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See you at the fairgrounds

August isn’t far away when you are planning a county fair. The 158th annual Bureau County Fair will be held Aug. 21- 25. Corn dogs, lemonade shake-ups, the demolition derby, tractor pulls, commercial and fine arts displays, and of course the carnival will all be back to make your summer complete.

This weekend, members of the Bureau County Fair Board and board members from all across the state will meet in Springfield for the annual Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs annual convention. There they will meet with the promoters for the concerts, tractor pull and free entertainment shows and book the tents, stage and sound.

Our Bureau County Fair Queen, Tiana Maupin, will take the stage with 71 other fair queens during the convention to compete for the title of Miss Illinois County Fair Queen. She will compete in several different areas including evening gown, swimsuit, a group dance, and will have a one on one interview with the judges. We wish her the best of luck.

The Bureau County Fair Board actually started on its quest to book this year’s country show entertainer early in November. Finding an entertainer that is within our budget and that has routing close to Illinois is always a challenge. We have booked a great entertainer, but we can’t announce who it is for a few more weeks. We can guarantee you will enjoy the show.

The event calendar for the fairgrounds is starting to fill up. If you have a plan to do some spring cleaning, the huge winter garage sale will return for two days, March 9-10. This sale is a great place to sell your unwanted items for a reasonable price. There is also a monthly flea market at the fairgrounds on the 2nd Sunday of the month. Upcoming dates are Feb. 9 and April 14. The More on 34 Two Day Garage Sale will be Father’s Day Weekend, June 14-15. There is always a huge crowd of shoppers looking for bargains that weekend. For information on all events, contact Nancy Monier at 815-303-2905 or see the fair website at

Other events on the calendar are the Sauk Trail Gun Collectors Show and Sale which will be held next weekend, Jan. 26-27 and again on March 23-24.

The biannual Covered Bridge Quilters Guild show called “Sea of Dreams” will be held March 16-17. Many lovely handmade quilts and quilted items will be on display following the judging competition. They range from small wall hangings and jackets to king size bed quilts. There will also be a merchant’s mall with vendors selling all types of fabric and items used for making quilts, a silent auction and a quilt raffle. You can also bring your family quilts to be appraised.

The animal swap meet will return to the fairgrounds monthly on the second Saturday. If you are looking for small critters or supplies be sure to stop out and see what they have available. The Interstate 80 Alpacafest returns to the fairgrounds on May 4. The beautiful alpacas come in every color from white to silver and black. Vendors will be on hand with luscious-feeling items made from the alpaca fleece including scarves, mittens and socks.

The Starved Rock Radio Club Hamfest returns from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 2. They don’t really serve ham, but they do have a sale for ham radio equipment, RC models and computer parts. They also do testing for ham radio operators.

The fair has its fastest fundraiser coming up Feb. 23. The Night at the Races features horse races on the big screen with fun, great food and lots of prizes. Contact Marc Cain at 815-878-0293 to get your ticket soon because they sell out quickly.

There are still openings for your event to be held at the fairgrounds including company picnics, fundraisers, parties and animals shows. Just give Nancy Monier a call at 815-303-2905 to schedule your event. Check out the schedule for the rest of the year at and see our Facebook page for updates too.

Kathy Costerisan is a representative of the Bureau County Fair.

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