MELVIN — This year's Ford County Fair, running June 23-29 at the fairgrounds in Melvin, may look different than in the past. The fair has added numerous new events to its schedule, while keeping some old favorites, as well.
"We try each year to plan a fair that will interest the entire family," said Kirk Miller, fair board president. "The fair board and volunteers have tried to change things up a bit this year and hope they've added some excitement to this year's fair."
The biggest addition to this year's fair is the Tuesday night concert featuring Nashville recording artist Dustin Lynch. Lynch's hits "Cowboys and Angels" and "She Cranks My Tractor" topped the country charts earlier this year. Lynch goes on tour with Keith Urban in mid-July.
"We were fortunate to be able to book Dustin Lynch for the fair this year," added Scott Harden, fair board member. "Having Brushfire as the opening act brings two outstanding country artists to the area. We hope this is just the beginning of several years of country concerts at the fair."
The concert will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 25. Tickets for the concert, with opening act Brushfire, can be purchased at the gate. On the day of the concert, no one will be able to enter the fairgrounds after 3 p.m. without a concert ticket.
Also new to this year's fair is the C-Bar Rodeo, scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, June 28. The rodeo not only features bull riding and barrel racing, but also a competition for area youngsters.
"We've added a mutton busting competition to the rodeo," explained Roger Wycoff, fair board member and rodeo committee chairman. "The competition is open to area youngsters who want to try their hand at being in a rodeo. The only difference is instead of riding a bull, they'll be riding sheep. You don't want to wait to sign up though as we will only be able to take the first 20 youngsters who enter."
The Miss Ford County Pageant begins at 7 p.m. Monday, June 24, in the dance building. Contestants are Kirsten Batte of Paxton, Elise Chriss of Gibson City and Alexandra Percy of Gibson City. Mistress of ceremonies will be Nicole Kirkpatrick, with broadcasting by WGCY-Radio in Gibson City.
The Little Mister and Miss Pageant will also be held, at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 26, in the dance building. The registration deadline was June 17.
The annual talent show is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 26. Entries were due June 14. Registration will be from 6 to 6:30 p.m. June 26.
There will be two age divisions. The winner of each division will represent Ford County in Springfield at the Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs Convention in January, 2014. The Ford County Fair will pay the $75 entry fee to sponsor the winners of this competition.
There will be a kids' dance immediately after the talent show until 11:30 p.m.
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