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Fair to show off improved grounds

A new restroom facility is shown at the Fairbury Fairgrounds / CIFN photo.

The Fairbury Fair is getting back to its roots this year.

“Agriculture…Our Heritage” is the theme for the 140th annual event Aug. 17-21 at the fairgrounds on the south end of town. The ladies of Floral Hall came up with the theme to pay tribute to the industry which started it all.

“We’re taking a step back and this is what we are in Fairbury – we’re all agricultural,” explained fair manager Sally Goembel.

The local FFA chapter is even getting involved as members from Prairie Central will help staff an agriculture exhibit area with fun information and activities.

Entertainment will be plentiful during the five-day celebration. A Johnny and June Cash tribute band known as “One More Round” will perform Wednesday at 7 p.m. with a $5 grandstand entry. Country rock band Brushville plays Thursday evening with up and coming country singer Caroline Kole headlining the night. Jury’s Out performs Saturday and Jawbone Stew will play during the baggo tournament Sunday.

“We love having entertainment for all the people on our grounds to enjoy,” said fair president Leroy Rodriguez.

The Cincinnati Circus will be the main midway act featuring a big tent with three locations on the fairgrounds including different activities.

“They’re going to pretty much fill our whole midway for us this year,” Goembel said.

Leuhr’s Ideal Rides return to the fair with some new rides this year such as a hang glider and different slide. A third new ride is possible, according to Goembel.

Fair visitors will notice brand new restrooms, which replaced ones that were close to 100 years old. The restrooms have doubled in size and even have showers. Last fall’s weather allowed volunteers to begin the work.

“East of our grandstand, we tore down the old wood bleachers and replaced them with brand new aluminum and increased our seating for shows by almost 600 seats,” stated Goembel.

Goembel and Rodriguez appreciate Bank of Pontiac stepping up to finance the project once they heard of the plans. The two consider the number of volunteers helping out “amazing.”

“I would like to thank all of our sponsors and all the people that come out to support the Fairbury Fair and the American Legion Speedway. Without those people, we would never exist any longer,” added Rodriguez.

Aug. 20 will be a busy day with the 5K run or two-mile walk. Registration is at 6:45 a.m. with the event starting at 8. Also, the winner of the “Agriculture…Our Heritage” photo contest is announced at 1 p.m. Sunday’s community worship service, antique farm equipment display and chili cook off are also popular among fairgoers.

More information on the Fairbury Fair can be found at

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