HALE – While the carnival rides and a couple other activities were cancelled last year due to the pandemic, the Iosco County Fair will be returning to a full schedule for its 77th rendition in 2021. The entertainment will begin Monday, July 26, and last through the evening of Saturday, July 31.
The festivities will be hosted at the Iosco County Fairgrounds on M-65, which is located ¼-mile north of the stoplight in Hale, across from Hale Baptist Church.
The $3 gate fee for entrance into the venue will only be charged on Friday, July 30. (Children 11 and under, though, will still be admitted at no cost on this day). Courtesy of the following, which have each covered one day, all other gate fees this year have been taken care of: Hale Assembly of God Church; Don and Cheryl McDonell, agents at Scofield Real Estate; Wilson Trucking & Excavating, LLC and Wilson & Sons Septic Cleaning; Scofield Real Estate; and Hale Area FISH.
Listed below are the activities which have been scheduled for the coming days. More details on the nearly week-long Iosco County Fair – such as contact information and registration forms/rules for various events – can be found at www.ioscocountyfair.com.
Monday, July 26:
Gates will open at 4 p.m., which is also the starting time for the flag dedication ceremony that will be held at the fair office building.
Commercial exhibits, including outside vendors and those stationed in the Samson Building, will be open from 4-9 p.m.
Just ahead of the Youth Speed Show in the horse arena, which begins at 5 p.m., will be the poultry judging at 4:30 p.m.
Also commencing at 4:30 p.m. will be the first of several Comedy Farm Magic Review shows. Described as a family fun show which is full of surprises, it features illusionist Jonathon LaChance as Farmer John, his farm helper Miss Jaz and the always silly and unforgettable “Clucky” the talking chicken.
Along with farm-themed comedy and magic, the presentations also include agricultural information and farm safety tips. Subsequent shows on Monday are set for 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., and will then continue throughout the fair week.
Another performance that will go on for the duration of the fair, at least two times a day, is the Urias Stunt, Thrill and Acrobat Show.
Presented by the group known as the Urias Family Daredevils, the motorcycle stunts – with riders zooming around a brave woman – occur within the confines of a 16-foot diameter globe. Information on their website reads that original family members and brothers, Erwin and Melvin Urias, have been “globe riders” since childhood, following in their father, grandfather and great-grandfather’s footsteps. Olga Surnina joined the team in 2008, while Jodie Urias has the extraordinary job of being the daring young lady who graces the center of the globe.
The Urias family is proud to be performing in the original globe that was built by their great-grandfather almost 100 years ago.
Show times on Monday have been set for 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
A drawing for his and hers children’s bicycles will take place on each day of the fair, as well. The names will be announced in the Samson Building, and winners must be present to claim their prize. The drawing on Monday will be at 6:30 p.m.
As part of their Outlaw Racing Series, Michigan Mud Jam is scheduled to host mega truck races, a tough truck contest and side by side racing, starting at 7 p.m. in the exhibition grandstand. General admission is $8, or pit side seats can be purchased for $15. There is no charge for children age 5 and younger.
The contestant entry fee is $100, and further questions may be directed to Ron Heal by calling 329-7407.
Tuesday, July 27:
Plenty of activities are also set for Tuesday, which is “Armed Forces Appreciation Day” at the Iosco County Fair.
Gates will open at 8 a.m., after which visitors can either watch the rabbit judging at 10 a.m., or make their way to the horse arena for the Exceptional Equestrians event at that same time.
The commercial exhibits/vendors will be available at 11 a.m., and will remain open until 10 p.m.
The first of three Comedy Farm Magic Review Shows will kick off at 12:15 p.m. It will be presented again at 2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Getting things started in the livestock arena will be the goat show at 1 p.m. This is to be followed by the sheep judging, market beef judging and then, after a dinner break, the hog judging.
If a cruise aboard a monster truck is more your speed, this will be offered from 1-10 p.m., at a cost of $5 a person, per ride. The experience will also be available on the remaining days of the fair.
Anderson Midways is bringing carnival rides, games and food to the grounds, with the midway set to open at 2 p.m. All rides are $2 each, but fair goers can also opt for either a $20 daily bracelet or a $60 Weekly Mega Ride Pass.
Tuesday’s grandstand event – which will be free of charge – is the Heavy and Light Weight Pony Pulls, starting at 6 p.m. Put on by the Michigan Pony Dynamometer Association, those wanting to participate can contact either the event superintendent Jesse Erickson, at 254-9852, or the association’s secretary, at 517-200-8235.
