Time for the county fair: Rides, exhibits open WednesdayThe Stutsman County Fair begins in earnest on Wednesday, showcasing the efforts of local artists, crafters, gardeners and livestock exhibitors young and old — plus fair food, a carnival, a rodeo and a band every night.
By: Kari Lucin, The Jamestown Sun
The Stutsman County Fair begins in earnest on Wednesday, showcasing the efforts of local artists, crafters, gardeners and livestock exhibitors young and old — plus fair food, a carnival, a rodeo and a band every night.
“It’s great. It’s one of the biggest and greatest outdoor events that you’re going to find in Jamestown,” said Mike Williams, a member of the Stutsman County Fair Board.
The Mighty Thomas Carnival will feature 12 rides, in addition to children’s rides and games, and opens at 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and at 3 p.m. Saturday.
“Of course, the food will be hot and ready for the pickin’,” Williams added, listing fry bread tacos, cheese curds, foot-long hot dogs, pizza, fresh lemonade, hamburgers, mini-donuts and a variety of deep-fried goodies that will be available.
Live music, a longtime tradition at the fair, will be featured every night, starting with $timulu$ Package Wednesday, the Johnny Holm Band Thursday, Michael D Band Friday and 8 Foot 4 Saturday.
The shows start around 9 p.m., except for the Johnny Holm Band, which plays at 8 p.m. in the beer garden.
Livestock, one of the mainstays of any fair in farm country, have again proven popular this year with 4-H members.
Deb Hatlewick, 4-H coordinator for Stutsman County, said the numbers for rabbit and poultry exhibits jumped this year.
“We have about 75 exhibits in both … this is more than what we’ve had in the last couple of years,” Hatlewick said. “The rabbits have doubled this year.”
Many young children show poultry and rabbits, she added, and the interview and judging for both will be at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Sheep, goats and swine will be judged at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, and the numbers in those areas have tripled, according to Hatlewick, with 29 pigs, 23 goats and a whopping 48 sheep set to be shown.
“That’s the most we’ve had in quite a while,” she said. “A lot of kids have gotten interested in it.”
Pigs, sheep and goats don’t require quite as much space to care for as cattle. Hatlewick said pigs can be kept in a small area and do not have to be halter broken — they can be tapped with a thin pipe or riding crop to be led. And they can be fed animal crackers and marshmallows as treats.
The beef and dairy show will begin at 8:30 a.m. Friday, with the round robin for overall showmanship and all livestock species at 5 p.m. Friday. The premium livestock sale starts at 6 p.m.
People on the lookout for unusual animals should keep an eye peeled for the llamas that will be at the fair, or the short, muscular Texel sheep, which aren’t commonly found in the area.
“Come and visit and check it out, and if you have youth that are interested in 4-H, don’t be afraid to talk to the kids that are up there and ask them what it’s all about,” Hatlewick said.
4-H students will be in the Russ Melland Building, where the 4-H club booths are located.
“Saturday morning at 9 a.m. we have our third Stutsman County Fair 4-H Archery Shoot, and we’ll have kids from all over the state coming to compete in that,” Hatlewick said
Between 75 and 100 young people are expected to shoot in the competition.
In addition, the Don Wilhelm Stock Car Classic starts at 6 p.m. Saturday, and the James River Rodeo performs at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
The Chef’s Challenge will be at 5 p.m. Thursday, with contestants using local ingredients provided at the contest to cook, being judged on taste, presentation and use of fresh ingredients. Anyone interested in participating may contact Lisa at 701-252-4830 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“It’s a great place where you bring together city and county, that’s what I always enjoy,” Williams said of the fair. “It’s where everyone comes together to have a good time for the four brief days that it’s on.”
Admission to the fair is $5 for adults and $2 for children.
“People just like to get out, and it’s kind of the pinnacle of summer in North Dakota,” Williams said.
Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at 701-952-8453
or by email at email@example.com