It’s Fair Time!
Star Journal Staff
The Oneida County Fair has a long history. Residents and visitors of the Northwoods were first drawn to the fair in 1896, less than a decade after the county’s founding. Fair attractions have changed over its 123-year history, but fun and family have remained integral components.
The 2019 fair is building on the growth seen in recent years, according to coordinator Thomas Barnett, who said he was surprised last year, as a first-year fair coordinator, at the crowds and the numbers of people who attended.
“My vision is to bring stuff to the fair you wouldn’t see on a regular day,” Barnett said. “I want it to be a spectacle. I want people to be wowed and awed.”
To that end, look around for new contests, musical acts and entertainment.
New this year, a Pie Baking Contest, will be held Sunday, Aug. 4. Bakers should bring two of the same pie (a variety that does not need refrigeration); one for judging, and one to be auctioned off.
Are you the family corn-hole champ? Sign up for the fair’s Corn Hole Contest before July 31. There will be cash prizes.
If the Ferris wheel and wildly spinning carnival rides are more interesting – good news – wristband times have been expanded on Saturday. For $20, riders can partake in unlimited thrills Aug. 3, from 1-7 p.m.
“We have some really good musical entertainment again this year,” Barnett said. “We’ve been bending over backwards to get the community the entertainment they want.”
Believing in 2018 that the youth in the community were under represented, Barnett brought the hard rock band Apollo’s Beacon to the fair; because of the great response, the band will be back, performing Friday night. Other genres on the stage will include southern rock, blues, cover bands and other varieties.
Old fashioned variety acts are once again on the schedule, with a kids game show and a levitator who appeared on America’s Got Talent. Be sure to check out the food and beverage vendors for a real taste of the fair.
The inaugural fair did not include as many tasty treats and the variety of music as is featured today. Decades ago the fair was a social event, giving people an excuse to spend the day away from the chores and routine of daily life and hang out with friends and neighbors; the same sentiment Barnett hopes is evident for everyone who attends the fair this year.