Archive for Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Leavenworth County Fair: Bring on the exhibits, cotton candy and carnival

July 22, 2015

Tonganoxie will be bustling more than usual starting Tuesday.

The annual Leavenworth County Fair starts Tuesday with some new attractions at the fairgrounds off Kansas Highway 16.

Returning are the mainstays: the parade at 6:30 p.m. and the draft horse pull at 8 p.m. Tuesday. The parade will roll through downtown Tonganoxie along Fourth Street, while the draft horse pull will take place at the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds grandstand.

The biggest change will be the bull bash, which starts at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 1 at the grandstand.

That time slot historically has gone to a demolition derby, but the fair board decided to change gears this year with the bash, which will be a series of bull rides.

“We just decided to do something different this year,” said Mike Johnson, county fair board president. “The derby had just run its course. It became harder to find drivers.”

He added that rodeo events always are popular, so the bull riding night was a natural choice.

The annual event dates back to the 1920s when crop exhibits were the main draw. That continues today with livestock, produce, photography, artwork and other exhibit categories. The various exhibits will be open throughout the fair, which opens Tuesday and concludes Aug. 1.

Main events each night are the parade (6:30 p.m.) and draft horse pull (8 p.m.) Tuesday, Hot Rod Garden Tractors (6:30 p.m.) on Wednesday, July 28, a horse show (6 p.m.) and July 30, ATV races (6:30 p.m.) and the Fairmounters band (8 p.m.) on July 31 and the bull bash (6:30 p.m.) and Justin Mance and Company (8 p.m.) on Aug. 1.

Other attractions are armband nights at the carnival, commercial exhibits, the Senior Citizen day and 4-H livestock auction on July 31 and turtle races, pie-eating contest and youth pedal tractor pull on Aug. 1.

Parking will cost $4 per vehicle this year. A local church has directed parking traffic the past 40 years. The fair association and the church split the parking proceeds.

Johnson hopes the weather will be favorable for the event, but the board has taken steps to help cool down visitors to the fairgrounds. An industrial fan is being installed in the livestock show arena.

For more about the fair, go to leavenworthcountyfair.com.

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