COLUMBIA — George Harris, manager of the Boone County Fairgrounds, starts his morning at the fairgrounds before 7 a.m. For this year’s fair, he is most excited about the youth who will participate.
“They’ve spent the entire year preparing their projects that will be presented and taking care of their animals,” Harris said. “The fair is just a great place for family entertainment. The carnival is very family friendly.”
Officially, the fair begins at 4 p.m. on Monday, but there are several pre-fair activities this weekend. On Saturday: A parade through downtown Columbia begins at 10 a.m. at Broadway and Dorsey Street; a Horse and Pony Fun Horse Show, 1 p.m.; and a 4-H/FFA dog show, 6 p.m. On Sunday: A 4-H horse show, 9:30 a.m.; Open Breeding Cattle and Steer show, 10 a.m.; and the Junior Bucket Calf Show, 1 p.m.
The Boone County Fairgrounds are at 5212 N. Oakland Gravel Road (take U.S. 63 North to get there). Visit boonecountyfairgrounds.com/directions.html for more detailed directions.
$5 daily admission and free for children younger than 6; $20 for a season pass. Monday is Veterans Night, meaning veterans will be admitted for free.
Parking is available at the fairgrounds.
“We hope to reach the 100,000 mark this year,” Harris said. Last year, an estimated 99,800 people showed up, he said.
NEW THIS YEAR
Car racing will be held at the Boone County Fair for the first time. The races are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday and again from 7 to 10 p.m. on Wednesday. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and younger. Both races will take place at the grandstand. At the end of the race on Wednesday, there will be a grand finale as the cars race in a figure eight.
“Usually, we do the car races in the winter time inside the main arena,” said Harris. “Now it will be outside at the grandstand, and we’ll have more room this year.”
The pig races will take place throughout the week, starting on Wednesday at 5, 7 and 9 p.m.; Thursday at 5, 7 and 9 p.m.; Friday at 5, 7, 9 and 11 p.m.; and July 26 at 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11 p.m.
The girls’ baby contest will begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday in the multipurpose room; boys’ baby contest, 6 p.m. on Friday in the multipurpose room.
Judging for the ham contest will be at 7 a.m. on Friday. Entries for the contest need to be made between 5 and 8 p.m. on Thursday. Any Boone County family, household or farming unit can enter one ham. The top 40 hams will be auctioned at the ham breakfast at 7 a.m. on Saturday.
Miss Boone County Queen Pageant and Princess Pageant will be at 7 p.m. on Monday in the multipurpose room.
At 6 p.m. on Monday, the carnival rides will be $1 per ride. The carnival officially opens at 6 p.m. on Tuesday and will be open for the rest of the week. Wristbands cost $15. (On Wednesday, wristbands will cost $10.)
The Children’s Barnyard will be open Monday through Friday from 4 to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 2 to 9 p.m.
Family Fun Night registration begins at 5 p.m. on Monday with games starting at 6 p.m. All families are welcome to attend.
Ending the fair will be the demolition derby, scheduled for 7 p.m. on Sunday, July 27, at the grandstand. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and younger.