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Published August 12, 2009, 09:02 AM

Fair takes center stage this week

The 126th annual Pierce County Fair runs Wednesday through Sunday with fireworks, a new carnival and recognition for the county’s Century Farmers. Daily main events are as follows:

“Pierce County Takes Center Stage, 2009 Pierce County Fair and 2010 Farm Technology Days — A Powerful Partnership” is the theme for the premier event of the summer, opening at the fairgrounds in Ellsworth this week.

The 126th annual fair from Wednesday through Sunday promises animals, exhibits, entertainment, food, fun, talent, tradition and more. There’s something for everyone: full days dedicated to veterans and senior citizens, mornings of judging, afternoons of music and comedy, and evenings of grandstand action. Fireworks, a new carnival on the midway and recognition for the county’s Century Farmers are some of the many other attractions.

This year’s fair will feature $25,000 in free entertainment, 10,000 contest entries and over 100 commercial exhibits. The following lineup is planned.

Wednesday

Junior and Open Rabbit and Poultry judging kick off the fair from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Wednesday in the poultry building. The entry of exhibits (except livestock) occurs from noon to 8 p.m.

Community talent shows will take place in the family entertainment tent, with the River Falls show at 4:30 p.m., the Spring Valley/Elmwood/Plum City show at 5:30 p.m., the Prescott show at 6:30 p.m. and the Ellsworth/Hager City/Bay City/Maiden Rock show at 7:30 p.m.

A fireworks display will be conducted in the grandstand at dusk. A free will donation is requested.

Thursday

All veterans get free admission for the “Salute to Veterans” day on Thursday.

Starting at 9 a.m., there will be judging in the upstairs of the round barn for items ranging from animal and vet science to plant and soil science, judging in the lower round barn for flowers, judging in the Seyforth building for foods preservation and clothing, and judging in the home economics building for items ranging from cultural arts to home furnishings. At the same time, exotic animals will be judged in the horse warm-up arena.

The Fantasy Corral Animal Exhibit will run from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. this day, along with Friday and Saturday, plus from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

At 10:30 a.m. Thursday, a veterans opening ceremony and new grandstand dedication will be staged in the grandstand. Also at that time, the carnival will open for the first time, with 10:30 a.m. starts on Friday and Saturday, and a noon start on Sunday. Mr. Ed’s Magical Midway is the new provider.

Pop Wagner, “Renaissance Cowboy,” will present the first of three shows on Thursday at noon. Wagner will be back at 2 and 4 p.m., as well as on Sunday.

Ventriloquist James Wedgwood displays his talent at 1 p.m. Thursday, then again at 3 and 5 p.m., returning Friday.

The horse arena’s the place for junior horse judging at 4 p.m. Thursday.

That day’s grandstand highlight will be the tractor pull at 6:30 p.m. Meantime, at 7 and 9 p.m., the Colleen Raye Family Shows will be presented.

Friday

A special discount is offered fair goers age 62 and better for Senior Citizens Day on Friday.

Horse judging will be in the horse arena at 8 a.m., beef judging in the arena barn (east end) at 8:45 a.m., swine judging in the Drewiske Building at 9 a.m. and dairy judging in the arena barn (west end) at 9:30 a.m.

James Wedgwood, ventriloquist, will return for shows at 10 a.m., noon and 5 p.m.

The Most Admired Senior Citizen results will be announced at 10:30 a.m.

Variety music will be performed by the St. Croix County 4-H Show Choir at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

A half hour after the choir’s first performance, Steve Russell, comic juggler, will be strolling on the fairgrounds, and he’ll make appearances at 3 and 6 p.m. as well.

Sami Dare, comic hypnotist, will be in the spotlight at 1 and 4 p.m., to entertain on Saturday, too.

Goat judging is the Drewiske Building activity set for 1 p.m. Friday.

The 4-H/FFA Livestock Auction will start at 6:30 p.m. in the Arena Barn. Just prior to its beginning, the late Steve Kastberg, long-time fair contributor, will be honored.

The truck pull rocks the grandstand at 7 p.m. Musical variety duo “The Memories” will sing at 7, 8 and 9 p.m.

Saturday

Horse judging tops Saturday’s schedule at 8 a.m. in the horse arena, followed by dairy judging in the arena barn at 9 a.m.

The grandstand will be the site for a horse pull at 10 a.m.

A half hour later, the first dose of musical comedy will be given by Nick’s Kids Show, with more at 2 and 4:30 p.m.

The talent show finals will be featured in the family entertainment tent at 11 a.m.

Comic juggler Steve Russell’s back for more strolling at 11:30 a.m., 2:30 and 6 p.m.

Likewise, comic hypnotist Sami Dare will return at 12:30 p.m., and again at 3 p.m.

The traditionally biggest grandstand draw, the demolition derby, gets underway at 7 p.m. At the same time, along with 8 p.m., pianist/singer/songwriter Vicky Emerson will perform.

Sunday

Horse judging is in the lead for the fair’s final day, Sunday, at 8 a.m. in the horse arena.

At 9 a.m., a rocket launch is slated in the grandstand.

Nick’s Kids Show is back at 11 a.m., plus 1 and 3 p.m.

The return of Pop Wagner happens at noon, 2 and 4 p.m.

Pierce County Century Farmers will be recognized at a program in the grandstand at 12:45 p.m.

The same location will host the Gopher State Garden Tractor Pull at 1 p.m.

Fifteen minutes later, registration will open for a pedal tractor pull to be held east of the Seyforth Building an hour later.

The next five days, all Pierce County roads lead to the 126th annual Pierce County Fair. For more information, visit www.co.pierce.wi.us/fair/fair_main.html or call (715) 273-6874.

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