Fairbury Fair Manager Sally Goembel remembers attending the fair when she was a child and wants those memories to live on.
“I want other children to remember it just the same,” Goembel said.
During the past few years, Goembel and others on the Fairbury Fair board decided to focus more on the children attending the annual five-day event on the south end of town. This year’s fair theme is “Small Town U.S.A.” which fits in nicely with the idea.
The perfect example of the family-friendly atmosphere is a free gate all day on opening day. The Martin Family Circus singing group performs that night with free grandstand admission. The group includes a mom, dad and four children.
“The dad was the lead singer from the group Exile. The mom is the daughter of Duane Allen who was in the Oak Ridge Boys,” explained Goembel.
The Martin Family Circus has a strong following and they are working on a CD. Fair organizers were impressed when they first saw the group perform which was why they decided to bring them to Fairbury. Also, a kid drawing on Sunday for those 12 and under will feature six bicycles, hover boards and other large prizes. Gombel said the community has really pitched in with donations.
Wood carvers will return to the fair this year on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with the Bear Hollow Wood Carvers on the midway.
“On Sunday, there will be an auction of the stuff they carved during the week,” stated Goembel.
Saturday and Sunday seem to be the busiest days of the fair with the 5K run or two mile walk, kid baggo tournament and a free Saturday night performance from the Indigos under the beer tent from 8 p.m. to midnight. The funk band provides an energetic show with some popular songs thrown in.
“We got to see them perform down in Springfield this year and immediately were impressed with them,” said Goembel. “I encourage everyone to come out and see that show.”
Race fans will not be disappointed during the fair as there will be two nights of racing on Thursday and Saturday. Racing starts at 6 p.m. Thursday with late models, modifieds and crates. The races start at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
The fair runs Aug. 16-20 and more information can be found at www.fairburyfair.com or by looking for Fairbury Fair on Facebook.