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  • Fairbury News staff

Fair invests in the future

New hog gates are shown during opening day of the Fairbury Fair on Wednesday.

The Fairbury Fair board is looking to the future which is why numerous facilities were improved for this year’s fair.

Reinvesting for future generations is the idea behind the improvements on the grounds.

“All three buildings out here – the hog, sheep and show buildings – we spent probably $10,000 just in cosmetic stuff then our biggest expenditure was when we put all new hog pens in the hog building,” explained fair secretary Chris Matich.

These improvements have been a long time coming as they had been considered in the past but the job couldn’t be completed due to funding and other factors. Matich said they were able to get some grants and he worked with a gate company from Kentucky with products completely made in the U.S.A.

“The pens are four foot wide but they don’t offer a four foot wide gate or end to match the six foot panels on the sides so they stopped production and made the ends to match the sides,” notes Matich.

Workers spent a couple of weekends getting the gates and pens all set up, but the $53,000 project is not completely finished just yet.

“We’ve got to do some more adjustments out here. It looks beautiful from what it was.”

Once the hog area is finished, the sheep building is next on the list. New LED lighting has been installed around the fairgrounds as well, including inside Floral Hall. Matich believes in constantly making the fair better in order to generate income for projects such as these.

This looks to be an incredible fair week since there was no event in 2020 due to COVID. Excitement has been building around the week – which included a Wednesday night performance from popular country band Diamond Rio and regional act Brushville. Although no official crowd numbers have been announced, the grandstand appeared to be full with several concertgoers standing on the track.

With a year away from the action, many fairs are seeing lower entry numbers and the same is true for Fairbury. Volunteer Dede Traub reports all of the Floral Hall entries were down across the board. She was surprised at the very few garden entries.

“We have the garden stuff, fine arts, all kinds of crafts, textiles, flowers and food items,” explained Traub.

“Fishing for Fun at the Fairbury Fair” is the theme this year so visitors to Floral Hall can enjoy cat tails and giant bobbers hanging from the ceiling. A train theme is planned for the 2022 fair.

“It’s lovely,” added Traub. “We really try to highlight everything that’s here and make it easy to see and easy to see who brought it.”

The 2021 Fairbury Fair continues through Sunday at the fairgrounds on the south end of town. More information can be found on Facebook or by visiting

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