Annual Riley County Fair begins Thursday

Kids take pony rides while other fair patrons enjoy the ammusement rides offered at the Riley County Fair in CiCo Park on July 21, 2016. (File Photo by Evert Nelson | The Collegian)

The annual Riley County Fair will be held from July 27 – 31 at various locations around town, featuring food, carnival rides and more over the five days of festivities.

The fair will begin with a parade on Poyntz Avenue at 6 p.m. on July 27. Immediately following the parade, the public will be eligible to register for the Pedal Tractor Pull event. The event will be open for anyone between the ages of 4 and 12 years old. Registration will begin at 7 p.m., and will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Hurlburt Barn at Cico Park.

During the five-day fair, attendees will be able to participate in numerous activities, including the 4-H Club bake sale, the apple pie contest, the Fair Olympics, the honey contest, the shepherds lead and the Kaw Valley Rodeo.

Special food deals will include barbecue from Blue Valley Pork Producers BBQ. They will offer food items for fair attendees July 28 on the patio of Pottorf Hall.

In addition, the fair will exhibit works from the local 4-H youth. John Jobe, county extension agent and 4-H youth development specialist, said he is excited for what the fair means for 4-H children.

“One of the most important aspects of any youth development program is the ability to showcase what one has done,” Jobe said.

Jobe says the Riley County Fair will not only create opportunities for the 4-H program but will also benefit the community in the surrounding areas.

“Personally, I think 4-H youth development — not just in Riley County or Kansas, but across the nation — helps to develop really awesome leaders,” Jobe said. “Our program aims to truly grow leaders, and I think that in more cases than not, those leaders in turn help strengthen the communities through that leadership.”

Beginning at 6 p.m. every night of the fair, Ottaway Amusements will operate a carnival. The carnival will be open until 11 p.m. for the duration of the fair, except July 31, when the carnival will close at 10 p.m. Attendees will have the option to purchase wristbands, single tickets, family packs or a “super saver deal” for the carnival rides.

“I think county fairs, in general, offer the opportunity for families to come out and do something during the summer as a family that is really unique,” Jobe said.

Live music acts will also be performed in the Flint Hills Auto Entertainment Tent. On July 28, Country/Old Time Rock n’ Roll Hits with April Zieber will be from 5 – 8 p.m. and the Eyes of Bastet Belly Dance Troupe will feature from 8:30 – 10:30 p.m.

On July 29, Motown Sounds with Chappie Live will take place from 6 – 8 p.m. and contemporary Christian artist Dalton Huey will perform from 8:30 – 10:30 p.m.

“I will guarantee you that there is so much more going on out here that you will not be disappointed,” Jobe said. “Come out and support the young people within our program, come out to the exhibits, eat food, check out some cool animals, ride rides. We have something for everybody.”