learn the latest trends in the fair industry and celebrate the successes of our fellow fairs in a difficult year,” said Fair & Events Center CEO/Manager Jeremy Parsons.
The Fair claimed five awards this year:
The Fair took second place in Non-Fair Facility Usage for “Unique event created to utilize the facility during the pandemic” highlighting the Non-Profit Take Out Tuesday events held during the month of August.
The Fair also received second place in Agriculture Awards for “Partnership with outside groups/businesses” highlighting the use of the fairgrounds for the Spencer Cares Pork Distribution event organized by the Spencer Chamber in partnership with Spencer Municipal Utilities and Spencer Ag Center.
In the Hall of Honor Communications awards, the Fair placed second in the “Video” category (Fair postponement announcement) and third in “At-Home Activities” non-video (“UnFair” social media campaign).
The Fair also received second place in Innovation of Sponsorship for the “Fair in a Box” promotion.
The IAFE awards program allows member fairs to enter competitions based on competitive exhibits, agricultural education, communications, and non-fair events. The entries are evaluated and judged by teams of industry leaders. For the awards program, the approximately 1,100 member fairs of the IAFE are split into five categories based on attendance. The Clay County Fair competes in Division 3, which is limited to fairs across the globe with an attendance of 250,000-500,000.
In addition to the five placings in IAFE award categories, Fair staff participated in the following recognitions and activities:
•              Jeremy Parsons, CFE, CEO/Manager, was named first vice chair of the IAFE during the business session on December 8. In his role as first vice chair, Parsons will assist with executive responsibilities associated with the organization in preparation for his role as IAFE chair in 2022. The current chair is Gene Cassidy, President and CEO of the Eastern States Exposition (MA).
•              Andrea Wiesenmeyer, marketing and partnerships director, gave two presentations, as well as moderating a Sponsorship Committee round table discussion. She also is vice chair of the IAFE Advertising, Promotions & Public Relations committee and serves on the Sponsorship Committee.
•              Janet Schutter, commercial exhibits director, moderated round table discussions for the IAFE Commercial Exhibits and Concessions Committee, of which she is also a member.
•              Parsons also participated on panel with Erie County Fair (NY) CEO Jessica Underberg on “How to Keep Your Board from Being Bored” and moderated an “Ask Me Anything” Panel featuring the three most recent inductees into the IAFE Hall of Fame.
About IAFE The IAFE is a voluntary, not-for-profit corporation that serves state, provincial, regional, and county agricultural fairs, shows, exhibitions, and expositions. It currently represents more than 1,100 fairs around the world and more than 900 members from related fields.
About the Clay County Fair & Events Center Rooted in Tradition, the Clay County Fair and Events Center is a year-round facility that annually hosts more than 300 events, including its signature event, the Clay County Fair. Known as “The World’s Greatest County Fair” since 1917, the Clay County Fair attracts more than 300,000 guests each September for nine-days of world-class entertainment, competition, food, fun, and the largest farm machinery show at any fair in the United States. Additional information can be found at claycountyfair.com.

Accepting 2021 Queen Applications

Spencer, Iowa – The search is underway for candidates to compete for the title of Clay County Fair Queen. The winner, to be crowned Sunday, May 2, will reign over this year’s Clay County Fair and will also compete for the State Fair Queen title.
Females between the ages of 16 and 21 by August 11, the first day of the 2021 Iowa State Fair, may apply. Candidates must never been married, cannot be a professional model, cannot represent any other organization, and must reside in Clay County or an adjoining county if the majority of her activities are in Clay County. Applicants must be a member of at least one service organization such as 4-H, Girl Scouts or a church group. (Eligibility is not limited to 4-H or FFA membership.)
The Clay County Fair Queen will represent the Clay County Fair at the Flagfest Parade in June, the Iowa State Fair during the queen contest, selected celebrations during the summer, and the Clay County Fair in September. The Fair will be flexible with appearance dates if the queen has educational conflicts during her reign.
Applications are available online at https://claycountyfair.com/get-involved/fair-queen/. The application must be submitted to the Clay County Fair Queen Contest, PO Box 527, Spencer, Iowa 51301 or emailed to info@claycountyfair.com on or before April 12. A committee will then select the finalists who will compete for the title on Sunday, May 2 at the Clay County Regional Events Center.
Finalists will be notified by April 19 and will receive more information regarding the next phase of the competition. Candidates will be judged on personality, attitude, awareness, leadership and citizenship, contribution to the community, overall appearance, charm poise and her three-minute or less self-expression portion. All judges’ decisions will be final.
Please call the Clay County Fair (712-580-3000) or email info@claycountyfair.com with any questions.