The Ottumwa Courier

June 5, 2013

Wapello County Fair opens Wednesday

Courier staff writer

---- — ELDON — Hollenbeck Hall has been on the Wapello County Fairgrounds for more than 100 years, and this year the rains have threatened the building. This is the challenge facing officials just days before the Wapello County fair opens.

The hall is the small building that has housed open class entries for many years and is open to "the four corners."

Tonya Doud, president of the Wapello County Fair, said this week that the small hall has four entrances, and each one opens to one of the four corners — Wapello, Davis, Jefferson or Van Buren counties.

"But we won't hold the exhibits in Hollenbeck Hall this year," Doud said. "We'll put the entries at Wapello Hall, which is an enclosed building, and it will protect people's entries. The weather hasn't been nice, so the agricultural stuff will be in the Iowa Agricultural Hall."

It's a change the fair board had to make because many prized possessions were taken to the fair, she added.

The Wapello County Fairgrounds will open for the fair Wednesday, and Doud hopes the weather will clear up. Her committee is still working on many details.

"We're still working on things, and the weather hasn't helped," she said. "The fair starts Wednesday, June 12, and ends on Sunday, June 16."

On Wednesday, the open class entries can go to the fair and be on display, Doud said.

Judging for the Wapello County Fair Queen and the Little Miss contests will also be Wednesday.

Red Head Express, a nine-member family singing group, will perform Wednesday evening. This will be the second year for the group, which last year's audience enjoyed.

If people want to come, Doud said it's "our grandstand entertainment" and a freewill offering will help.

"Our grandstand will be open. It's not a gated event," Doud said. "It's pretty much free entertainment."

Thursday will be Senior Citizens Day and will feature harness racing. All seniors can get in free to the grandstand to watch the harness races and have lunch. Thursday evening will feature hobby stocks, stock cars, four cylinders, B Mods and IMCA late models.

On Friday, Impact Pro Wrestling will be the Grandstand event.

"Some of our area wrestlers will be involved," Doud said. "The fair will also feature Farm Safety Just for Kids."

Farm Safety for Just Kids will offer a session that features lessons on chemical safety, animal safety, ATV and lawn mower safety and grain and machinery safety.

Doud also noted the fair will have a Future Farmers of America swine show. She said the fair hasn't had swine at the fair before. Other animal showings will include beef cattle and open horse shows.

For more information about this year's Wapello County Fair, call 641-652-7521.