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The Madison County Fair plans to bring the "old-fashioned" fun Oct. 5 and 6 to help celebrate Madison County's Bicentennial.

"There will be many new activities that align with our old-fashioned fair theme," Fair board member Juli Kline said. "New on Saturday will be a live demonstrations of traditional arts and crafts, Civil War Reenactors, a Sit and Spin, working dog demonstrations, a balsa wood plane building and Fly-In, goat milking demonstrations and an all-ages barn dance."

Kline said other demonstrations include a special "sheep to hat" sheering, fiber processing and knitting beginning Friday evening by Farm People, waterfowl retrievers, fish fileting and preparation, basket weaving at Historic Madison County Museum and Madame Rosa's Animal Show.

The Higdon Christian Church along with the fair board are putting on a Pie and Ice Cream Social to the backdrop of live music by local singers Rhubarbarella Oct. 5.

Also new this year will be the first halter horse show, hosted by the Madison County Saddle Club beginning at 5 p.m., Oct. 5.  

The fair board has removed the carnival this year because of the current condition of the park.

"Environmental remediation of the park meant that we would not be able to set it (carnival) up at its normal location and we were not confident that we could safely put everything on one side of the street," Kline said. "The absence of the carnival has only opened up more opportunities for us to do what we strive to do, provide free and educational activities and competition for youth and families in a friendly environment."

With the absence of the carnival other activities have been added for kids including a free bounce house for children six and under and a straw bale maze. There will also be a pumpkin growing and decorating competition. Contestants are encouraged to bring in their funkiest pumpkin or gourd or most creatively carved or decorated pumpkin between 3 and 5 p.m., Oct. 5 to the Family and Environmental Science tent.

"We will also have a giant inflatable obstacle course and climbing wall for older youth to enjoy. Arm bands can be purchased at the event for $5 for unlimited access from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday," Kline said. "Several of the vendors, including Wayward Flight and Willy Bill’s BBQ are also going to do small games for kids.

Mathews & Sons Equipment is hosting the Kiddie Tractor Pull, Little Grassy Farm is hosting the Jr. Cow Milking Contest, Farm Bureau Board is hosting the Jr. Super Farmer contest, Thal’s Hardware is providing balsa plane building supplies to the first 50 registrants and hosting a “Fly-In,” the MU Extension Council is hosting a greased pig contest and turtle races. 

Kline said the fair has a diverse group of vendors this year with food vendors including kettle corn, BBQ, fried fish, pizza, desserts, fresh homemade ice cream, funnel cakes and fried "everything you can imagine." Craft vendors include local beekeepers, handmade furniture, jewelry, home decor, craft items and custom game calls. 

Live music from Rhubarbarella, the Kelly A. Burlison Middle School Choir "Trebblemakers,” Jenny Revelle, Shannon Cox and Friends and Brett Seper can be heard throughout the day Oct. 6 at the main pavilion. 

"Don’t forget the Mr. & Miss Madison County Food Weigh-In Friday at 3:30 p.m. at the Madison County Farm Supply with the Coronation on Saturday," Kline said. "The only paid events are the tractor pulls, which are $5 per person, youth 12 and under free with adult, $5 for the Pie & Ice Cream Social and $5 for a wrist band that get you unlimited access to the climbing wall and obstacle course from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. All livestock entries and FES entries are free and cash premiums are awarded." 

Due to the remediation of Wanda Priest Park, the set up for the fair will appear different than in past years.

"Traveling down North Main Street from the Courthouse, the Historic Madison County museum will be open to your left before the bridge offering basket weaving demonstrations in addition to their incredible mining history displays," Kline said. "Just across the bridge to your left will be the food and craft vendor area around the paved loop.  The Family and Environmental Science Tent and the Poultry and Rabbit Tent will be set up along the street. The stage and pavilions will provide space to sit and listen to live music and step in the Barn Dance."

Kline said in the middle of the vendor loop the free kid's games will be set up along with Madame Rosa's Animal Show, the Civil War Reenactors and the Sit and Spin. The Bill Whitener Memorial Pavilion will still be housing the cattle sheep and goats however the showing arena will be on the northwest corner of Church Street and North Main Street. 

The truck and tractor pulls will remain in the same location as past years, next to Jaycee Park and the climbing wall, bounce house and obstacle course will be set up in the outfield of the first softball field in Jaycee Park.

Kline said she would like to remind people to leave their pets at home.

"There are absolutely no dogs allowed at any of the event locations per Fredericktown City Ordinance and for the safety of your pets and exhibitor livestock," Kline said. "Also, for your safety, please be aware that large portions of the park are closed due to soil remediation. Some areas are seeded and some areas are sodded and less obvious to identify but all closed areas are heavily watered and not safe to walk on."

Kline said all areas off limits will be partitioned off by the City of Fredericktown and asks that everyone be respectful of the dirt work by keeping off those spaces.

For more information contact Juli Kline at the MU Extension Center with any last-minute livestock entry information at 573-783-3303 or klineju@missouri.edu.  For Truck & Tractor Pull Info contact Chris McClanahand at 573-561-3069 or Jenn McClanahand at 573-450-9027.

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Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Democrat News. She can be reached at 573-783-3366 or at vkemper@democratnewsonline.com

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