A drawing for his and hers children’s bikes will be at 6:30 p.m., after which the band Alabaster Sun will be providing musical entertainment, from 7-9 p.m.
The Urias Stunt, Thrill and Acrobat Show performers will be among those capping off the evening’s entertainment, with their final act of the night beginning at 8:30 p.m. For guests hoping to catch an earlier show, the group will also be demonstrating their skills at 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday, July 28:
Gates will open at 8 a.m. on “Senior Citizen Recognition Day” at the fair. Up first will be some events in the livestock arena, starting with the non-market beef and dairy judging at 9:30 a.m., and followed by the Jr. Pee-Wee and Pee-Wee Showmanship.
The commercial exhibits and outside vendors will again be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and the monster truck rides will be returning, as well, from 1-10 p.m.
Other activities starting at 1 p.m. are the VEX IQ Robotics demonstrations by area youth, and the first of the day’s Comedy Farm Magic Review Show presentations. Additional shows are planned for 3:30 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
When the midway opens at 2 p.m., grandparents who attend with a paid grandchild will be able to ride for free.
A scavenger hunt, designed as a team activity for youth participants, will start off at 2 p.m. in the livestock barn.
Also on the agenda is children’s fingerprinting by the Iosco County Sheriff’s Posse, slated from 5-7 p.m.
The Wednesday performance times for the Urias Stunt, Thrill and Acrobat Show will be 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Evening amusement will include an Open Speed Horse Show at 6 p.m. in the horse arena; a drawing for his and hers children’s bicycles at 6:30 p.m.; live music by the band FLiPSiDE, from 7-10 p.m. in the entertainment tent; and the Motorhome Demo Derby & Night of Destruction.
Beginning at 7 p.m. in the exhibition grandstand, the Night of Destruction event will feature the motorhome demolition derby, as well as a car soccer demo and other motorsport activities. Power Wheels racing for those ages 3-10 will also be part of the entertainment, for which participants will need to bring their own vehicle.
Admission is $8, while attendees 5 and under can view the spectacle for free. Seats in the pit will also be available, for $15.
Thursday, July 29:
Shortly after the gates open at 8 a.m. on “Agricultural Day,” a free breakfast will be offered in the entertainment tent from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Immediately following, at the same site, will be the bike safety demonstration that is scheduled until 11:30 a.m.
The Jr. Barnyard Olympics – complete with such comical challenges as bale jumping, stick pony races, sheep herding and a hay wagon race – will get underway at 11 a.m. in the livestock arena.
There will be four children per team, ages 7-13, and medals will be awarded to the first through third place finishers. If an interested participant doesn’t yet have a group, coordinators note that they will help put teams together.
The adults will then have their chance to battle it out against each other in similar challenges, with the Barnyard Olympics beginning at 1 p.m. in the livestock arena. This will also call for teams of four, who will have a shot at winning first through third place medals, as well.
Participants must pre-register at the fair office, during fair week. For both the junior and regular Barnyard Olympics, additional inquiries may be directed to Kelly Ruckle, by calling 240-3235.
Another humorous county fair favorite will also be returning on Thursday, with the Cow Costume Contest Parade. It will begin at 11:30 a.m. in the livestock building, and spectators will have from noon until 4 p.m. to vote for their favorite cow costume.
Among the other options for visitors this day will be the indoor commercial exhibits and outdoor vendors, open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; the Comedy Farm Magic Review Shows at 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.; monster truck rides from 1-10 p.m.; the Urias Stunt, Thrill and Acrobat Shows at 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.; a tractor parade at 3 p.m.; and a drawing for his and hers children’s bikes at 4:30 p.m.
The midway will open at 2 p.m. and, for “Third Wheel Day,” those who purchase two, $20 ride bracelets at the same time will be given a third bracelet for free.
Cow Pie Bingo will be back for another year at the fairgrounds, and will start at 5 p.m. To play, participants will purchase a $10 medallion, which they will pick up from the livestock arena between 4:30 p.m. and 4:45 p.m. Competitors will place their medallions in the arena, and simply wait for the cow to “make a pie.” The owner of the first medallion to be cow pied will take home $300 cash, and he or she need not be present to win.
The funds raised during this activity will be used to help upgrade the livestock area, and more information is available by calling event superintendent Kelly Ruckle at 240-3235.
A root beer float social, sponsored by Scofield Real Estate, has been set from 5-7 p.m. and the proceeds will benefit the livestock building fund.
Also between 5-7 p.m., will be children’s fingerprinting by the Iosco County Sheriff’s Posse.
