By Kyla Hurt
Step right up! It’s your chance for memories at the Morgan County Fair. Ahhh, yes … the 2023 Morgan County Fair — which kicks off Tuesday, July 11 and runs through Monday, July 17 — offers a variety of events and happenings for some summer memory-creating. It provides family fun and entertainment for all.
Truly, there is something that feels so all-American about a county fair. A county fair offers up nostalgia. It is something of an anachronism in this fast-paced and technology-focused world as it involves pageants, talent shows, carnival rides and livestock exhibitions.
There even still exists the prideful possibility of a blue ribbon to be awarded for winning entries in judged competitions. The Morgan County Fair allows adults and juniors to showcase talents in categories such as ag products, clothing & home décor, culinary, floriculture and textiles & fine arts.
Entries to the Morgan County Fair Adult Project Show and Junior Project Show are located and displayed in the Adult Building, located west of the Morgan County Fair Office. Complete information regarding each department and the available projects is available in the “Fair Book”and online.
There is also market and breeding livestock exhibitions for six different species at the Morgan County Fair. Additionally, the fair includes a great variety of competitions and exhibitions for pee wee, youth and open horse exhibitors. For more information on Morgan County Fair horse events, visit “Morgan County Fair Horse Show” on Facebook.
Displays and vendors are set up in the enclosed Merchant Building, located north of the Fair Pavilion.
Athletic-type competitions offered at the Morgan County Fair include a 4-on-4 volleyball tournament on July 16, a 6-on-6 volleyball tournament on July 15 and the 5th annual Toss for Autism Bags Tournament on July 16 at 1 p.m.
Grandstand events during the Morgan County Fair include the Morgan County Fair Talent Contest on Tuesday, July 11 at 5 p.m.; the 65th annual Morgan County Fair Pageant on Tuesday, July 11 at 7 p.m.; the Bulls & Broncs Rodeo on Wednesday, July 12 at 7 p.m.; the Power Wheels Derby on Thursday, July 13 at 6:30 p.m.; the Demolition Derby on Thursday, July 13 at 7 p.m.; and Truck & Tractor Pulls on Sunday, July 16 at 4 p.m.
Additionally, the concerts for this year include Tyler Hubbard with special guest Drew Baldridge on Friday, July 14 at 7:30 p.m. and Lee Brice with special guest Lewis Brice on Saturday, July 15 at 7:30 p.m. These concerts are also held at the Grandstand. Live music following each concert will take place in the Pavilion, however — Exit 52 will perform at approximately 9:30 p.m. on Friday and The Longmeyer Band will perform at approximately 8 p.m. on Saturday.
Other live music entertainment held at the Pavilion includes The Elderly Brothers on Wednesday, July 12 from 8-10 p.m. and 90s Night presented by Western Ford on Thursday, July 13 at 6 p.m..
The carnival is open from 5-10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday (armbands 6-10 p.m.). On Friday, July 14, it is open from 5-11 p.m. (armbands 6-11 p.m.). On Saturday, July 15, it is open from 1-4 p.m. (armbands 2-5 p.m.) and then again 5-11 p.m. (armbands 6-11 p.m.). It is open again Sunday, July 16 from 1-5 p.m (armbands 2-5 p.m.).
Kids’ Day is Thursday, July 13, starting at 1:30 p.m. in the 4-H Building. The afternoon offers free, fun activities for children ages 2-12.
Gate charges for Tuesday to Saturday will be $5 for adults, and children under the age of 6 can enjoy free
admission. General admission prices are paid upon entering the fairgrounds at any of the four gates. A season pass is available for those who wish to make the most of the fair’s offerings at a cost of $15. To encourage families to join in the fun, Sunday will be designated as family day with free admission for all. Parking at the Morgan County Fair is FREE. There are numerous clearly marked parking areas around the grounds.
So, plan to spend some time at the Morgan County Fair from July 11-17. Take in the bright lights of the carnival. Be surrounded by the cheers and excitement during scheduled entertainment at the Grandstand. Witness some rough hands and farmer tans mingled through the pageantry and talent. Partake in some cotton candy and create memories.
For more information and details about the 2023 Morgan County Fair, please call the fair office at 217-245-6800, visit the official website at http://themorgancountyfair.com or find “The Morgan County Fair” on Facebook. Specific ticket and event pricing can also be found online.