The parking lots have been mowed, fences have been constructed, and projects are filling the barns and exhibit space.
The 161st Ogle County Fair gets underway today, and runs through Sunday at the fairgrounds on Limekiln Road west of Oregon.
The fair gates open at 2 p.m. today, at 7 a.m. Thursday and Friday, and at 8 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $8, which includes an all-you-can-ride wristband for the carnival rides.
The rides will be open from 6 to 10 p.m. today, 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday, 3 to 10 p.m. Friday, noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
The 120-foot acrobatics pole for Galaxy Girl was raised Monday afternoon. Her acrobatic act will be just one of the activities planned at the fair.
Animal check-in will take place this afternoon and during the early evening. The annual antique tractor show and parade is at 5 p.m. today, followed by the antique tractor pulls at 6 p.m. at the grandstand. Today’s events are free with paid fair admission.
Grandstand events continue on Thursday with two tractor pulls, the first at 1 p.m. for $5, followed by an evening show at 7 p.m. for $10. A pit pass good for both shows is available for $20.
The Big Hat Rodeo returns to the grandstand Friday evening. Admission is $10.
For $10, you can see and hear the crunching and twisting of metal at 6:30 p.m. Saturday during the annual demolition derby.
“Our new event this year is the Barnyard Olympics on Sunday,” Ogle County Fair President Harlan Holm said. “This is an event that all ages can be a part of.”
The deadline to register for the Barnyard Olympics is Friday, but Holm encourages interested teams to contact the fair office early.
The event, which will be held at 11 a.m. Sunday, is limited to the first 20 teams.
For families looking for additional savings, Holm said discount tickets are available before the fair at Casey’s in Oregon, Stillman Valley and Byron.
Pre-sold tickets at Casey’s are $3 off gate admission and $2 off grandstand events.
This year’s Fair Queen is Katrina Lowry, 17, of Oregon. She’ll be busy, as she will reign over the events at the fair, attend grandstand events, and speak with children at the exhibits.
“I want to be Miss Ogle County because I am involved in the local 4-H,” she said during the July 19 pageant. “I like going out and meeting new people and talking to kids.”
The Little Miss and Mister, and Junior Queen pageants begin at 5 p.m. today at the Lion’s Pavilion at the fairgrounds.
Visit oglecountyfair.com for a complete listing of exhibits and shows.