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From snow ... to snow cones

When will this winter be over? That’s the popular question after this long, hard winter.

Maybe you can cheer up by thinking of all of the fun you can have at this summer’s 159th annual Bureau County Fair. After all, it is only 26 short weeks away! We are looking forward to a hot and dry week.

The fair board recently attended the Illinois State Fair Association meetings in Springfield. There, they worked with the promoters for the different events that we will have during the fair like the tractor pull and concert. Each year it is a challenge to find new and unique entertainment for the fair. Some fairs keep the same shows year after year, but the Bureau County Fair prides themselves on offering new shows every year.

This summer everyone in the whole family will enjoy Magic Matt’s Family Fun show, which will be held three times daily. He will be doing strolling magic and balloon animal art. Also entertaining will be Galaxy Girl, performing daring acrobatics at 100 plus feet in the air without a safety harness.

A very exciting new event has been added to fair week. The Latting Rodeo Co. will present a bull riding competition. They are bringing 35 bulls for the cowboys to try and make their eight-second rides. The events the families always enjoy like the demolition derby, tractor pulls, Lil’ Wrangler Rodeo and hospitality tent and beer garden music will be back on the schedule for 2014. The Bureau County Fair will release their exciting concert news on March 1, so you will have to wait just a little while longer to hear who will be playing the fair this summer.

If you need to get out of the house, there are still a lot of fun events coming up at the fairgrounds. There are just a few tickets remaining for the fair fundraiser “Night at the Races” on March 1. There will be lots of great prizes and fun watching the horse races.

There will be another fundraiser for the fair on March 22. The fair is hosting a Euchre tournament with play starting at 6 p.m. The cost is $20 per couple, and you must be 18 to participate. There will be cash prizes. Those wishing to preregister should contact Tracy Diehl at 309-507-2596 or email her at Anyone preregistering will receive one free raffle ticket per participant. Entry fees will be taken the day of the tournament. Do not send money now! There will be a concession stand with food, beer and soda plus raffles and a 50/50 drawing. The funds raised will be put toward grandstand repairs at the fairgrounds.

The new digital sign board that funds were raised for last year will be installed when the weather straightens out this spring.

The huge winter garage sale returns on March 8 and March 9 with doors opening at 8 a.m. Admission and parking are free. A donation of a canned food item or paper products for the local food pantry will be collected at the sale. A special sale table will be set up with items donated for sale by the fair board members to assist the Headley family with their medical bills. The Headleys have both worked at the fairgrounds for several years. If you would like to sell at the garage sale or donate an item to be sold for the fundraiser, call Nancy at 815-303-2905. Check out our web page at for additional information.

The Sauk Trail Gun Collectors show and sale will be March 29 and 30, with the doors opening at 8:30 a.m. both mornings. This will be the last gun show until fall, so come out and stock up on whatever you need for your hunting needs.

The fair is looking for a superintendant to run the open horse show on Sunday during the fair. If you would be interested in helping out, please leave a message at the office — 815-875-2905.

Thanks to our Bureau County Fair Queen Ashley. She did an amazing job at the Illinois State Fair Queen Pageant in January. We are very proud of her and how well she represented Bureau County.

Mark your calendars now for the 159th annual Bureau County Fair which will be held on Aug. 20-24. There’s going to be fun for the whole family – and there won’t be any snow there, except for in the snow cones.

Kathy Costerisan is a representative for the Bureau County Fairgrounds.

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