By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
This year’s Chase County Fair kicked off over the weekend with the 4-H Horse Show and Imperial Community Players’ musical. Events will continue through Sunday afternoon, Aug. 16, for western Nebraska’s grandest fair.
This year’s fair promises to live up to that tradition with a variety of activities for all ages throughout the remainder of the week.
On Wednesday, 4-H and FFA members will compete in the swine, sheep and goat, and poultry and rabbit shows.
Kids’ events in the arena begin at 2 p.m. with a stick horse rodeo, frozen t-shirt contest, mutton bustin’ and steer riding.
The carnival also opens at 3 p.m.
There will be a bratwurst feed on the grounds to benefit the Orphan Grain Train.
The evening will include the Christian Family Show in the grandstand, featuring “Four Hyms” from McCook.
A square dance will follow the show in the open air auditorium.
On Thursday, A.B.A.T.E. will serve breakfast on the grounds from 6-10 a.m. They will also offer breakfast on Friday and Saturday mornings.
The 4-H and FFA beef and bucket calf show begins at 8:30 a.m.
The “Got Talent?” show will be held in the open air auditorium beginning at 1 p.m.
The show will feature a variety of performers of all ages.
Demo derby fans will pack the grandstand and bleachers Thursday night for the Jaycees’ 21st annual derby beginning at 6:30 p.m.
The day opens with the 4-H rocket launch and 4-H and FFA round robin showmanship contest.
Registration for the kids’ pedal tractor pull, open to ages 4-12, begins at 11:30 a.m. in the open air auditorium. The pull begins at 12:30 p.m.
Other activities Friday afternoon include a horseshoe pitching contest, the 4-H and FFA livestock auction and the Imperial Community Center’s quilt show. There is a $1 admission to the quilt show.
Friday night’s 7:30 p.m. grandstand show will feature the rock band 38 Special, followed by a dance by the Rumbles in the grandstand area.
Saturday morning kicks off with the 31st annual Chase County Fair Run at 7:30 a.m.
The 10:30 a.m. parade kicks off a jam-packed day of activities. The quilt show will continue all day at the Imperial Community Center.
There will be a barbeque on Wellington Street following the parade.
Wellington Street will also be the site for the Car Nutz Cruize-in car show, the motorcycle show and the 6th annual Chase County Corvette Classic from 12 noon to 4 p.m.
The dance crew contest will be held in the open air auditorium at 1:30 p.m.
A second horseshoe pitching contest will be held Saturday, as well.
The country group Little Big Town will headline Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. grandstand show.
This will be followed by a dance in the open air auditorium, featuring the Ben Treffer Band.
Ticket sales on good pace
Entertainment chair Dan Kunnemann said ticket sales are continuing at a good pace. He said ticket sales are ahead of last year’s pace, with about 40 percent sold for each night.
Tickets will be available through show time each night and Kunnemann said they expect strong walk-up sales.
The fair board obtained a liquor license for the grandstand area and will be serving beer, pop and water inside the area.
Kunnemann reminded ticket holders that, due to the liquor license, they cannot bring beverages of any kind into the show.
Seating is still available in the grandstand and bleachers for each night, along with standing tickets.
This marks the second year that the Heart of America carnival has come to the Chase County Fair.
The fair board got excellent feedback on the quality of the carnival last year and this year should be no exception.
The carnival opens Wednesday afternoon and runs through Saturday night.
The fair board is again offering a mega-ride pass for $49.95 that allows holders to ride all rides all days that the carnival is open.
The carnival is also offering daily ride specials.
Expo opens Wednesday
This year’s fair will again feature a sold-out expo area and exhibit hall.
It will open at noon each day. It closes at 8 p.m. on Wednesday and at 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.
Other events occurring daily include the Lions bingo stand that operates from 3 p.m. to midnight Wednesday and Thursday, and from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
The 4-H exhibit building opens at 12:30 p.m. each day, displaying 4-H and open class entries, along with the fair photo contest entries.