MUSCATINE — Pro wrestling, dirt bikes and wood sculptures cut by a chainsaw will add some spark to the Muscatine County Fair. This year's event themed "Summer Nights and Carnival Lights" will also include new shows, some old favorites, and hopefully, some good weather.
“It’s been pretty crazy around here the last couple weeks,” Fair Board Secretary/Manager Lori Gosenberg said.
Fair staff have been preparing for the annual 5-day event without any significant challenges, Gosenberg said, and she hopes for better weather than in years past to draw bigger crowds. The planned events might be enough to bring people in.
The Grandstand will feature some extreme entertainment. Impact Pro Wrestlers will take the stage Wednesday, followed by a “spectacular show” Thursday from FMX Dirt Bikes, Gosenberg said. Friday will feature the East Central Iowa Tractor Pullers, a more local group than last year’s group, Gosenberg said, and up-and-coming Nashville country singer Adam Sanders will perform Saturday. The Grandstand shows wrap up Sunday with a demolition derby and trailer races.
A new art, wine and music night Thursday will be in the newly restored Floral Hall, MidwestOne Fine Arts Building and Ryan Exhibition Building. Ardon Creek Winery will offer samples and Harmony Holler will perform bluegrass music in the gazebo.
The fair will also feature popular daily shows including a puppet show from Chris Short Marionettes, Charlie the Clown and LogHoggers chainsaw sculpture artists.
New animal programs this year include the dog program and pet program, Iowa State Extension and Outreach Muscatine County 4-H Program Coordinator Lindsay Stecher said. Participants showcase their ability to handle their dogs through obedience and agility tasks and demonstrate how to take care of pets, respectively.
Stecher also said participation in 4-H is up this year.
“We are up enrollment by almost 100 members,” she said. Many of the participants are first-year members, she said, and all are very involved in the program by showing animals and presenting static projects such as baking, woodworking and photography.
“I would like to see it become a trend,” she said.
The 4-H County Council will raise money for a new wash rack to be used for sheep, bucket calves and meat goats. Each council member will have a milk jug for collecting donations from fair goers and the council member with the most donations will get a pie in the face at the awards program on the last day of the fair. Donations go to support 4-H and FFA members and programming.
A silent auction also benefiting 4-H will feature items donated by each club in the 4-H exhibit building.
Stecher acknowledged the hard work 4-H and FFA members have done to prepare for the fair and is looking forward to seeing all of that work in action.
“I grew up at the fair so just seeing everything come together is nice,” she said.
The fair runs through July 22 at the Muscatine County Fairgrounds, 101 N. Clay St., West Liberty.
For a full list of events, muscatinecountyfair.com.