Better with age Illinois’ longest-running fair kicks off in Williamson County
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• To subscribe: Call 618-351-5000 from Carbondale, Murphysboro and DeSoto; 618-997-3356, option 2 from Williamson County; or 800-228-0429, option 2, between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays, 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. • To place a display ad: Call 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, 618-529-5454, option 6; from Williamson County, 618997-3356; or toll free: 800-228-0429, option 6.
BY JOE SZYNKOWSKI THE SOUTHERN
As sure as the summer heat penetrates Southern Illinois around this time of year, the unmistakable sights and sounds of the state’s longest running fair do the same at the Williamson County Fairgrounds. The 156th version of the Williamson County Fair will take place even earlier than last year’s July edition and is slated for June 24-30. As in past years, this year’s fair will feature concerts, a beauty pageant, demolition derbies, bull riding, motocross racing, tractor pulls, a home show, horse shows and more. Popular country duo LoCash Cowboys
will return as the fair’s headlining act, and a bevy of other local talent will be on display, as well. The fair is also making the switch to Evansville-based Brady’s Amusements, which is well-renowned for delivering an array of rides, family games and concessions to fairs throughout Indiana, Illinois and Tennessee. The array of entertainment options is what has helped the fair survive year after year, even as fair budgets across the nation seem to shrink. Williamson County’s proud tradition draws spectators from across the Midwest who are seeking great food fare, quality shows and unique competitions. It was in 1857 when the county’s first fair took place as a way for locals to
DETAILS 156th Williamson County Fair 101 Fair St., Marion 618-751-9318 email@example.com www.williamsoncountyillinoisfair.com
showcase the products of their farms, fields, gardens and homes on a donated 10-acre plot of land on Marion’s east side. Friendly competition, familyfocused entertainment and the spirit of community collaboration spearheaded the fair’s development over the years. The same simple principles exist today and will surely continue to drive the fair for years to come.
SCHEDULE Sunday, June 24 Gaited and Pleasure Horse Show, 4 p.m., Justin Eli Dodd Arena, free Monday, June 25 Williamson County 4-H Day Tuesday, June 26 Motocross racing at the Grandstand; $10 general, $12 box seat, $15 pit pass Carnival opens, 5 p.m. Entertainment Barn opens, 5 p.m. PAUL NEWTON / THE SOUTHERN
Wednesday, June 27 Hot Rod Garden Tractor Pull at the Grandstand, 7 p.m.; $8 general, $10 box seat, $15 pit pass Carnival opens, 5 p.m. Thursday, June 28 Beauty and the Beasts at the Grandstand, 7 p.m.; $8 general, $10 box seat, $15 pit pass; cowboy bull riding and cowgirl barrel racing Harness Racing, noon, free Carnival opens, 5 p.m. LoCash Cowboys, 8 p.m., Entertainment Barn, $12 Friday, June 29 Tractor Pull at the Grandstand, 7 p.m.;
Page 2 Friday, June 22, 2012 The Southern Illinoisan · Williamson County Fair
A horse makes its way down the stretch during the 2010 Williamson County Fair.
$8 general, $10 box seat, $15 pit pass Williamson County 4-H Horse Show, 9:30 a.m., Justin Eli Dodd Arena Harness Racing, noon, free Carnival opens, 5 p.m. Saturday, June 30 Demo Derby at the Grandstand, 7 p.m.; $10 general, $12 box seat, $15 pit pass Speed Horse Show, 4 p.m., Justin Eli Dodd Arena Carnival on the midway at 5 p.m.
