The Macon County Fair Association announces the schedule for the 2019 Macon County Fair. This year marks the 163rd Anniversary of the first Macon County Fair, and it is set to run Tuesday, June 4 through Sunday, June 9. The Fair will kick off Tuesday evening with carnival rides brought in by Swyear Amusements, featuring all rides for only $2 each on Tuesday from 5 to 10 pm. The carnival will have specials throughout the 6-day Fair, with $22 arm bands on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, and Sunday afternoon. Saturday afternoon will also feature $2 rides from 1 to 5 pm. Carnival tickets will be regular price on Friday and Saturday evenings which will be $1 per ticket, with the rides requiring a varying number of tickets.
Wednesday night, June 5, begins the nightly Grandstand events featuring the return of the Macon County Fair Pageant at 7:00 pm. Pageant co-directors, Amy & Aryn Dobrinick and Kristie Krigbaum, have been working with the contestants for the Miss Macon County Fair Queen Pageant, the Junior Miss Macon County Fair Pageant and the Little Miss Macon County Fair Pageant. The winners will be crowned at the conclusion of the Pageants on Wednesday evening and Miss Macon County Fair Queen will move on to compete in January for the title of Miss Illinois County Fair for 2020. Admission to the pageant is $5/Adult to 4 years and children 3 & under are free.
The Adorable Baby Contest will take place on Thursday evening in front of the Grandstand. Registration begins at 5:00 pm and is $10 per child. The contest, open to children ages 0 to 36 months, has always been popular among many parents and grandparents, and begins at 6:00 pm. Admission to watch the contest is $1 for adults to 13 years and children 12 and under are free.
At 8:00 pm on Thursday, thanks to On The Move Promotions, the band Tennessee Borderline will fill the Fairgrounds with the sound of live, modern and classic country, southern and classic rock with a splash of some 80’s and today’s pop hits. While their name “sounds” country, they definitely cater to a wide variety of music. The band is a family tradition for drummer, James Mangis, whose father originated it in the late 80’s and after his death, Mangis continued the music. Through lots of practice, determination and paying their dues along the way, Tennessee Borderline has become one of the hottest bands to hit the central Illinois area, with their enthusiasm spreading to the audience. There is no cover charge.
Friday evening will start with the nostalgia of tractor pulls for the younger generation. The Tot-Rod Pedal Pull will take place in the Maltas building at 5:30 pm, with registration beginning at 4:30. Age divisions are 3 & 4, 5 & 6, 7 & 8, 9 & 10, 11 & 12. This is a free event to enter and watch. First, 2nd, and 3rd place awards will be given for each of the five age divisions.
For those who wish to see a bigger version of tractor pulls, the Illiana Pullers Association (IPA) Tractor and Truck Pulls will take place at the Grandstand on Friday beginning at 6:30 pm. Classes pulling will be Altered Stock 4WD, Farm Stock Tractors, N/A, Outlaw Tractors, 8500 Limited Pro Tractors, and Pro Farm Tractors. Admission is $15 for adults to 12 years old, children 5 to 11 are $6 and children 4 and under are free. Pit passes are $20 per person which includes admission.
Saturday will be an event-packed day at the Fairgrounds! The day will start with the Decatur Rabbit Breeders 2019 Rabbit show. The competition will feature 14 rabbit breeds. Judging begins at 9 am and it is free to watch the show.
Also beginning at 9 am is the Fair-ly Crafty Show. The show will feature home-made arts and craft and direct sale vendors from central Illinois. The show ends at 3 pm. Admission is free.
The Decatur Trail Riders is teaming up with the Macon County Fair this year to present tow horse shows: Pleasure Show and Speed Show. The Pleasure show, beginning at 10 am, will feature eight different competitions, including: Open Halter, Youth Showmanship, Adult Showmanship, Youth Walk/Trot, Adult Country Pleasure, Youth Western Pleasure, Adult Western Pleasure and Open Western Pleasure. At 1:00 pm, the Speed show begins with eight competitions, including: Exhibition Barrels, Exhibition Poles, PeeWee Poles, Youth Poles, Open Poles, PeeWee Barrels, Youth 4D Barrels, Open 4D Barrels. The horse shows are free to watch.
