Kane County Fair returns with mix of old and new favorites
Years before he became president of the Kane County Fair board, Larry Breon was participating as a member of the 4-H Club.
Agriculture was the core theme of the fair at the time, he recalled, with machinery, seed corn and fertilizer dealers showcased throughout the grounds. Kids in the 4-H youth development program displayed projects centered around home economics, livestock and crop production.
Much has changed since then, Breon said as his team prepares to kick off the 151st annual fair Wednesday, July 17. The event has become more urbanized, he says, and agriculture-themed exhibits are no longer the "main thrust."
The 4-H Club, too, has expanded to include engineering, technology, communication, visual arts, natural resources and several other categories. But one thing that has remained unchanged, Breon says, is the program's significance to the fair.
"That's one of our main reasons for being in business," said Breon, who has been on the organizational side for more than 35 years.
"We have a very good 4-H program in Kane County ... and kids, I think, get a lot out of it."
The 4-H livestock shows and other projects are among the dozens of activities on the docket for the four-day event, Breon said. Carnival rides, live music, food vendors, a tiger show, pig racing, a magic show, interactive children's activities and a petting zoo also can be found throughout the fairgrounds, 525 Randall Road, St. Charles.
The grounds are open from 3 to 11 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, July 17-18; noon to midnight Friday and Saturday, July 19-20; and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday, July 21.
Fair organizers plan to bring back several features introduced during the 150th event, Breon said. Wine tasting and bingo were met with "quite a bit of success" last year, he said, and the goal is to continue growing both.
"I always say, 'the dinosaur didn't adapt very well. He's not around anymore,'" Breon said. "You've got to adapt. (4-H) did, and we're trying, too."
Professional bull riding will return to the grandstand at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Championship cowgirl barrel racing -- a Kane County Fair first, Breon says -- will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Grandstand events, all of which cost an extra $10 to $14, also include a monster truck show at 7 p.m. Thursday and a demolition derby at 4 p.m. Sunday.
On the Miller Lite stage, Libido Funk Circus will perform at 7 p.m. Thursday; Hillbilly Rockstarz is scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday; Hi Infidelity will play at 8 p.m. Saturday; and 7th heaven performs at 7 p.m. Sunday.
On Wednesday, a special pre-fair event will offer carnival rides with no general admission charge. On Thursday, general admission is $5 for anyone ages 3 and older, and free for seniors and military personnel until 5 p.m. Admission is $10 the next three days; $5 for children ages 3-12; and free for kids ages 2 and younger.
Unlimited rides are available each day for $20.
For information, visit www.kanecountyfair.com.
151st annual Kane County FairWhen: 3 to 11 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; noon to midnight Friday and Saturday; noon to 10 p.m. Sunday, July 17-21
Where: Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 Randall Road, St. Charles
Cost: Free admission Wednesday. On Thursday, $5 general admission; free for seniors, military personnel and children 2 and under. Friday through Sunday, $10 general admission; $5 for children 3-12; free for kids 2 and under. $20 unlimited carnival rides each day.
Grandstand events: Monster truck show at 7 p.m. Thursday, $10; Professional Championship Bull riders and Cowgirls at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, $14; Championship cowgirl barrel racing at 1 p.m. Saturday, $10; demolition derby at 4 p.m. Sunday, $10
Info: www.kanecountyfair.com; (630) 584-6926