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Fair time in McLean County

The Rader family visits the McLean County Fair on Wednesday / CIFN photo.

BLOOMINGTON – Everyone had a smile on their face for opening day of the McLean County Fair Wednesday.

Visitors couldn’t ask for much more: great weather, good food and talented exhibitors. Adam and Shannon Rader could be seen walking across the fairgrounds as their kids are actively involved in 4-H.

Abe Rader has visual arts projects but no animals this year since the family is putting up a new barn. Farm life allows Abe to learn all about hard work, as he picks weeds in pumpkin fields and gathers rocks. His sister Whitney enjoys Lego projects.

“I have a beach hotel here,” Whitney explained.

Another sister, Natalie, said she is most excited about the rides at this year’s fair.

Lena Thoele was strolling through the poultry barn with her mom Wednesday morning. She enjoys helping out with bake sales and brought decorated cookies to the fair along with ceramics projects.

“I usually bake some stuff and bring it and it’s fun to just help,” Thoele said.

Rabbit Superintendent Eric Lambert made sure everything rain smoothly for participants of the rabbit show. Although rabbit numbers are down this year, poultry numbers are about the same as last year.

“Hopefully next year, it will be back up,” said Lambert.

The rabbit and poultry building is typically a busy place, according to Lambert.

“It’s a double-edged sword. We are the first building so everybody goes into it from the main gates but a lot of them stop at the carnival first and come this way.”

Several day care tours typically make their way through the McLean County Fair over the five days, as kids typically enjoy seeing the rabbits. Lambert says to simply look for the signs and you’ll find the area you are searching for on the grounds.

Marty Ropp is chairman of the fair’s ag sale committee and encourages area residents to come to the fair since there is plenty to do.

“There’s something here for everybody and we’d love to see as many folks from the local community as possible,” Ropp noted. “If you’ve never been out here, it’s something new to do. Come out and see what’s going on.”

This year’s McLean County Fair runs through Sunday in Bloomington.

Thanks to our CIFN Fair Central Tour sponsors for 2019 making our local fair coverage possible: Rader Family Farms, Miller Farms, Miller Insurance Agency, Kilgus Farmstead, Nutrien Ag Solutions, McLean County Farm Bureau and Stoller International.

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