2018 By the Numbers

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

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

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

Fairgoer Satisfaction

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

Youth Participation

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

Fairgoer Spending

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

Exhibitor Participation

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

Attendance

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gate Access Updates for 2018 Clay County Fair

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

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

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

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

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

Kids Day adds new fun to the 2018 Clay County Fair

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Performance both educational and entertaining add to the Fair fun

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

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

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

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

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

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

2018 new foods grab eyes and stomachs of Fairgoers

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

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

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

The five finalists (and vendors) are as follows:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other new foods at the upcoming Fair include:

Duck wontons (Benoit Distributing Company)

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

Muffins (Creative Cakes by Mindy)

Rolled ice cream (Dough Boys)

Chicken City (Eat It!)

Smoked Chicken Legs (Eat It!)

Chicken gizzards and livers (Eat It!)

Orange frosty (Eat It! Everything Orange)

Orange slush (Eat It! Everything Orange)

Orange shakeup monkey ice (Eat It! Everything Orange)

Breakfast taco wrap (Jones Lunch)

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

Bacon ice cream sundae (Kiwanis After 5)

Muffins (Kiwanis Club – Daybreakers)

Reuben (traditional) (McCreary’s Creative Catering)

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

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

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

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

Deep-fried brownies (McCreary’s Creative Catering)

Frozen hot chocolate (McCreary’s Creative Catering)

Frozen Lemonade (McCreary’s Creative Catering)

Maple cotton candy (Morley’s Maple Syrup)

Maple lollipops (Morley’s Maple Syrup)

Pure maple syrup (Morley’s Maple Syrup)

Maple bourbon aged syrup (Morley’s Maple Syrup)

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

Chocolate mint muddy buddies (Spencer Area Shrine Club ATV)

Luau sandwich (Spencer Jaycees)

Spudnut burger (Spencer Jaycees)

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

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

The Original Minneapple Pie (The Original Minneapple Pie)

European licorice ropes (Timbo’s Licorice Ropes)

Danish coffee cake (Village Café)

Handcrafted wild rice and beef burgers (Westrum Quality Foods)

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

PRCA Rodeo to headline Outdoor Arena events

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

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

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

The Outdoor Arena will host daily open class horse shows, as well as 4-H and FFA horse shows. Open class (Paint, Appaloosa, Quarter, Pony Halter and Performance) shows will be Sept. 8-10 before the start of the 4-H and FFA shows on Sept. 11-13. The second weekend of the Fair, Sept. 15-16, will feature both big and little horses in several open class divisions, including pony and miniature halter; miniature, pony and draft driving; and the North American Cart and Six-Horse Hitch Classic Series.

The North American Cart and Six-Horse Hitches will draw a large number of fairgoers on the last Saturday (Sept. 15) and Sunday (Sept. 16) of the Fair. The show will feature a $1,000 prize for the winning hitch both days. New in 2018, the hitch classes will begin at 12:00pm (Noon) giving attendees two full afternoons to watch horses and hitches.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

Advance adult gate admission tickets are available for $7, saving attendees $3 before the gates open on Sept. 8. Tickets can be purchased online at www.midwestix.com, at the Events Center Box Office, by phone at (515) 244-2771, or at 80 different locations throughout northwest Iowa and southern Minnesota. To purchase those tickets (or to see the list of locations where you can buy in person), please visit www.claycountyfair.com.

Advance carnival wristbands for the GoldStar Amusements Midway are available online at www.midwestix.com, at the Events Center Box Office, by phone at (515) 244-2771,or at 12 different Godfather’s Pizza locations in Iowa and Minnesota. All-Day wristbands are valid for unlimited rides all day on Saturdays or Sundays for $22 in advance, saving $3 with purchase. VIP wristbands are valid for unlimited rides all nine days of the Fair. These wristbands are $49 in advance, saving amusement goers $6 when purchased in advance. To purchase carnival wristbands (or see the list of locations where you can buy in person), please visit www.claycountyfair.com.

Fair Food Bucks are a special for fairgoers. Each Fair Food Buck is worth $1 and can be redeemed for food or beverage at any non-carnival food and beverage vendor at the 2018 Clay County Fair. Fair Food Bucks can be purchased at the Events Center Box Office.

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

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