ENTERTAINMENT LoCash Cowboys rocking the fair’s entertainment barn For the third year in a row, LoCash Cowboys will headline the Williamson County Fair’s exciting lineup of musical talent. The country music duo comprised of Chris Lucas and Preston Brust will bring their highenergy, live performance to the stage. Lucas and Brust have been busy traveling the nation the past six years, working on their craft and earning a reputation as being one of the most entertaining live shows in country music. Their lively personalities and energetic performances have earned them plenty of fans along the way. They have shared bills with artists including Charlie Daniels, ZZ Top, Toby Keith, Train, Blake Shelton and Tom Petty, among others; performed at halftime of NBA and U.S. Olympic team basketball games; and performed on Fox News Network’s New Year’s Eve broadcast in front of 2 million people in Times Square. Chris and Preston also wrote (with Jaren Johnson) “You Gonna Fly,” a song on Keith Urban’s current album, “Get Closer.” Their Williamson County Fair show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are available at Southern Tickets Online or at the door. Fans can expect a heavy dose of rock from Friday night’s lineup, led by 30-Aut-6, hailing from Valier. Nearly a decade after winning a battle of the bands at the Copper Dragon, the band is
DETAILS Tuesday, June 26: Danny and the Dreamers Thursday, June 28: LoCash Cowboys Friday, June 29: Rock Night with 30-Aut-6 and Lori’s Puppets Saturday, June 30: Matt Poss Band
POPULAR FAIR FARE Gaited & Western Horse Show will open fair festivities in style The Williamson County Fair will begin smoothly this year, with the free Gaited & Western Horse Show set to take place on opening Sunday, June 24. The show begins at 4 p.m. in the Justin Eli Dodd Memorial Arena with participants competing for ribbons and a total of $4,300 in premiums. Gaited horses are selectively bred for natural gaited tendencies at intermediate speed. The Western style
DETAILS Gaited & Western Horse Show Justin Eli Dodd Memorial Arena 4 p.m. Sunday, June 24 Free
competition will feature calm, quiet and smoothriding horses. Riders work long and hard to implement the proper techniques that help their horses develop those graceful gaits, not to
mention the upkeep of maintaining a beautifully groomed horse. The show will feature riders — men, women and children alike — dressed in English or Western attire showcasing their horses in gaits, walks, jogs and lopes. The show offers a smooth-riding pace for spectators to appreciate the pure beauty that accompanies a gentle glide along the track. Halter Classes will
include Gaited Stallions and Geldings, Western Type Stallions and Geldings, Gaited Type Mare and Western Type Mares. Some of the event’s Pleasure Classes will include Senior Citizen, Trail, Specialty Action Flat Shod Racking and Open Show. Where applicable, the rules of The American Quarter Horse Association and The Racking Horse Breeders Association of America will apply.
Fair features two days of harness racing action PROVIDED / WILLIAMSON COUNTY FAIR BOARD
LoCash Cowboys will perform at the Williamson County Fair.
working harder than ever. It has opened for Saliva, Seven Mary Three and Revis. Saturday night’s will “sound like country, feel like rock and taste like chicken,” according to the slogan of the Matt Poss Band. The Midwest-based band has released four albums and successfully headlined the 2009-10 “Pickup Truck Tour” across the Midwest, deep South and Texas. The band is also proud of its history of supporting the United States military, and has played to troops in Kyrgyzstan, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan. Danny and the Dreamers open the fair’s entertainment slate on Tuesday. For more information, visit williamsoncountyfair@ yahoo.com or call 618-751-9318.
As they usually do this time of year, fans of harness racing will get their fill at the Williamson County Fair. Two days of free racing are scheduled June 28 and June 29. A total of six races will take place each day. Harness racing in Illinois has seen better days, especially considering the recent
DETAILS Harness Racing Grandstand Noon, Thursday, June 28 and Friday, June 29 Free
state budget issues hampering the sport. But the popular two-day fair event will help fans, trainers and competitors
forget those struggles, said speed superintendent Tom Throgmorton. “It affects the number of horses because some will be off racing where the purses are a little higher,” Throgmorton said. “But it won’t affect the quality of racing. We will still have strong horses and good competition, and we are
expecting the same amount of entries as last year.” Purses may not be what they used to be, but passion for the races still exists. The competitions will draw big crowds. “It’s a family-friendly event that everyone can enjoy,” Throgmorton said. “That is what has made it so popular over the years.”
