By DEBORAH GERTZ HUSAR
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
MOUNT STERLING, Ill. -- The Brown County Fair kicks off Monday and promises an extra dose of entertainment.
"We're going to have a talent show that we've never had before," fair board president Gene Dixon said.
The talent show, slated for Wednesday night in conjunction with a performance by Nashville singer Charissa Mrowka, "makes an extended day on the fair," Dixon said. "It will be a six-day fair instead of a five-day fair."
Mrowka's performance is part of the Ford Night at the Fair promotion, which gave lucky winners at several area fairs the chance to win use of a Ford F150 truck for two years. Brown County is the last of the fairs for the promotion, and "somebody will have the key to that truck," Dixon said.
The fair runs through Saturday at the fairgrounds in Mount Sterling with plenty for all ages to enjoy.
"We are a horse race fair and a tractor pull fair," Dixon said. "Those are our claims to fame."
Brown County is the only fair in the state to offer pari-mutuel horse racing.
Monday and Tuesday night will offer "some of the best horse races," Dixon said. "This is the fastest half-mile track in the state outside of the Chicago track."
Friday night's Western Illinois Grand National Tractor Pull stands out as the only area pull featuring two tracks and four classes in one show.
Other highlights include Wednesday night's queen pageant along with a local tractor pull and demolition derby on Saturday.
Dixon said the grounds are ready for the fair.
"We've made several little additions to the fairgrounds," he said. "We put new fans in the grandstand. If it's hot, we can move a little air in there, and that helps a lot."
Admission is always free for kids under 16 and $8 for anyone 16 and over, except on Friday when the price is $20. Carnival armbands are available for 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday for $15.
Highlights of the 2013 Brown County Fair schedule include:
• Monday — Harness races, 7 p.m.
• Tuesday — Harness races, 7 p.m.
• Wednesday — Miss Brown County Fair Pageant, Little Mr. and Miss Contest, 7:30 p.m.
• Thursday — Kid's Grand National Pedal Tractor Pull, 5:30 p.m.; talent show, 6 p.m.; Ford Night at the Fair with Nashville singer Charissa Mrowka, 8 p.m.
• Friday — Western Illinois Grand National Tractor Pull, 7:30 p.m.
• Saturday — Kid's Day, 9 a.m.; United Pullers of America Tractor Pull, 1 p.m.; demolition derby, 7:30 p.m.
More information about the fair is available online at browncofair.com.