The summer is winding down, but Champaign County Fair officials are hoping cool weather and popular events like the truck pull and demolition derby will give area families one more thrill before school begins later this month.
The 172nd Champaign County Fair will open beginning at 7 a.m. today, concluding with a concert at the Woodruff Show Arena at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9. In the meantime, there will be plenty of activities available for families throughout the week, said Tom Tullis, a member of the Champaign County Fair Board.
Highlights will include the National Tractor Puller’s Association Regional National Pull at the Grandstand tonight, along with a truck pull at the Grandstand Saturday night.
“That’s always a big show,” Tullis said of the truck pull.
Other traditional highlights at the fair include crowning the Junior Fair Queen on Sunday night, the Senior Citizens and Veterans Day on Tuesday and Youth Day activities Wednesday, which will include a popular pizza-eating contest.
This year, Craig Morgan will headline the entertainment with a concert at 8 p.m. Monday at the Grandstand. Morgan is a country musician who released a self-titled debut album in 2000, and who had several country hits, including, “Almost Home,” and “What I Love About Sunday.” Tickets for the concert are $10 presale and $15 the day of the show.
There are other factors that make Tullis think this year’s fair will draw a big crowd. The weather has been mild, and the Ohio State Fair drew large crowds, a fact Tullis hopes is a good indication of what local fair officials can expect.
“The state fair set a record, so we feel we’re due for a large crowd,” Tullis said.
The fair is also a good deal for residents, offering free parking and $7 general admission tickets. The tickets include all rides at no additional cost.
Beyond the entertainment, Tullis said the Champaign County Fair has a reputation for focusing on teaching agriculture to younger residents. The fair always has a large number of participants from groups like 4H and FFA.
“We really pride ourselves in the junior fair shows,” Tullis said.
If you go:
What: 172nd annual Champaign County Fair
Where: Champaign County Fairgrounds, 384 Park Ave., Urbana
Cost: $7 for general admission, $28 for individual all-week pass (all-week pass does not include rides)
On the web: www.champaigncountyfair.com