Fair Season in Full Swing!!

July 3rd, 2014

carnivalrideCan you believe that it’s July 1st, we are getting ready to celebrate the July 4th holiday and that QVC (one of the largest multimedia retailers in the world) is running a “Christmas in July” show as I’m writing this? Where has the year gone? Time certainly does fly when you’re having fun…and one of the fun things Dan and I enjoy during the summer is our local county fair. But even though our local fair begins next week, the county fair season surrounding the lodge has been in full swing since the middle of June…and will continue on into the last weeks of summer!

So how do you keep up with all the local county & state fairs? Just sit back, relax and have some fun as I take you on the county fair circuit…full of fun, food, music, carnival rides, livestock and 4-H exhibits and more! We also have them all listed on our Calendar of Events…be sure and check it out!

A few of the local fairs have already taken place, such as the Greene County Fair in Carrollton, IL; the Sangamon County Fair in New Berlin, IL; the Macoupin County Fair in Carlinville, IL; and the Western Illinois Fair in Griggsville, IL. But don’t worry if you missed them…they’ll be on your calendar for next year! AND, you still have several other fairs to enjoy this summer, especially if you’ve decided to book your vacation or long weekend at Heartland Lodge! I was surprised at how many county fairs there were in the area surrounding the lodge…I guess I just never really thought about all the fun that was waiting for me!

barrelracingMost all of the county fairs will include a Fair Queen Contest or Pageant – sometimes held a few days before the fair officially opens – as well as livestock and commercial exhibits, a Midway with carnival rides, truck and tractor pulls, and of course, fair food! Corn dogs, lemonade shake-ups, and cotton candy are just a few of my favorites. But even though there are similar events at all the fairs, each fair seems to have an event (or more) that is unique to their fair – and that’s what makes it fun!

Schuyler County Fair (Rushville, IL) – July 1-6, 2014 – The Schuyler County Fair actually began today and is the county fair that I enjoyed as I was growing up. It is one of the several fairs that still has harness racing and the Demolition Derby but has added events such as Bull Riding and a Mud Sling. They will also be holding a fireworks display on Friday, July 4th. But their big attraction this year is their Grandstand entertainment – Thomas Rhett with Grainger Smith and featuring Earl Dibbles, Jr. will perform on Saturday, July 5th. Last year Florida Georgia Line performed so it looks like they are continuing a trend of great performers as headliners!

tractorpullLincoln County Fair (Troy, MO) – July 8-12, 2014 – The Lincoln County Fair will be the fair that Dan & I will be enjoying next week. Our festivities begin on Saturday, July 5th with the Queen Pageant followed by the parade on Sunday, July 6th to kick off fair week. In addition to the normal fair activities, you will also find ATV Super Cross, Dirt Bike Supercross, a Classic Tractor Pull, the NTPA, Excaliber Tractor/Truck Pull, and several nights of horse shows. The Dock Dogs and Arcadeland are back again while a Palm Reader and World League Wrestling are new attractions. Saturday is a huge day at the fair with Kids Athletic Events, Frog & Turtle Races, Pedal Tractor Pull, Watermelon Contest and a Greased Pig Scramble. The entertainment in front of the Grandstand on Saturday, July 12th this year includes Danielle Bradbery, LoCash Cowboys and Kellie Pickler! Maybe we’ll see you there!

Morgan County Fair (Jacksonville, IL) – July 9-13, 2014 – I may have to take a day and go check out some of the events at the Morgan County Fair. They have a Loghoggers Log Sculpting attraction that sounds interesting…and they also have Bench Press/Deadlift Championships, Cowboy Mounted Shooting, Sand Volleyball Tournament and a Pet & Wheel Parade. In addition to the Professional Truck & Tractor Pull, they also have an Antique Tractor Parade and an Antique Tractor Pull.

hogshowPike County Fair (Pleasant Hill, IL) – July 17-20, 2014 – The Pike County Fair will be in the lodge’s backyard and so you won’t want to miss all the fun! In addition to their Queen Contest, they also hold a Prince/Princess and Jr. Miss contest…and here’s a new one! A Mr. Hottie Contest! How fun would that be? I don’t think any other fair is holding a Mr. Hottie Contest so you might need to check it out! They will also hold a Baby, Tinytot and Lil. Mr. & Miss Contest. Their Society Horse Show will be held on Saturday, July 12, the Western Horse Show will be held on Monday, July 14th and the Speed Horse Show will be held on Thursday, July 17th. For all you horse lovers staying at the lodge, this would be a great way to spend an evening! And they are having a Lawnmower Derby in addition to their Demolition Derby…you’ve got to check it out!

