The annual Warren County Fair is just around the corner, with its first events on the last day of June and a week of entertainment to follow.
New to the Fair this year is the “Music Showcase,” a competition featuring local musical performers and bands, with cash prizes on the line. The first-ever competition is Tuesday, July 2, at the fairgrounds main stage.
Paul Owenby, president of the Warren County Fair Association, said the competition is open to a variety of musicians, from solo acoustic performers to full bands. Each performer or group will get about 20 minutes, and several have already registered to participate, Owenby said.
“A lot of it’s going to be local bands, local personalities,” he commented. “I think it’s going to go rather well.”
The Fair Association also has continued a change from last year with another of the Fair’s most popular attractions, the fireworks show. Although historically the fireworks have been on the Fourth of July, Owenby said this year that would put them on the same night as the annual livestock auction — and loud noises plus large animals don’t tend to mix very well.
“It worked out a lot better for us last year to end the Fair with fireworks,” Owenby commented. “For us it just makes better sense to do it on Saturday, go out with a bang.”
Fair week will launch with a community parade through downtown Warrenton on Sunday, June 30, as is tradition. The parade will begin at 2 p.m. just west of the Warren County Courthouse, travel along Main Street and Highway M, then turn south on Pinckney Street to the Warrenton High School.
The parade is open to any group that wants to march or bring a float, and no preregistration is necessary. Parade lineup begins at noon.
“Hopefully it won’t be as hot as it was last year. And hopefully we can get good weather, and not the weather we’ve been fighting,” Owenby said.
Following the parade will be the coronation of this year’s Warren County Fair Queen at the fairgrounds main stage. Eight young women are competing for the title this year. Live music will follow the coronation.
The main body of the Fair begins Tuesday, July 2. Every day will feature a mix of activities for different interests. On top of daily carnival rides and livestock shows, there will be barrel racing, dirt drags, a tractor pull and other events spread throughout the week. And of course, the annual favorites of rodeo, greased pig scramble, baby contest and animal costume show are making their return. Most nights will end with live music.
Each day of the Fair also spotlights the hard work and achievements of local 4-H and FFA students, who complete projects and raise animals throughout the year, Owenby said. Their work and the importance of agriculture in the community is what the county fair is built around.
Daily gate prices for the Fair are $5-$10 on Tuesday and Wednesday, and $10-$15 Thursday through Saturday. That gate price includes everything that’s going on at the Fair.
“If you go to a ballgame, you buy a ticket and you watch a ballgame,” but the Fair has variety, Owenby commented. “Come out and see the animals, enjoy the Fair and have a good time.”