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posted: 7/29/2013 4:27 PM

Agriculture and entertainment shine at the McHenry County Fair

Agriculture shares center stage with entertainment at McHenry County Fair

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  • Samantha Bolet, 17, of Lake in the Hills wins the crown in the 2012 McHenry County Queen pageant at the McHenry County Fair.

       Samantha Bolet, 17, of Lake in the Hills wins the crown in the 2012 McHenry County Queen pageant at the McHenry County Fair.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer, 2012

  • Austin Gratz, 10, of Harvard gets ready to show his sheep at the 4-H Livestock Auction and Sale of Champions at last year's McHenry County Fair in Woodstock.

      Austin Gratz, 10, of Harvard gets ready to show his sheep at the 4-H Livestock Auction and Sale of Champions at last year's McHenry County Fair in Woodstock.
    Daily Herald File Photo

  • Hungry fairgoers line up for food at last year's McHenry County Fair. This year's fair opens Wednesday, July 31, and runs through Sunday, Aug. 4.

       Hungry fairgoers line up for food at last year's McHenry County Fair. This year's fair opens Wednesday, July 31, and runs through Sunday, Aug. 4.
    BRIAN HILL | Staff Photographer, 2012

  • The first competitor kicks up dust to start the Truck and Tractor Pulls competition at last year's McHenry County Fair.

      The first competitor kicks up dust to start the Truck and Tractor Pulls competition at last year's McHenry County Fair.
    Daily Herald File Photo

 
By Jennifer Tranmer
jtranmer@dailyherald.com

Cows mooing. The roar of dirt bikes. Horses whinnying. Combines revving their engines.

This combination of sounds could mean only one thing -- the return of the McHenry County Fair.

With a combination of agriculture, industry, competition and fun, the annual fair opens Wednesday, July 31, and runs through Sunday, Aug. 4, at the McHenry County Fairgrounds off Route 47 in Woodstock.

Admission is $7, $3 for kids ages 8 to 12 and free for kids ages 7 and younger. Coupons are available on the fair's website and Facebook page.

Stop by the Horse Arena at 6 p.m. Thursday for the new Mustang Horse Show, with horses performing stunts at no additional cost.

Get a 4-H tour of the livestock barns Friday -- knowledgeable volunteers will give visitors a look into what goes into the care of animals, said Dan Linneman of Hebron, chairman of the publicity committee for the fair.

Linneman will be working with his family on the Sheep Show, weighing the animals and making sure they are ready for sale.

He continues to be part of the livestock exhibitions because of what showing his family's animals as a 4-H member did for him.

"I paid my way through college," he said. "It was good learning how to run finances and knowing the hard work involved with raising animals."

But a large variety of livestock shows won't be the only feature at the five-day fair.

Organizers are working within the community to continue to offer an improved lineup of events, Linneman said.

"We try to think of agriculturally based ideas," he said. But ultimately, "We just try to direct what's going to draw people by getting surveys out we want to get the best product that people want to see."

A motocross show will headline Friday night, with riders taking highflying jumps and zipping around tight corners in an adrenaline-filled evening of stunts, Linneman said. The show starts at 4:30 p.m. in the Grandstand for an additional $5.

A combine demolition derby set for 8 p.m. Saturday will feature powerful machines trying to smash and crash their way into first place.

A truck and tractor pull competition will precede the Combine Demolition Derby for $10. Starting at 5 p.m., fairgoers can watch these modified machines rev and show their power.

At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, a 21-tractor salute will honor veterans as the fair takes a day to pay tribute to local veterans and all they have done for the community, said Linneman.

The Grandstand and Entertainment Pavilion will host bands and a variety of shows. Linneman said he is most looking forward to the Modern Day Romeros headlining at 9 p.m. Friday at the Entertainment Pavilion.

Talent shows, a carnival, pygmy goat games, karaoke, wine tastings, a beer garden, dog demonstrations and other events will round out the offerings.

For details, visit www.mchenrycountyfair.com/.

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