JANESVILLE — After a year off due to COVID-19, the Rock County 4-H Fair kicks off Tuesday with lots of new activities and old favorites such as its first farmer’s market and the return of bull riding.
“We had two years to plan this one,” said Abbey Gasser, a 2021 Fair Board Director, in an interview.
The fair also will feature its signature entertainment in the grandstands, 4-H exhibits, carnival rides and games, and lots of fried foods and other treats. It runs from July 27 to Aug. 1 with all admission gates opening at 7 a.m. The carnival will kick off on Tuesday at noon and is provided by North American Midway Entertainment.
The fair’s first farmers market will run from 8 a.m.—1 p.m. Thursday, July 29.
“It’s going to be focused on agricultural products and is an educational opportunity for us,” Gasser said.
There will be an antique car show on Saturday, July 31 from 8—3 p.m.; antique tractor show on Sunday, Aug. 1 from 9 a.m.—3 p.m.; and a children’s bike ride around the fairgrounds at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 1. Bull riding will be at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 1.
Other annual entertainment such as the pig and duck races and lumberjack show will be back as well.
“We are hoping for a big turnout,” she said.
Although the number of 4-H exhibitors are a bit down this year after many youth struggled with the restrictions due to COVID-19, Gasser said the kids who are coming this summer are very excited and eager to show off the results of their hard work.
“The momentum and excitement is going to be even greater,” Gasser said.
It’s sweet music to the ears of Hailey Hoffman, a member of La Prairie 4-H Club. Hoffman, a freshman at Craig High School, explained that last year 4-Hers were able to bring their pigs to the fairgrounds for one day of judging just for club members and family. Next week, however, they will be able to showcase their animals all week long to all who want to see. Hoffman will be bringing her pigs Duck and Dino. She has been prepping Duck by walking and bathing him twice a day.
“He gets more baths than me,” she joked.
Hoffman said her favorite part of the fair is seeing her friends and her hard work pay off.
“Being there all week is a lot of fun. I want to see everyone a little longer,” she said.
A diverse array of musical entertainment will kick off at the fair on Wednesday, July 28 with the Britins, a Beatles tribute band at 8 p.m.
On Thursday, July 29 Steve Meisner will perform a fresh brand of polka music with space for dancing at 5 p.m. followed by Kids from Wisconsin at 8 p.m. The show choir features 36 youngsters with music including the American classics, big band, ‘50s through the ‘80s, swing/jazz, country, Broadway and current top hits.
Runaway June will perform at 8 p.m. on Friday, July 30. It’s a group of three vocalists with strings and down home country. Runaway June has become an ACM and CMT nominated band, was named CMT’s “Next Women of Country,” scored major tours and opening slots with some of the biggest names in music including Garth Brooks and Carrie Underwood and performed on national TV including at numerous awards shows.
On Saturday, July 31 Eddie Montgomery of Montgomery Gentry will perform at 8 p.m. Montgomery Gentry released six studio albums for Columbia Records’ Nashville division. The albums produced more than 20 chart singles for on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts.
Gasser said the Runaway June trio and Eddie Montgomery as well as Kids from Wisconsin are expected to bring in a good crowd. Gasser noted there will be four carnival wristband days this year with Friday being the best deal. The Friday deal needs to be purchased online.
General admission to the fair is $10 for an adult; $5 for a child; 6 and under are free.
Throughout the fair week 4-Hers will have plenty of exhibits for the public including their animal projects with events such as judging for swine, dairy, beef, goats, sheep and poultry and other displays ranging from art and cake decorating to model aircraft and more.
On Saturday, at 10 a.m. there will be a dog agility show and beef showmanship at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. The meat animal sale will be held at 9 a.m. Friday with the fur and feather sale at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Other newer events include the “As seen on Pinterest” event at 9 a.m. on Thursday and the dress an animal contest at 3 p.m. Saturday.
The Rock County Fairgrounds address is 1301 Craig Ave., Janesville.
For more information visit www.rockcounty4hfair.com.