As Illinois continues to relax virus-related restrictions, the Massac County Youth Fair is returning to many of the activities that make coming to the fair so much fun.
Back will be the challenging Farm Follies, the yummy Watermelon Bust, even the food auction. The ever-popular stick horse show and the greased pig contest return as well.
The 4-H food stand will be open, with a limited menu, but promises to provide plenty of pork burgers and beef hot dogs. Beef Night will be modified this year, but fairgoers will still be able to find rib-eyes or bratwurst sold from the 4-H stand.
State guidelines for fairs are to consult health departments in the area, and Southern Seven Health Department has said the Youth Fair can operate as normal. There will not be limits on the number of fairgoers attending the events, watching the livestock shows or touring the exhibit hall. Temperatures will not be taken on everyone entering the fairgrounds. Distancing and masks will be the decision of each person coming to the fair.
Bleachers will be back at the horse arena and around the livestock show ring. While proud parents and grandparents may bring lawn chairs if they like, there will also be seating available as the kids demonstrate their skills with animals from horses to rabbits, beef and dairy cattle, goats, sheep, swine, even ducks, dogs and cats.
“Catch the Fair Fever” is the theme of the July 16-24 event that kicks off Friday with the Farm Toy Show bringing vendors, dealers, traders and exhibitors of farm toys, construction toys, trucks, cars, crafts and much more to the exhibit hall that evening and Saturday, July 17, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. That day, the big tractors come in for the Tractor and Old Machinery Show, featuring Case, and stay through 3 p.m. Sunday. A pedal pull for kids 12 and under will be held at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, July 18.
Saturday, July 17, also brings the duck and rabbit show in the morning, and the horse show, starting at its later, and hopefully cooler, time of 6 p.m.
Youth Fair shows take up Monday morning, July 19, with dairy cattle and goats. That evening, from 6-8 p.m., is early entry time to bring in pre-registered projects for the exhibit hall.
Tuesday, July 20, the rest of the projects, pre-registered or not, need to be brought to the exhibit hall between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. The Massac County Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers Committee sponsors the Farm Follies at 6:30 p.m., with teams competing in age brackets for such fun events as hay stacking and water bucket races. During registration, pick up some refreshing melon at Shawnee Community College’s Watermelon Bust.
Wednesday, July 21, in a re-design of the children’s games, anyone of any age may pick up a scavenger hunt list. Fill it out throughout the fair, and turn in by Friday to compete for a cash prize. Players are sure to learn lots of fun farm facts along the way.
Thursday, July 22, is the return of the stick horse show, sponsored by Fort Massac Saddle Club, at 6 p.m., followed by the greased pig contest at 8 p.m.
Friday, July 23, the Shawnee Beef Association will be grilling those rib-eyes and bratwursts.
The fair ends Saturday, July 24, when kids pick up their projects and premiums.
See a full schedule of events in this week’s Metropolis Planet.
The Youth Fair is held on the fairgrounds at 4476 Korte Road west of Massac County High School. Admission and parking are free.