By SCOTT AUST
Organizers of the Finney County Fair are gearing up and doing last-minute checks to make sure things run smoothly next week, when the fair runs from Wednesday through July 27 at the Finney County Fairgrounds.
Steve Hoffman, a member of the Finney County fair board, said he’s ready to go.
“Absolutely, we’re excited. It takes a lot of work, but we’re excited to get it all implemented,” Hoffman said. “We’ve got lots of events, lots of things going on all week.”
Hoffman said there are a few new things at the fair that organizers think people will really enjoy.
“The big show, of course, is the monster trucks. These aren’t ‘like’ the trucks you see on TV; these are the trucks you see on TV,” he said.
Hoffman said the event is expected to be bigger than last year, and features a big name, Jim Creten, who drives the Bounty Hunter, and is one of the most recognized names in the industry and the winningest driver in the sport. In 2012, Creten earned three national wins and placed second in freestyle at the World Finals.
“We’ve got the Bounty Hunter coming in, the Iron Outlaw, six big trucks. It’s a pretty big deal, and we’re really excited about it,” he said.
The Monster Truck show kicks off at 8 p.m. July 27 at the Grandstand Arena. Tickets are $15.
Another new item this year is the Radio Disney show, a half-hour game show for kids that’s put on by the Kansas Department of Transporation at 6 p.m July 27.
“That’s a pretty neat deal. They contacted us and wanted to come out, and we said ‘come on out.’ I don’t know all the highlights, other than it’s a game show for kids,” Hoffman said.
Events are scheduled every night from Wednesday through Saturday.
On Wednesday, there will be mutton bustin’ starting at 7 p.m. at the Horse Palace. Registration opens at 6 p.m., and only the first 100 registered will get to compete at a cost of $5 per person. There is no early registration.
Hoffman said last year’s mutton bustin’ was just with the 4-H group, but due to the interest the board received after the event, organizers decided to open it up for the public to enter this year.
“We got calls from all over the state from people wanting to come and do this. It’s open to the first 100 that register, and if you win, you can move on to the state finals,” he said.
Thursday will feature three big events going on simultaneously at the fairgrounds, with the 4-H Open Horse Show in the grandstand arena, a free hamburger feed and Party on the Plaza featuring the bands Fresh Picked Parsley and the Fulton Street Band. All of them start at 6 p.m.
“You can take your hamburgers up and watch the horse show, or bring in some lawn chairs and watch the bands. It could make for a really relaxing evening. That will all happen on the plaza between the grandstand and the Exhibition Building,” Hoffman said. “We go through a lot of hamburgers. It’s a pretty fun deal.”
Friday is the Demolition Derby, which was moved to a new night from previous years to accommodate Saturday’s monster truck show. Hoffman isn’t sure of the number of vehicles involved, but last year there were close to 30.
“It’s a pretty big event. We get a lot of cars. It’s one of the biggest events for them for the year. We filled the stands each night last year, for the monster trucks and the demo derby,” he said. “It’s a popular event.”
In addition to the entertainment, the fair is filled with all sorts of 4-H exhibits and shows throughout the week.
Barbara Addison, county extension agent - 4-H Youth Development, said the fair is the conclusion of a 4-H year and leads into another 4-H year. Around 240 youth from Finney County participate in 4-H.
“They work through the year on their projects. This is kind of the opportunity to show the success they’ve had,” she said. “The kids love the fair. It’s a gathering place where they get to see some they haven’t seen all year long, or get to be with friends and get to meet new people.”
Addison said there are a lot of project divisions in 4-H, and most kids don’t try to enter a lot of them like they did in the past, where they might each have 10 to 15 projects.
“They’re so busy now with other things going on in the community. They may have five or six projects, or less, but they can be more intensified in those areas,” she said.
When asked what divisions seem to be more popular, Addison said probably foods, photography and clothing on the static exhibit side. And on the livestock side, the biggest division is goats, with 98 meat goats pre-entered.
“The animal exhibits are real big because we have both 4-H and FFA involved. We have 90-some kids in livestock, but those kids are also involved in other static exhibits, too,” she said.
Those interested can come take a look at exhibits all day during the week, though Addison said the best times will probably be Tuesday, when the photography and foods are judged, and Thursday through Saturday to see all the open class events.
To view the 2013 Fair Book, go to www.finneycountyfair.org
2013 Finney County Fair entertainment
Sunday, July 21
Kick-off concert in Stevens Park with Christian rock band Collective Faith, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, July 24
4 p.m., Turtle Races.
Mutton Bustin’, 7 p.m. at the Horse Palace. Registration opens at 6 p.m. Only the first 100 registered will get to compete. No early registration. $5 per person.
Thursday, July 25
6 p.m., 4-H Open Horse Show, Grandstand Arena.
6 p.m., Party on the Plaza.
Back by popular demand, Fresh Picked Parsley is an all female band that plays country and bluegrass. They made their first appearance at the county fair in 2012 and are gaining popularity.
Fulton Street Band is well known in the area and has performed at many community events over the years. They primarily play oldies, but throw in a variety of country and pop. Come join Cindy Dial and the boys for an evening of musical entertainment.
6 p.m., Free hamburger feed.
Everyone is invited to join Western State Bank for a free hamburger feed in the Grandstand Plaza area. Pick up your free meal and wander through the fair.
Friday, July 26
8 p.m., Demolition Derby in the Grandstand Arena. Ticket price is $10.
A demolition derby is a motorsport in which drivers ram their cars into one another and try to be the last car running at the end of the race. While there are varying rules for each derby, which is now an international sport, the main idea is to disable the other racers’cars while not disabling your own.
Saturday, July 27
1 p.m., Pedal Tractor Pull, at the picnic shelter. A miniature version of the Tractor Pull fueled by the sheer strength and stamina of the riders. Winners of this event are eligible to go to the state competition.
4 p.m., Turtle Races at the Rabbit Barn.
5 p.m., Dinner for livestock buyers at the show arena.
6 p.m., Livestock premium auction at the show arena.
6 p.m., Radio Disney Show, half-hour game show for kids with KDOT.
8 p.m., Monster Truck Exhibition, Grandstand Arena. Tickets cost $15.
Southwest Kansas’s own Outlaw Promotions and Joe Hibbert are the promoters for the Monster Truck shows that have become one of the most popular motor sport events, as spectators watch huge trucks with tremendous horsepower, climb up and over man-made barriers of steel. Six trucks are pre-registered for this main event. Sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Other Special Attractions
Pride of Texas Carnival
Wednesday, July 24, through Sunday, July 28.
Great rides and games. Fun for the entire family.
Hedricks Exotic Animal Farm
Thursday through Saturday, July 25 - 27.
Hedrick Exotic Animal Farm is located outside of Nickerson, and takes pride in its healthy animals and clean facilities. Joe Hedrick has been wowing youngsters for 40 years with his wide variety of unusual animals.
Farmer for a Day
This booth offers several opportunities for children ages 3 to 18 years of age to learn about farming activities. This booth is sponsored by Finney Co. 4-H Ambassadors in the Exhibition Building. The ambassadors will assist children with hands-on activities.
Thursday, July 25: 1 - 5 p.m.
Friday, July 26: 1 - 4 p.m.
Saturday, July 27: 2- 4 p.m.
Professor Farquar & Polecat Annie
This is the greatest old time “Medicine Show” west of the Mississippi. It’s a bona fide jim-dandy and sure to entertain. Audience participation is always in his hat of magic tricks. His sidekick Polecat Annie is also a very talented balloon artist.
Plaza Food Court
The Food Court will be open on the Plaza Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.