By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
This year’s Chase County Fair officially kicked off Sunday with the annual 4-H horse show.
This year’s edition of the fair promises to live up to its tradition of being outstate Nebraska’s greatest county fair as it celebrates its 125th year.
The remainder of the week will be full of a variety of daily activities for all ages with the culmination coming during the weekend.
The Fair Roundup Supper was held Friday night. The event is held to recognize fair sponsors and donors.
Here’s a look at the activities going on this week.
Wednesday kicks off at 7 a.m. with the 3rd annual cattle dog trials in the rodeo arena.
This event was originally scheduled for 10 a.m. but will begin earlier to insure the event is completed in time for afternoon arena events.
4-H and FFA members will compete in the swine, sheep, and poultry and rabbit shows. The swine show is the first to begin at 8:30 a.m.
A new addition to the fair on Wednesday and Thursday will be a kids’ petting zoo and pony rides from 1-4 p.m. each day. These will be located in the open area east of the show arena.
Arena events begin at 2 p.m. with the junior farm Olympics for kids ages 6 and younger. This will be followed by the frozen t-shirt contest, mutton bustin’ and the farmers Olympics for ages 7 and older.
The carnival also opens at 3 p.m. with a $20 unlimited ride special until 11 p.m.
As part of the Christian Family Night events, there will be a bratwurst feed on the grounds to benefit KNGN Christian Radio from 5-7 p.m.
The Christian Family Show in the grandstand will feature the “Luke Ham Sandwich Band,” beginning at 7 p.m.
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 offer breakfast on Friday and Saturday mornings, as well.
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.
It will also include a performance by the 9th Street Singers from Chase County Schools.
Demo derby fans will pack the grandstand and bleachers Thursday night for the Jaycees’ 22nd 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 legendary rock music performed by Creedence Clearwater Revisited. This will be followed by the Kahuna Beach Party band, playing for a dance in the grandstand area.
Saturday will be another big day for the fair.
The morning kicks off with the annual Chase County Fair Run. Registration begins at 6:30 a.m. with the kids’ race at 7:15 and the other races at 7:30 a.m.
The 10:30 a.m. parade sets off the remainder of the day jam-packed with activities.
The quilt show will continue all day at the 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 7th annual Chase County Corvette Classic from 12 noon to 4 p.m.
The 1st annual Fair Truck Show will begin at 9 a.m. and continues through 4 p.m. at the swimming pool parking lot.
The dance crew contest will be held in the open air auditorium at 1:30 p.m.
The Chase County horseshoe pitching contest will be held Saturday, as well.
Country singer Rodney Atkins will perform at Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. grandstand show.
This will be followed by a dance in the open air auditorium.
The finale of the fair will feature the 9th annual antique tractor pull, beginning at 10 a.m.
Tickets sales on good pace
Entertainment chair Dan Kunnemann said ticket sales are continuing at a good pace. Ticket sales are on par with last year at this time, with 43 percent sold for CCRevisited and 39 percent for Rodney Atkins.
Tickets will be available through show time each night. Kunnemann said they expect strong walk-up sales again both nights.
The fair board obtained a liquor license for the grandstand area and will be serving beer, pop and water inside the area.
Due to liquor license regulations, Kunnemann reminded ticket holders they cannot bring any kind of beverages, cups or containers into the show.
Carnival back for third year
This marks the third consecutive year that the Heart of America Carnival has come to the Chase County Fair.
Kunnemann said the fair board has gotten excellent feedback on the quality of the carnival each of the last two years. 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
The fair will feature another sold-out expo area and exhibit hall.
The expo will open at noon each day beginning Wednesday. It closes at 8 p.m. on Wednesday and at 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.
Other daily events beginning Wednesday include the Lions bingo stand that operates through Saturday night.
The 4-H exhibit building opens at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, displaying 4-H and open class entries, along with the fair photo contest entries.
This year, livestock entries will remain in the barns through Saturday evening.
In the past, the animals were removed after the Friday livestock auction.