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Johnson County Fair opens in Gardner

With a 2019 theme of “Back to our Roots,” the Johnson County Fair is underway this week through the weekend at the county fairgrounds in Gardner.

Admission to the fairgrounds is free, as is the nightly entertainment held on the Midway stage. Admission fees to the Main Event Arena vary each night. Tickets may be purchased at the Main Event Arena box office.

Fun for the whole family includes wandering the grounds, riding carnival rides and enjoying the displays of baked goods, photography, rockets, home-grown vegetables and other exhibits in the 4-H Green Building where Johnson County Extension 4-H youth’s projects will be on display. Touring the livestock barn is a sensory bonanza. Throughout the week, 4-H youth will display their showmanship skills in the livestock barn as they exhibit their cows, sheep, goats, pigs and more.

Adults of all ages and non-4-H youth can demonstrate their artistic, culinary, fiber arts, photography and horticulture skills by participating in the fair’s Open Class competitions.

Highlights of the fair include an 80th “Back to our Roots” celebration, with hot dogs and ice cream, at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 30. Admission for anyone six-years-old and older is $2. Children under age six will be admitted free. Following the celebration, kids will enjoy the Night of Fun and Challenge, starting at 7 p.m. where they can test their courage by participating in the muttin’ bustin’ and greased pig chase. Country music recording artist Phil Vandel performs afterward.

Wednesday, July 31, the Open Jackpot Barrel Races begin at 8 p.m.

Two- and four-wheel amateur flat track races run Thursday, Aug. 1, with hot laps starting at 6 p.m.

On Friday, Aug. 2, a free special Chasing Memories event, starting at 5 p.m., has been organized for individuals with special needs to provide an opportunity to participate in a livestock show specifically designed for them, featuring the fair’s livestock and 4-H youth programs.

Friday’s entertainment also includes the outlaw truck and tractor pull at 7 p.m.

And of course, it wouldn’t be the Johnson County Fair without the ever-popular demolition derby, Saturday, Aug. 3, at 7 p.m.

No fair is complete without a traditional parade. Saturday’s parade starts at 10 a.m. in downtown Gardner.

There is parking north of the fairgrounds on Madison Street and east of the fairgrounds in the school parking lot. There is also parking along the streets and in nearby parking lots. Handicap accessible parking can be found on the south entrance off Washington Street by the Open Class building.

For a complete listing of events, dates and times, and Open Class entry categories/judging rules, visit jocokansasfair.com.

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