By MARK EVANS
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
After being a casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the Ste. Genevieve County Fair will be back as strong as ever, this weekend.
The 77th fair’s theme will be “Blue Jeans and Country Dreams,” and will feature all the past favorites, including the demolition derby and tractor pull, July 8-11.
A few new items will also be added. Oh Happy Days Hatchet Throwing & More will put on an axe- or hatchet-throwing contest on Sunday.
A keg toss will also take place, at 10 a.m.,Saturday, with contestants hurling empty beer kegs – donated by Gray Eagle Distributing – as far as they can.
Final details were being ironed out at press time.
“We’re just trying to get everything finalized, just last minute things,” fair board president Keith Skaggs said June 30.
He stressed that concerns the county commission had expressed about liability insurance have been taken care of.
In 2020 the fair had to be called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The only other time it had been cancelled was during the epic flood of 1993.
“It feels good for the people,” Skaggs said.”We, on the fair board, do it for the people. We don’t do it for us. The people want to get out and about.”
Things begin Thursday morning with fair queen candidate interviews at 11 a.m.
There will be a chicken dinner at the VFW hall on Thursday, with the exhibition hall open for check-ins, 5-8 p.m. This includes the FFA and 4-H entries.
There will also be kart races that evening. Pits open at 4 p.m., with hot laps and time trials at 5:30 and races beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Winnings are $300 for first place, $200 for second place and $100 for third. Other classes get 75% payback for first second and third-place.
There is a $15 pit admission fee Adult general admission to the grandstand is $10, while children age 5 and up are $5. Those 4 and under are admitted free.
Each night a beer garden will be open 7-11 p.m.,with live music. On Thursday it will be provided by Kickin’ Country.
On Friday, rabbit entries will be accepted, beginning at 9 a.m. The queen contestants’ public speaking competition will be at 10 a.m., with a fashion competition at 1:30 p.m.
The parade will begin on Progress Parkway at 4:30 p.m. and will come down Fourth Street, through town, to the fairgrounds.
Skaggs said parade vehicles should enter from Highway 32 and entry forms should be filled out.
The queen crowning will be at 6 p.m., with the truck and tractor pull at 7 p.m.
Sting Ray will perform at that evening’s beer garden.
On Saturday, the youth swine show, rabbit, guinea pig, sheep goat and beef competitions will take place in the morning.
A washer tournament will be held at noon, along with the tricycle-bicycle rodeo. At 1 p.m. an antique tractor parade will take place within the fairgrounds.
The quarter scramble will be at the show barn at 2 p.m., with the turtle derby at 3 p.m.
Chicken chip lotto, 4-H/FFA award ceremonies and the livestock auction will follow.
The popular demolition derby will be immediately after the Power Wheels demo derby, which begins at 6 p.m. Southern Gypsy will be playing in the beer garden that evening.
Remote control car racing will be available on Friday and Saturday.
Sunday will see the antique tractor pull, with check-in at 10 a.m. The horseshoe tournament will be at 10 a.m., followed by the corn hole tournament at 11.
The tractor pull will be at 11 a.m. and the peddle pull at 3 p.m. Muddy Money Madness will be at 3 p.m.
The Barnyard Buddy Petting Zoo will also be on hand.