Fair Exhibition showcases variety of original work Gardeners, cooks and craftspeople alike have long used the Williamson County Fair as an opportunity to show off their skills. This year will be no different, as a variety of forums will allow them to do so. All exhibition entries will be collected from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 24. The show will take place in the Women’s Building. The competition encourages creativity, as no entry having previously won
DETAILS Women’s Building Entries to be collected from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 24
premiums in any department is allowed to be entered. Below are some of the exhibition categories. For a full list and further details on each category, visit the fair’s website at www.williamsoncounty illinoisfair.com.
Garden Basket Arrangement: Any variety of garden vegetables and/or fruits can be displayed with or in a basket. Items in the basket must be grown by the exhibitor. Floriculture: Fresh-cut plan materials are to be used, unless otherwise stated. The arrangement must be the original work of the exhibitor and the flowers and foliage must be grown by the exhibitor. Potted Plants: Classes
include African Violet, Philodendron, Fern, Foliage Plant, Blooming Plants and Blooming Handing Plants. Crafts: Original works are required for all classes, including Quilts, Crochet, Knitting, Embroidery, Needlework, Wood Crafts, Art and Photography. Culinary: Classes include Jellies, Jams, Vegetables and Pickled Items, including dill pickles, bread and butter pickles, beets and others.
Williamson County Fair · The Southern Illinoisan Friday, June 22, 2012 Page 3
Popular 4-H shows and exhibits offer youth chance to show their skills
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Page 4 Friday, June 22, 2012 The Southern Illinoisan · Williamson County Fair
Esther Waddy has been involved in 4-H since she was 8 years old. Now in her first year as program coordinator, she is focused on promoting the importance of the club’s Head, Heart, Hands and Health mission. “4-H is a program that allows each child to present something that they are interested in,” Waddy said. “They gain all sorts of valuable experience and skills, whether it be sewing, cooking, technology, robotics and so forth. And they use that knowledge through life.” The Williamson County Fair has long been a forum for youth to showcase those interests, and this year’s 4-H Day is set for
DETAILS June 25: 4-H Day, 1 p.m. June 29: Horse show, 9 a.m.
June 25 with the country show starting at 1 p.m. in the exhibition building. Following the exhibition of projects, the group will host a popcorn social from 3 to 5 p.m., during which staff members and volunteers will be available to discuss 4-H club programming. The popcorn social will be followed by a small animal show, goat show and dairy show. On Friday, June 29, the 4-H horse show will kick off at 9 a.m. 4-H provides the
THE SOUTHERN FILE PHOTO
A 4-H'er digs weeds out of a garden.
opportunity for youth ages 5 through 18 to expand their life skills through many different community programs. For more information, contact Waddy at the University of Illinois extension office at 618-993-3304.
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MISS WILLIAMSON COUNTY FAIR
AARON EISENHAUER / THE SOUTHERN
Sarah Loos of Pinckneyville.
AARON EISENHAUER / THE SOUTHERN
Alex McVicker of Herrin.
AARON EISENHAUER / THE SOUTHERN
Chandler Short reacts with surprise after being named Miss Williamson County Fair 2012 as last year's queen Chelsea Reardon fits the sash around her during the Miss Williamson County Fair Scholarship Pageant on Saturday, June 16 at Marion High School.
AARON EISENHAUER / THE SOUTHERN
Macie Minor of Pinckneyville.
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Page 6 Friday, June 22, 2012 The Southern Illinoisan · Williamson County Fair
RACING Get ready for high-flying motocross racing Tim Hawthorne, a De Soto native and 35year veteran of the motocross circuit, has broken plenty of bones. He has traveled the country and competed against some of the best in the business, and luckily for local fans of motocross, he brings that experience and connections as promoter for the annual motocross event at the Williamson County Fair. “We will have some of the top riders within 500
DETAILS Motocross Racing Grandstand Tuesday, June 26 $10 general, $12 box seats, $15 pit pass
miles of here,” Hawthorne said. “These guys are professionals and have raced in the big venues and domes.” Hawthorne coordinates motocross shows across the region, even all the way up to Springfield.