Harness racing is back! Absent from the Fair since 2013, it is set for Saturday featuring 2 year-old Big 10 Trot, 2 year-old Big 10 Pace, 3 year-old Big 10 Trot, and 2 year-old Big 10 Pace. The final race of the day will be named the Curt Greene Memorial Race, after the Decatur area native who began his career as a sports writer at the Decatur Herald & Review. He became a world famous horse racing columnist and president of the US Trotters Association. His daughter, Valerie, will present the blanket to the winner. The races will begin at Noon on Saturday and admission is free.
Latting Rodeo Productions, Inc. will be entertaining the crowd in the Grandstand with a Rodeo on Saturday evening, beginning at 7:00 pm. The rodeo will consist of Bareback, Saddle Bronc & Bull Riding; Steer Wrestling; Tie Down, Girls Breakaway & Team Roping; Girls Barrel Racing. Admission is $15 for adults to 12 years old, children 5 to 11 are $6 and children 4 and under are free.
Also, beginning at 7 pm on Saturday night, Macon County Fair will be the first of nine county fairs this year holding the Illinois State Fair Karaoke Contest. The top two finalists from Macon County will compete against the top two finalists from each of the other eight county fairs at a competition taking place during the Illinois State Fair. Finalists will be competing for a chance to perform 2 songs on the Illinois State Fair Grandstand Stage. Contestants are encouraged to sign up online as there are a limited number of contestants who can participate. It is free to sign up and free for the public to come watch the Karaoke Contest and cheer on the contestants. (https://www2.illinois.gov/statefair/competitions/Pages/karaoke-contest.aspx)
On Saturday at 9 pm, the local Country music band, Highway 615, will perform in the Decatur Building. The members of the band come from many different backgrounds and include lead guitarist Mark Hamm, bassist Keith Harmeier, drummer Ed Cunningham, utility player, Brian McLane, male lead vocalist Mike Wilcott, and female lead vocalist Nikki Honea. The band will play from 9 to Midnight and there is no cover charge.
If fairgoers are looking for the traditional livestock show, Sunday, June 9, will help fill that void. The Swine Show will begin judging at Noon, giving those who raise the pigs an opportunity to show off their efforts and compete against others. The show is free to watch.
The fair will go out with a bang, or more like a “crash” as the Macon Some Mayhem Demolition Derby begins at 6 pm in the grandstand on Sunday, June 10. Semi-stock, bone stock, and compact cars, along with lawn mowers and power wheel classes, will compete. Admission is $12 for adults to 12 years old, children 5 to 11 are $6, and children 4 and under are free.
Antique tractors will be on display throughout the fair, along with several commercial exhibitors who will be selling their goods and services.
Face Painting by The Zoo Lady and her Zoo Crew will be available daily. The Zoo Lady has been bringing professional theatrical face painting to the children and adults of central Illinois since 2002.
Senior nursing students from Millikin University will be offering free blood pressure screening Tuesday through Friday from 4 to 8 pm.
Arriving on Thursday will be the Petting Zoo from M&A Stables, Raymond, IL. New to their zoo this year are a camel, mini Scottish highlander and a mini pig. They also will have Nubian goats, a 4-horn Jacob sheep, a mini zebu, a mini donkey, and an alpaca to see and pet for free. Pony rides will also be available from Thursday to Sunday for $5.
And, everyone’s favorite reason for coming to the Fair – Fair Food! This years food lineup has everything from the traditional corndogs, funnel cakes, and shakeups to mini donuts, nachos, taffy, pizza and calzones. Alcoholic beverages will also be available for purchase.
Admission to the Fair is $2 per person and children 3 & under are free. Parking on the fairgrounds is free. The Fair opens at 5:00 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday; 4:30 on Friday; 9 am on Saturday and 1 pm on Sunday. There is no “official” closing time in the evening, however, because of the different lengths of events taking place.
Today, they are launching their re-designed website, thanks to Creative Media Services. Visit the website at www.maconcountyfair.com for more information.
Follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MaconCountyFairgrounds and www.facebook.com/MaconCountyFairQueen for more details.