ST. CHARLES – The Kane County Fair’s slogan this year is “Enjoy the Noise,” and there will be plenty of it all week on the fairgrounds.
The fair’s 146th annual outing, which begins today and continues through Sunday, will be buzzing with the sounds of numerous carnival rides, food booths, 4-H animals and exhibits, live music, grandstand shows and more.
“I think it’s a good economic value for people to come here and have a great time at the Kane County Fair,” said Larry Breon, County Fair Board president.
The Miller Lite Soundstage will feature live music each day of the fair, including 7th Heaven today and Beatles tribute band American English on Sunday. The soundstage performances are free with general admission.
This year, the FMX Freestyle Motocross stunt show makes its Kane County Fair debut on Thursday as one of the grandstand events, which require an additional admission charge. The fair also is holding three separate championship bull riding shows this year, at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday. Country music performances will immediately follow the evening bull riding shows. Joe Diffie is scheduled to perform at 9:30 p.m. Friday and Drew Baldridge at 9:30 p.m. Saturday.
Another first for the fair this year is an online payment option that includes half off the general admission price for fairgoers 13 and up for each of the fair’s five days if bought in advance. There also will be unlimited ride packages available online.
“[Online shopping] became one of those things that a lot of people were using, so we’d thought we’d get involved in it and make it easier for people to buy admission,” Breon said.
Breon said the fair operations involve the help of up to 150 volunteers, and many of those are for 4-H activities. A few 4-H events already have been held this month at the fairgrounds, including the annual Kane County 4-H Dog Show on June 25, and the 4-H Small Pets Show on July 8. The pet show included various birds, rabbits, turtles and more, said Doris Braddock, 4-H and Youth Development program coordinator at the University of Illinois Kane County Extension office.
During the fair, 4-H members’ project displays and livestock for the animal shows will take center stage. Some 4-H members, such as sisters Jaide, 16, and Jacie Panek, 14, of Batavia, already were at the fairgrounds Monday getting ready. The girls are members of the Kan-Du 4-H Club and between them will show six different types of pigs on Thursday.
The Paneks bought their pigs at an auction in March at 50 pounds each, and by mid-June they had raised them to be 250 pounds.
“It’s a good family project,” Jaide Panek said. “It’s our first show of the season – this is the kickoff.”
Also showing pigs this year at the fair is Cody Pitstick of Maple Park, a member of the Burlington Ag 4-H Club. Like other 4-H members, Pitstick, 18, travels to show his livestock at different events. He was in Henry, Illinois, for the Marshall-Putnam County Fair over the weekend and also will head to Springfield in August for the Illinois State Fair.
“I like the experience of meeting new people, going new places and having fun with friends,” Pitstick said.
If you Go
What: 2014 Kane County Fair and Festival
When: Today through Sunday. Midway opens 3 p.m. today and Thursday, noon Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Where: Kane County Fairgrounds, Randall Road between Route 38 and Route 64 in St. Charles
Cost: Children under 2 and military with ID free, general admission charge $5 today and Thursday, $5 Friday and Saturday for children 3-12 only, $10 Friday and Saturday for adults. Adult admission discounts available online at www.kanecountyfair.com. Grandstand shows priced separately.
Information: 630-584-6926 or www.kanecountyfair.com