HALE – The 76th annual Iosco County Fair kicked off on Monday. While the first two days of activities have now wrapped up, the fun will continue through Saturday, Aug. 1.
As reported last week, the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions have led to some events being cancelled in 2020, including the carnival rides and games. However, plenty of entertainment will still be available.
Given the fluid situation, the fair schedule may be adjusted as the days go on. For the most up-to-date details, visit www.ioscocountyfair.com.
The Iosco County Fairgrounds are located ¼-mile north of the stoplight in Hale, on the east side of M-65, across from Hale Baptist Church.
The gates will open each day at 8 a.m., and the $3 entry fee will be waived on both Thursday, July 30 and Saturday, Aug. 1. Children 11 and younger will not be charged a gate fee on any of the four remaining days of the fair.
Below is the lineup of the entertainment which is in store for attendees, according to the county fair website:
Wednesday, July 29:
On “Senior Citizen Recognition Day,” the non-market beef and dairy judging will start at 9:30 a.m. This will be followed by the Jr. Pee-Wee and Pee-Wee Showmanship events in the livestock arena.
Commercial exhibits and vendor booths will open at 11 a.m., and will be available until 10 p.m.
Four different presentations of the Comedy Farm Magic Review are set, with show times at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
A new event in 2020, this will continue at several different times on all the remaining days of the fair, as well. The family-friendly act will bring laughs, magic, lessons on farm safety and a chance to meet “Clucky” the talking chicken at every show.
Another first-time activity this year is the Live Shark Encounter Show, which will also go on periodically during the next four days.
Presented by Haai, Inc., the organization’s website reads that this is the only traveling shark show in the United States. Splicing education and entertainment, the audience will have a chance to get a close-up view of the sharks, while Haai staff is on hand to answer any questions.
The shark shows on July 29 have been slated for 3:30 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
From 1-5 p.m., area youths will be giving VEX IQ and VEX EDR robotics demonstrations.
A scavenger hunt is also planned for the younger crowd, starting at 2 p.m. There will be two age divisions: 14-19, and those 13 and younger.
Other activities on Wednesday include CPR demonstrations and blood pressure checks by the Plainfield Township Fire Department First Responders, which will go on from 4-5 p.m. in the entertainment tent.
The Open Speed Horse Show will begin at 6 p.m. in the horse arena, while a drawing for his and hers children’s bicycles will take place at 6:30 p.m.
As a reminder, the bike giveaways will continue each day, in the Samson Building of the fairgrounds, and participants must be present to win.
The exhibition grandstand entertainment this evening is the Motorhome Demo Derby & Night of Destruction event, starting at 7 p.m. Admission is $8, but children 5 and younger may attend for free.
To round out the night, music will be provided by the band Masquerade, from 7-10 p.m.
Thursday, July 30:
The theme for this date is “Agricultural Day,” and attendees are welcome to drive their tractors to the site.
Early-rising event goers will first be treated to a free breakfast in the entertainment tent, from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Attendees will then want to make their way to the track grandstand at 11 a.m. for the Jr. Barnyard Olympics, featuring such comical contests as bale jumping and watermelon seed spitting.
This is also where the regular Barnyard Olympics are to be held, starting at 1 p.m., which will showcase hay wagon races, bale races and much more amusement.
The Cow Costume Contest Parade is another activity not to be missed, and it will start at 11:30 a.m. in the livestock building. Spectators can then vote for their favorite entrant between noon and 4 p.m.
Guests can also enjoy the commercial exhibits and vendors, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Comedy Farm Magic Reviews at noon, 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.; and a tractor parade at 3 p.m.
Demonstrations will be put on by those from the Live Shark Encounter Show, as well, at 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Another drawing for his and hers children’s bikes is set for 4:30 p.m., after which the livestock arena will welcome visitors for Cow Pie Bingo at 5 p.m.
Also starting at 5 p.m., and lasting until 7 p.m., is a root beer float social. Proceeds will go to the livestock building fund.
In keeping with the agricultural theme, the night will conclude with a livestock auction at 6 p.m.
Friday, July 31:
The first event of the day will be the Youth Pleasure Horse Show, beginning at 9 a.m. in the horse arena.
This will be the same venue for the Youth Ranch Trail Class, which will go on from 1-3 p.m.
Commercial exhibits and vendors will reopen at 11 a.m., and will be available until 10 p.m.
The Comedy Farm Magic Review shows are scheduled for 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., while the Live Shark Encounter Shows will take place at 2:30 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Youngsters will have another shot at the bicycle drawings this evening, with the winners being announced at 6:30 p.m.
Three different events will then start at 7 p.m., including music in the entertainment tent until 10 p.m., as well as the Fun Horse Show, which will be followed with a light parade around the horse arena track.
The exhibition grandstand event for July 31 – the Off-Road Demo Derby Bump N Run – will also begin at 7 p.m. Admission is $8, with children 5 and under allowed to attend for free.
Saturday, Aug. 1:
The Open Pleasure Horse Show will begin at 9 a.m. on “Ag Education Day.”
Games and contests for all ages will start at 9:30 a.m., followed shortly thereafter by the 10 a.m. opening of the commercial exhibits and vendor areas, which will be available until 9 p.m.
Participants in the annual Iosco County Fair Parade will line up at 11 a.m. in the parking lot of Roger’s Family Foods, located just down the road from the fairgrounds. The procession will begin at noon and follow M-65 north, through downtown Hale.
Back at the fairgrounds, event goers will have four different opportunities to catch a Comedy Farm Magic Review – 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Four presentations of the Live Shark Encounter Show are also planned, and will be held at 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Agricultural education activities are scheduled from 1-3 p.m., and will include everything from cow milking, ice cream making and five-minute lessons on a horse, to barnyard bingo, rock painting, farm equipment displays, butter making and more.
Registration for the pedal pull will begin at 2 p.m. in the fair office, with the actual event starting at 3 p.m. from the same location.
Competition seekers can also sign up at 3:45 p.m. in the livestock arena, for the cornhole tournament that will begin at 4 p.m.
A Friends of 4-H silent auction has been arranged, as well, and this will go on from 2-4 p.m. in the entertainment tent.
Two different raffles are scheduled at 6 p.m., with a quilt drawing to be held in the Dooley Building, and the children’s bicycle raffle to take place in the Samson Building.
Registration for the talent contest will then be available at 7 p.m. in the entertainment tent, which is where the show will also be held, starting at 7:30 p.m.
The sign-up fee is $5 and the contest will feature a 16 and under class, and a 17 and older class. The first prize is $75, second is $50 and third is $25.
The final exhibition grandstand event for the 2020 Iosco County Fair will be a pro rodeo, beginning at 7 p.m., presented by Flying Star Rodeo Productions. The cost is $8, while admission will be free for those 5 and younger.
Along with the activities noted above, chainsaw carving demonstrations will also take place on the grounds, periodically during the fair.