But he doesn’t just organize high-flying motocross events, he races in them. He will compete in the event Tuesday, June 26, as will racers ranging from ages 4 to 50-plus. Three sets of professional riders will highlight the event in various classes. The first series of heats will be for children ages 4 to 6. “Those are some of the most popular races,” Hawthorne said. “People love watching those little
4-or 5-year-olds out there having a good time.” The event will feature giveaways from local shops, and of course, plenty of racing excitement. “It’s just going to be a lot of bar-banging, fast-passing action,” Hawthorne said. “There will be the 65-, 70-foot triple right in front of the grandstand so fans will get a great view of jumps that will be 25 or 30 feet in the air.”
Demo Derby has become a fan favorite If you love the look of a shiny, sparkling beauty of a car, then the Williamson County Fair Demo Derby is definitely not for you. One of the fair’s most popular events is known more for the array of muddy, crunched-up, windowless beasts crashing into each other with reckless abandon. But to the hoards of spectators that will be
DETAILS Demo Derby Grandstand 7 p.m. Saturday, June 30 $10 general, $12 box, $15
watching from the grandstands or the back of their pickups, nothing could be more beautiful. The action gets under way at 7 p.m. Saturday with tickets ranging from
$10 to $15. Smoke will roll and bodies will jolt as drivers compete for trophies, payouts and the honor of being the most aggressive competitor. Here is a quick look at a few Demo Derby rules from event promoter, Whiplash Racing Promotions, which urges drivers to maintain a balance between safety and destruction:
Be aggressive: Drivers must make an aggressive hit every 60 seconds. Driver door hits: If the hit is deemed by the official to be careless or intentional, the driver will be disqualified. Sandbagging: Locking up the brakes prior to a hit for anything other than avoiding a driver’s door will be a cause for disqualification.
Cowgirls and cowboys team up for barrel racing and bull riding In a unique event that showcases the splendor of barrel racing, the brawn of bull riding and the zaniness of rodeo clowns, Williamson County’s ‘Beauties and the Beasts’ is a sure crowd-pleaser. The event is slated for Thursday, June 28, and tickets range from $8 to $15. Here’s what you can expect: Beauties: The region’s top cowgirls will feverishly feature their horse-handling skills in this fast-paced, timed
DETAILS ‘Beauties and the Beasts’ Grandstand 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 28 $8 general, $10 box seats, $15 pit pass
event. Cash prizes are up for grabs for the riders who can successfully maneuver their horse around the barrels in the shortest amount of time. Beasts: Cash is also on the line for the bunch of
PAUL NEWTON / THE SOUTHERN
John Stout of Carterville rides a bull during the 2010 'Beauties and the Beasts' rodeo.
brazen cowboys brave enough to saddle up their
big, bucking bulls. Known as the most dangerous eight seconds in sports, competitors will attempt to earn the cash without breaking any bones. Clowns: What would a rodeo show be without the shenanigans of a few pesky circus clowns? Always good for a few laughs, these Bozo lookalikes will keep you and the kids chuckling while you’re questioning their sanity for riling up the bulls.
THE SOUTHERN FILE PHOTO
The annual motocross event is scheduled for Tuesday, June 26.
