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View from the Cab: The fair

The Fairbury Fair shown from atop the Ferris Wheel in 2019 / CIFN photo.

By: Kent Casson

When I refer to “the fair” that would be the Fairbury Fair.

My hometown fair celebrates its 145th year with five days of fun Aug. 18-22. Sure, the fair always signals the end to unofficial summer and back to school for kids, but the family memories made each year are priceless. This is our son Kasen’s first year showing his dairy calves at Fairbury.

There’s an interesting history behind the event. The Fairbury Union Agricultural Board purchased a 21-acre tract of land south of town in 1876 to host the first Fairbury Fair on in 1877. As the fair continued to prosper, the board constructed a large covered grandstand on the property in 1903 as horse racing was one of the main attractions. Improvements to the facilities were made in 1916 when the board started hosting a few amateur auto races and the rest is history.

“Fishing for Fun at the Fairbury Fair” is the theme this year with a much-anticipated concert by country band Diamond Rio Wednesday night with Brushville serving as the opening act. I always have enjoyed the fair concerts like Jo Dee Messina in 2019 and other country shows by Gary Allan, Ricochet, Darryl Worley and Jeff Carson during my high school and early college years.

Visitors will enjoy free gates all day Wednesday and Thursday, buddy night on Friday and Military Day Saturday. On the midway, you’ll want to see the chainsaw carving, axe throwing, petting zoo, pony rides, Rob Thompson magic shows and golf cart raffle. Don’t forget about the popular VFW bingo tent and various exhibits in Floral Hall.

Our family will be working at the Prairie Farmers 4-H food stand Friday and Saturday but the stand is open all throughout the fair. Come out and support the 4-H’ers while enjoying a pork burger and homemade dessert. Perhaps you will see me behind the grill…who knows?

This year’s demolition derby has been moved to Sunday afternoon and a rock show has been added for Friday with the Heart to Heartbreakers tribute band featuring Cher, Heart, Pat Benetar and more. AC/DC tribute band Rolling Thunder will perform in the beer garden later that night.

Delicious smells of ribs and chicken will fill the air during the brand new Kansas City Barbeque Society barbeque cookoff. This is limited to 20 teams and sanctioned by a leading organization. The winner receives money and a Big Green Egg.

Updated information can be found at Questions can be e-mailed to


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