A livestock auction has been scheduled on Agricultural Day, as well, and it will begin at 6 p.m. in the livestock arena.
Friday, July 30:
The Iosco County Fairgrounds will open up at 8 a.m. on Friday, and the first event will be the Youth Pleasure Horse Show, starting at 9 a.m. in the horse arena.
As people visit the commercial exhibits and outside vendors that will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., there will also be plenty of other activities for them to enjoy in between. Options include the Comedy Farm Magic Review Shows, set for 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; the Youth Ranch Trail Class in the horse arena, from 1-3 p.m.; monster truck rides from 1-10 p.m.; games, rides and food at the midway, beginning at 2 p.m.; an “Old Maid Run” youth activity at 2 p.m.; the Urias Stunt, Thrill and Acrobat Shows at 2:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and musical entertainment from 7-10 p.m.
Additionally, a Future Farmers of America (FFA) chicken BBQ dinner will be served up in the entertainment tent, starting at 4 p.m. An FFA silent auction will be held in the same spot, between 5-6 p.m.
From 5-7 p.m., the Iosco County Sheriff’s Posse will be back at the fairgrounds for children’s fingerprinting.
The younger attendees will also have a chance to bring home a new bicycle, as another drawing will take place at 6:30 p.m.
There will be no charge for those age 5 and under who want to attend the Off Road Demo Derby Bump N Run, starting at 7 p.m. in the exhibition grandstand. For all others, admission is $8 for regular seats, or $15 for pits. A burn-out contest will be part of the fun also, as will Power Wheel racing for children ages 3-10. All entry forms are available on the county fair website.
A Fun Horse Show will begin at 7 p.m. in the horse arena, followed by a light parade around the race track.
Saturday, July 30:
For “Ag Education Day,” gates will open at 8 a.m. and an Open Pleasure Horse Show will start things off at 9 a.m.
Games and contests for all ages, beginning at 9:30 a.m., will include a three-legged race, wheelbarrow race, egg throwing and more. For additional details, event superintendent Daryl Johnson can be reached at 305-5695.
The commercial exhibits in the Samson Building, along with the outside vendors, will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
A tradition during the finale day of the festivities is the Iosco County Fair Parade, for which participants will line up at 11 a.m. in the parking lot of Roger’s Family Foods. The parade will begin at noon and travel north along M-65, through downtown Hale.
Prizes will be awarded to winning parade participants, and pre-registration through the county fair website is highly recommended. For more information, contact event superintendent Pastor Todd Vossen, at 728-3821.
The Comedy Farm Magic Review will begin its first showing of the day at 1 p.m., with subsequent presentations set for 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Also giving multiple performances will be those from the Urias Stunt, Thrill and Acrobat Show. The times are 1:30 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Agricultural education activities will go on from 1-3 p.m. in the livestock barn, and will include everything from butter making and rock painting, to living plant necklace making, chicken hatching and ice cream making.
Monster truck rides will be offered from 1-10 p.m., and the midway will also begin welcoming guests at 1 p.m.
For the carnival ride special of the day, participants can fill in a punch card as they check off the Ag Education Day activities, and then present a voucher of their completion at the midway ticket booth to get $5 off a daily bracelet.
Registration for the pedal pull – sponsored by Willard’s Equipment, Inc. – will be at 2 p.m. at the fair office, with the event scheduled to start there at 3 p.m.
Also available will be a 4-H silent auction in the entertainment tent, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.; a cornhole tournament at 3:30 p.m., for which registration will occur 15 minutes prior in the livestock arena; an FFA hog roast dinner in the entertainment tent at 4 p.m.; children’s fingerprinting by the Iosco County Sheriff’s Posse, from 5-7 p.m.; a quilt raffle drawing in the Dooley Building at 6 p.m.; and a 6 p.m. drawing for his and hers children’s bikes.
Flying Star Rodeo Productions is presenting the grandstand event that night, with their pro rodeo which will begin at 7 p.m. Admission is $8, children 5 and under can attend for free, and the show will include a seven event rodeo, coupled with the humor of a professional rodeo clown.
Audience members may participate, as well, with chute dogging available for teams of adults and a boot scramble for the children.
The County Fair Talent Search, put on by Alpha Media and 94.5 The Moose, will hold the contest registration at 7 p.m. in the entertainment tent. The actual event will begin at 7:30 p.m.
There will be two age divisions – 16 and under, and 17 and over – with prizes awarded for each age group. Audition materials must be submitted prior to the fair, and more information can be found at 945TheMoose.com.