In just about two weeks, the Polk County Fairgrounds will stir with life — both two-footed and four — as action kicks off at the 73rd Polk County Junior Livestock Show and Fair.
From first timers to seasoned showers, Polk County Fair Association chairman Curtis Dahlberg said the shows and contests are an opportunity for area youth to include others in their passion projects.
“It’s letting them share their experiences, not just with mom and dad, aunt and uncle, grandma and grandpa, but with everybody in the community,” Dahlberg said.
There’s plenty to do for both young and old.
“When you see that first time exhibitor — it doesn’t have to be a young child, it can be somebody in high school — that gets their first win, that’s something you can’t put a price tag on,” he said. “The excitement they carry with that, it’s priceless”
The fair’s 4-H exhibit judging opens Monday, June 10, at 5 p.m. and runs until 7 p.m.
Festivities pick up again Thursday, June 13, and continue through Saturday, June 15.
From dog shows to pie judging and tractor pulls and rooster crowing to livestock shows, the weekend features multiple free events for those who attend.
“You want to try to get as many opportunities for the community to come out and see what’s going on,” Dahlberg said.
Horse show registration opens at 6 p.m. Thursday, and the sheep shows and dog shows are at 6:30. The horse shows and dairy shows are at 7.
Dahlberg said the association just recently finished new lighting at the horse arena.
“We worked with Southwest Electric,” he said. “They installed them, and we purchased them.”
Several other pending projects had to be put off due to severe weather this spring, he said.
The fair gets into full swing Friday, as the poultry show, youth super farmer contest and goat show all take place at 6 p.m., and the rabbit show is at 7. Poultry blood testing and registration is at 4:30 p.m.
Friday’s slate also features a rooster crowing contest. Registration runs from 5 to 5:30 p.m. and the contest runs from 5:30 to 6. Only those who have entered the fair with a blood tested animal can compete.
For the kids
Two activities centered around the fair’s youngest attendants take place at 9:30 Saturday morning, with a kiddie tractor pull, sponsored by Crown Power & Equipment, and kids games sponsored by the Kiwanis Club.
The youth pig scramble is set for 1 p.m. Saturday, or immediately following the beef show. Participants must be between 6 and 11 years old and must reside in Polk County, attend a Polk County school or belong to a Polk County 4-H club or junior FFA chapter or be an exhibitor of livestock in the fair.
Livestock meat, pie and plenty to eat
Saturday opens at 9 a.m. with the swine show. The beef show follows at 10 a.m. and the junior livestock option will take place later at 4 p.m.
Those submitting pies for judging can submit between noon and 1 p.m. Judging is at 1:30 p.m. and a live auction for winning pies is at 6 p.m.
The Fair Board community dinner runs from 4:30 to 8 p.m. Cost is $10.
A free antique tractor pull hosted by the Southwest Missouri Antique Tractor Puller's Association closes out the weekend at 6 p.m.