Pike County Fair (Bowling Green, MO) – July 22-26, 2014 – Back to back Pike County Fairs – what more could you want? Just make sure to cross the river into Missouri for this Pike County Fair! Clay Walker will be headlining their Grandstand show on Saturday, July 26th. You can also enjoy some local entertainment on the Grandstand stage beginning at 2:30 p.m. that afternoon. If you enjoy dirt bikes, then be sure to check out the Moto-Cross Dirt Bike Races and Quad Races. They are also holding a Look-a-Like Contest, Rodeo & Calf Scramble, Baby Show, Hot Dog Eating Contest, Public Speaking Contest, an ATV Rodeo and more!

midwayAdams County Fair (Mendon, IL) – July 23-29, 2014 – I am hoping to definitely head to the Adams County Fair this year to see Bridgette Tatum at the Grandstand on Thursday, July 24. I had the privilege of meeting her earlier this year when she performed with Kristy Lee Cook at the 15th Annual Clays for Scouting held at Heartland Lodge…and would love to see her in concert! Craig Morgan will take the stage on Saturday, July 26th so mark your calendars now! There will be a lot going on at this fair so be sure to definitely check out the schedule of events on their web site. You can enjoy a 13 & Up Kids & Parents Fun Horse Show, a 12 & Under PeeWee Horse Show, Woody’s Barnyard Educational Exotic Animal Show, Watermelon Feed, Bull Riding, and a Baby Contest. There is even a Sawing, Threshing, Steam Engine and Blacksmith Demonstration (sounds like a good photo opportunity).

Brown County Fair (Mt. Sterling, IL) – July 29-Augut 3, 2014 – Looking to enjoy some harness racing? Then head to the Brown County Fair where you’ll find not only Harness Racing but the UPA United Pullers of America Tractor Pull, the Kids’ Grand National Pedal Tractor Pull and the Western Illinois Grand National Tractor Pull in addition to a Car Show/Cruise Parade. Madd Hoss Jackson, a local group from Mt. Sterling who will be opening for Josh Thompson in Hannibal on Thursday, July 3rd and has developed quite a following, will be the headline act on Thursday, July 31st. There will be several other local groups performing throughout the week so if you enjoy good music, this will definitely be a fair to attend!

kidsattractorpullIllinois State Fair (Springfield, IL) – August 7-17, 2014 – Where do I begin with the Illinois State Fair? So much to do and see…and so little time! This is one that you will definitely want to visit the web site for all the information! A Grandstand lineup including American Idols Live, Pitbull, Florida Georgia Line with Colt Ford, Hunter Hays, Jake Owen and more! The fair opens with a Twilight Parade and is known for some of the finest Harness Racing around. You’ll also enjoy a Society Horse Show (one of the best) as well as daily events and exhibits. But it seems to me that the State Fair is known for some one-of-a-kind contests – Husband/Hog Calling Contest, Ponytail/Pigtail Contest, Decorated Diaper/Diaper Derby Contest and even a Baton Twirling Contest. In addition to their Grandstand lineup, you will also find 12 FREE entertainment stages, a High Dive Show, the Ethnic Village, the Illinois Wine Experience and the famous Butter Cow! Dan & I are planning to attend a couple of days this year…we’ll fill you in on the highlights when we get back!

WOW! So much to enjoy…and so many opportunities to see the reason county fairs are so popular around the lodge. It’s a chance for the youth of today to showcase their projects and livestock, a chance to enjoy some great music and attractions…but most of all, a great way to spend time with your family. Last year, Dan and I took the opportunity to expose our great niece and nephew to our county fair…there is nothing more fun than to see the excitement in their eyes when they experience a county fair for the first time! So take in a show (or two), enjoy the all the carnival rides and the fair food, and experience all these fairs have to offer! But more importantly, just kick back and have fun! All of these fairs are only a short drive from Heartland Lodge…and a perfect way to fill your day! I know that Dan & I enjoy them…we hope you will too!

Lori Biehl
Fifteen-Year-In-a-Row Guest

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