Featuring several new events, the 66th Annual Clay County Fair takes place Aug. 8, 9, and 10 and will offer something to please every member of your family, says Fair Manager Missy O’Connor.
“The fair is a family friendly community event that is free to attend,” said O’Connor. “We try really hard to keep the cost of attending the fair down so a family can spend the day enjoying all the events. We have planned a wide range of activities again this year with hopes that everyone can find something they are interested in.”
New this year at the fair will be a Cornhole Tournament and Bingo, along with more vendors and demonstrations.
“We have several new events planned for this year including a Cornhole Tournament on Friday,” said O’Connor. “Thursday at the Platz is moving to the fairgrounds for the week of the fair. We will also welcome Broken Trellis and Kepps Sheep Chislic food trucks on Friday evening. Clay Union Electric will be hosting a customer appreciation event and doing demonstrations on Thursday. We will also have Bingo in the Bunyan's/First Dakota Beer Garden Tent each afternoon.”
This year’s Fair will feature more partnerships than ever before. The new Cornhole Tournament will be hosted by the Vermillion American Legion Post 1.
“We had discussed this event in the past but it never really fit into the schedule,” said O’Connor. “The partnership with the American Legion has been great and we look forward to working with them on fair events in the future.”
In addition, vendors for this year have nearly doubled, thanks to the fair’s use of the Vermillion Public Transit building. This has allowed for more space for vendors. It has also made it possible for the popular Fare at the Fair event and the Salsa and Dairy Foods competitions to be moved into Clover Hall.
“We are very appreciative of the cooperation from Vermillion Public Transit to make this possible,” said O’Connor.
The fair kicks off Thursday, Aug. 8, with bingo from noon until 4 p.m. Vendor booths will be open from 1 until 8 p.m. with inflatables for kids up and running from 1 until 10 p.m. Don’t miss the Sanford Mega Heart and the National Park Service Mobile Station set up on the street alongside other attractions.
At 2 p.m., the Clay County Princess Pageant will take to the main stage, while livestock shows getting underway in the 4-H barns. The Bunyan’s/First Dakota Bank Beer Garden will open at 3 p.m.
This year, Thursday on the Platz will be held on the street at the fair. Enjoy entertainment by Kobe Provost at 5:30 p.m. while indulging in the free community barbeque that begins at the same time. The kids’ Dakota Pedal Pull will kick off on the street at 6 p.m. Meanwhile, karaoke on the main stage will cap off the evening from 8 until 10 p.m.
Friday’s schedule includes live music from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m.); bingo from 12 to 4 p.m.; the 4-H Fashion Revue at 2 p.m.; Local Fare at the Fair from 3 to 6 p.m.; and an ice cream social at 5 p.m. among many other things.
“We have made several changes to the Friday schedule this year by adding new events and moving some events around. We are very excited to welcome Clay Union Electric to the fair. They will be hosting a customer appreciation event as well as doing some safety demonstrations on Friday,” O’Connor said. “There will also be free live music on the stage most of the day with 4-H Fashion Revue during the afternoon. We are also very excited about welcoming two food trucks to the fair this year for Friday evening. Broken Trellis and Kepp's Sheep Chislic are very popular and will offer new choices in addition to the 4-H Food Stand. We are also really looking forward to the Cornhole Tournament which is being hosted by the Vermillion American Legion Post 1 on Friday night.”
Of course, the popular Barnyard Olympics are back on Friday at 4 p.m. in the arena. The Cornhole Tournament kicks off at 6 p.m. with Bluff Ridge taking to the Main Stage from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Of special interest to teenagers will be the Teen Dance for ages 13 to 18, to be held from 8:30 until 10:30 p.m. on Friday night.
Saturday’s fair agenda is as busy as ever. Activities to note include the Car, Truck, and Tractor Show and Shine from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., the 4-H Round Robin contest at 1 p.m., horse rides from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on the softball fields, the Celebrity Round Robin contest at 2 p.m., the second annual Salsa Competition from 3 until 5 p.m.; and the Clay County Has Talent contest at 3:30 p.m.
The Clay County Fair will close with the ever-popular Demolition Derby at 7 p.m., followed by a street dance featuring Warning Shots.
“We hope everyone comes out to enjoy the fair this year!” said O’Connor.