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The crowd filled the fairgrounds Saturday for the Josh Turner/Shenandah concert. The line stretched all the way to the front entrance on Park Street. (Johnson Publications photo)

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Austin Pursley does things a little different for the mutton bustin’ event at the Chase County Fair as he competes in the Aug. 14 fun. See inside for more on mutton bustin’ winners and other fair events. (Johnson Publications photo)

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The Josh Turner/Shenandoah concert drew young and old. Here, Logan Fitzgibbons, 9, of Goodland, Kansas was on the fence close up. (Johnson Publications photos)

Crowds strong at this year’s fair; Saturday concert one of biggest

    Chase County’s fair owns the reputation as one of the top county fairs in Nebraska and this year’s version did nothing to harm that.
    When the fair officially ended after the demo derby Sunday, fair board members enjoyed the satisfaction of putting together another great Chase County Fair.
    “Overall, everything was great,” Fair Board President Chad Oxford said this week, ranging from 4-H activities, to show attendance to arena events.
    A few changes to the schedule proved successful in enhancing crowds and improving the overall fair experience, he said.
    For the last 30 years, the demo derby had been held on Thursday night. Last year, the board added the Heartland Pullers’ tractor pull on Sunday.
    The board took a chance by switching the tractor pull to Thursday night and the demo derby to Sunday.
    Oxford said both events were well attended and the move had a two-fold positive effect.
    The derby, which was having trouble drawing cars on a Thursday night, drew 26 cars, giving the event a shot in the arm.
    Cars came from as far east as St. Paul, Nebraska to as far west as Torrington, Wyoming.
    As far as the board was concerned, the change allowed them to move the stage into the arena immediately following the tractor pull.
    In the past, it took several hours to move and pack the dirt after the derby. The pulling sled packed the ground perfectly this year.
    Instead of finishing the stage setup in the early hours of the morning, the deed was completed in front of midnight.
    “An extra four hours of sleep doesn’t hurt anybody,” Oxford said.
Attendance strong for shows
    Ticket sales for the weekend shows put a smile on the face of Entertainment Chair Alex McNair.

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