Tractor Pulls are a powerful fair tradition Once the dust settles from a week full of graceful horse events and lightning-speed motocross racing, the fairground grandstand will transform into a realm of pure power. The long-running Tractor Pull is set to flex its muscles Friday, June 29, as participants from across the Midwest will show off their modified stock pullers. The roar of multiple-engine tractors provides an adrenalineboosting experience for spectators. Known as the world’s most powerful sport, competitors exert their super-machines in an effort to pull a sled of weighted boxes down the track. As weight is added, it transfers to the front of the sled, making it harder for the tractors to pull. The winner in each category is the one that pulls its sled the farthest. Big or small, these
DETAILS Hot Rod Garden Tractor Pull Grandstand 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 27 $8 general, $10 box seat, $15 pit pass Tractor Pull Grandstand 7 p.m. Friday, June 29 $8 general, $10 box seat, $15 pit pass
plows don’t rely strictly on their power to turn heads. Custom paint jobs of deep greens, vibrant oranges and rich reds combine with the shiny silver chrome exhausts to add a certain beauty to the ground-pounding machines. Friday’s festivities also feature an antique tractor pull, and fairgoers can get a smaller version of the main event Wednesday, June 27 during the Hot Rod Garden Tractor Pull.
Williamson County Fair · The Southern Illinoisan Friday, June 22, 2012 Page 7
Willi amson County Fairgrou nds M arion, iLLINOIS
New carnival - Brady amusements opens @ 5pm JuNE 26-30
SATURDAY JUNE 23RD 5K Run-Registration @ 7am / 5K Run @ 8am
Chandler Short would like to welcome everyone to this year’s fair!
SUNDAY JUNE 24TH Dairy & Beef Cattle on Grounds by 12 Noon Entries taken Monday, June 25th: 9AM - 12 Noon Entries taken for Depts J, L, M & O: 10AM - 3PM 4:00PM - Gaited & Pleasure Horse Show - Justin Eli Dodd Arena - No Admission
MONDAY JUNE 25TH WILLIAMSON COUNTY 4-H DAY 4-H Small Animal Show, 4-H Exhibit Show CARNIVAL NOT OPEN!
Admission Pricing For Motocross, Demo Derby 1&2 Tractor Pull Barrel Racing & Bull Riding Box Seats $10 - $12 Pit Pass $15 Must be 21 to purchase and consume alcohol!
TUESDAY JUNE 26TH Grandstand Entertainment - Motocross Racing Timmy Hawthorne Fair Racers, Promoter General Admission $10 Ind. CARNIVAL ON THE MIDWAY, OPEN @ 5PM Entertainment Barn opens @ 5PM Entertainment - Danny & The Dreamers @ 7:30PM
WEDNESDAY JUNE 27TH Grandstand Entertainment Hot Rod Garden Tractor and Mini Truck Pull @ 7PM General Admission $5 Ind. Info - www.mgtmra.com
THURSDAY JUNE 28TH Harness Racing - 12 Noon FREE ADMISSION Grandstand Entertainment Beauty & the Beasts @ 7:30PM Cowboy’s Bull Riding; Cowgirl’s Barrel Race General Admission $8 Ind. Entertainment Barn - Marion Ford Presents LoCash Cowboys @ 8PM
FRIDAY JUNE 29TH Wmsn Co. Horse 4-H Horse Show @ 9:30AM - Justin Eli Dodd Arena Harness Racing @ 12 Noon Grandstand Entertainment Tractor Pull @ 7PM - General Admission $8 Entertainment Barn - 30Aut6 & Lori’s Puppets @ 8PM
SATURDAY JUNE 30TH Pick up day for entries in Depts. J,L,M,O – 10am Until 1pm Speed Horse Show @ 4pm – Justin Eli Dodd Arena DEMO DERBY II- Whiplash Racing Promotions @ 7pm – Grandstand - General Admission $10 Entertainment Barn Matt Poss & Rolling Thunder @ 8pm *4-H contestants must be enrolled in Williamson County 4-H program by May 2012.
WWW.WILLIAMSONCOUNTYILLINOISFAIR.COM • Call 618.751.9318 or Email WILLIAMSONCOUNTYFAIR@YAHOO.COM for more info Page 8 Friday, June 22, 2012 The Southern Illinoisan · Williamson County Fair