Fairs in Hancock County, Pike County kick off this week

In this 2011 file photo, Emma Richardson, 9, of Capron Ill., water and pets the Birkshir Gilt she is showing at the Hancock County Fair in Augusta. (H-W File Photo/Steve Bohnstedt)
Posted: Jul. 14, 2014 9:40 am Updated: Jul. 28, 2014 1:15 pm

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

Two summertime traditions get underway this week promising fun for the family.

The Hancock County Fair runs Wednesday through Saturday at the fairgrounds in Augusta, and the Pike County Fair runs Thursday through Sunday at the fairgrounds in Pleasant Hill.

"It's something to do, and it's also something to do with the family," Hancock Fair Board President Brandon Gooding said. "The rural community, the agricultural community likes tractor pulls, derbies."

Gooding said the 95th annual fair is building on its success last year in offering the Illinois Tractor Pulling Association tractor pull on Friday night.

"They're the bigger tractors with the bigger engines," he said, and for Saturday night, "we're trying to build up the derby. We're hoping to have around 40 cars."

Gooding, who said he grew up going to the county fair, is in his first year as fair board president. Long-time officers stepped back to let the next generation take over but stayed on the board to help.

"I'm learning how to do it," Gooding said. "I think it's going fine."

Nearly everything is in place for the fair, which features Archway Amusement and $20 carnival armbands each night of the fair.

Admission is $8 per person, and free for children ages 10 and under, plus a $2 cover fee for live music on Friday and Saturday nights in the outdoor community building.

Pike County Fair Board President Debbie Winchell said she's looking forward to bringing back past events for this year's fair.

"We are doing a family fun day on Thursday with games and prizes. They've done that in the past, but not for a few years," she said. "After eight years of not having livestock, we will have a livestock show again."

Board members decided not to have livestock after flooding canceled the fair in 2008, but they agreed to bring it back this year, starting with cattle, swine, sheep and goats.

"Next year, we're hoping to bring in small animals," Winchell said.

Also returning this year is the mud bog.

"We did it last year as an extra event, and this year we'll incorporate it into the fair," Winchell said.

The fair admission is $10 per person, and free for ages 4 and under, includes carnival rides.

"It's a good deal," Winchell said, "and it's a summertime tradition for many families."


Hancock County Fair Schedule

Wednesday -- Queen and Little Miss Pageant, 6:30 p.m.; Western Horse Show, 7 p.m.

Thursday -- Talent Show, Ranch Rodeo and Team Penning, 6 p.m.; UPA Sanctioned Tractor Pull, 6:30 p.m.

Friday -- ITPA Tractor Pull, 6 p.m.; Team Sorting, 6:30 p.m.; Third Violation, 9 p.m.-1 a.m.

Saturday -- Barrel Race, 6 p.m.; Demolition Derby, 7 p.m.; James Carothers, 9 p.m.-1 a.m.

Pike County Fair Schedule

Thursday -- Family Fun Day, 6-8 p.m.; Queen/Junior Miss Pageant, 6 p.m.; Speed Horse Show, 7 p.m.

Friday -- Lil Mr. and Miss, 5 p.m.; Prince/Princess Contest, 6 p.m.; Garden Tractor Pull, 6 p.m.; National Farm Pullers, 7 p.m., Mountain Beaver Band, 9 p.m.-midnight

Saturday -- Lawn Mower Derby, 4:30 p.m.; Derby, 7 p.m.; Futhure Ado, 9 p.m.-midnight

Sunday -- Mud Bog, 2 p.m.