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  • Fairbury News staff

Fair fun starts now

The Luehr's Ideal Rides midway is shown at a previous Fairbury Fair.

The 143rd Fairbury Fair promises to honor longstanding traditions and showcase new ideas during its five-day run Aug. 14-18.

“For every (board) member that helped out here in the past, we are just carrying on that tradition,” said fair secretary Chris Matich.

The new 4-H food stand building is a must see. This newly remodeled air-conditioned facility will house members of the Fairbury Prairie Farmers club who will be serving up tasty traditions along with new favorites. The fair reached an agreement with property owner Matt Curl to redo the former Rebekah Lodge food stand, which includes a brand new kitchen area. Diner 24 will also be serving a few meals from the building.

This year’s fair also features a car raffle for a 2019 Chevy Malibu. Ticket sales have been going well so far, according to Matich, and tickets will be sold throughout the week with a winner drawn the final day of the fair.

“We’ll have 25 qualifiers, they’ll pick out a key, press the button and if they win they get the chance of taking the car or $10,000 in cash,” Matich explained.

A performance from country star Jo Dee Messina is the entertainment highlight for opening night at the grandstand. Matich said ticket sales are going well and are still available. The national POWRI midget series racing has been added to Thursday’s events along with modifieds and late models for a quick night of racing.

The fair includes plenty of judging as usual with entries ranging from floral and horticulture to animals like rabbits, pigs, dairy and beef. The fair secretaries have received more entries this year as the fair times out nicely with the Illinois State Fair in Springfield. Luehr’s Ideal Rides return to the midway with plenty of attractions.

Visitors to the fair can also enjoy wood carvers, magicians, a petting zoo and daily pig races with animals coming from Florida. The popular Ramer Racing demolition derby returns Friday night.

“That is always a huge hit,” admits Matich.

Saturday includes the 5K run in the morning with FALS Cup racing at night. Sunday is a big day with a worship service, chili cookoff and the return of the talent show following a hiatus. The Schahrer family is organizing the show putting plenty of effort into it for kids and teachers.

“Every fair board before us did the same thing and the ones that are involved with this really know what it takes to put this fair on, or any county fair for that matter,” Matich added.

Matich said the fair organizers want to follow in the footsteps of previous boards, move forward and make sure the fair is viable for a long time.

The 2019 Fairbury Fair directors include: Gunner Sullivan, president; Andrew Weber, treasurer and Chris Matich serving as secretary. Directors are: Irv Metz, Steve Ricketts, Matt Curl, Kelly Honegger, Macy Vaughan, Mary Beth Crews, Traci Bunch and Penny Oldfather.

More information can be found at or by looking for Fairbury Fair on Facebook.

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