The Dawes County Fair turns 133-years-old this year.
Visitors to this year’s fair have a variety of events to choose from for evening entertainment.
Returning for a third year is the Dawes County Fair Board Hog Wrestling and Pig Wrangler Auction. It’s scheduled for July 27 at 5 p.m. Teams will be auctioned off before they take to the hog pen.
On Monday, July 29, kids take the spotlight with the annual gymkhana. While there is an entry fee for participants, there is no gate fee to watch as the youngsters snatch ribbons off goats’ tails, throw a loop or make a tight turn around a barrel. Kids ages six and under actually compete in the stick horse races from 2:30-4 p.m. in front of the grandstand, while ages 7-18 start at 5 p.m. Participants must pre-register by contacting Crystal Brunsch at 605-454-1034, Travis Nitsch at 308-325-2366 by July 22.
The Chamber Ag Committee, Bauerkemper’s and the Dawes County Ag Society have teamed up this year for a free barbecue at 5 p.m. that evening, so participants and spectators can fill up before catching the action in the arena. Be sure to grab a refreshing popsicle at 5:30 p.m. in the grandstands, courtesy of Farmers State Bank, or snack on some free watermelon from First National Bank North Platte for dessert.
There will also be a Creative Chefs silent auction at the 4-H Building from 5-7 p.m. and a 3D Archery Shoot at 5:30 p.m. at the east end of the race track, which is open to all ages, if rodeo isn’t your speed.
Adults get in on the rodeo action with a ranch rodeo and bronc match July 30 at 6 p.m. Pre-registration is required by contacting Joe Lemmon at 430-5523 by July 26, as entries are limited. Teams will be sold in a calcutta at 5 p.m.
July 31 is the annual tough truck show at 5:30 p.m., which showcases the baddest, toughest trucks in town as they sail over jumps and splash through mud bogs in a race to prove who truly has the toughest truck. Registration is at 5 p.m., and a calcutta of teams will immediately precede the start of the competition. Security First Bank will provide the refreshing treats on this date, offering free root beer floats at 5:30 p.m. in the grandstands.
Evening entertainment continues Aug. 1 with the annual rubber check race and calcutta at 6 p.m. The race pits teams of individuals against an obstacle course that has been known to ask contestants to crawl through mud, dress a goat or bob for an apple from a toilet filled with muddy water and is always good for a laugh. Pre-registration is required by July 30 by contacting Brooke Keim at 308-430-3163, Charlee Ebmeier at 430-4298, Dan Rhembrandt at 308-430-2873 or Jodi Reitz at 308-430-2560.
The Dawes County Fair activities will conclude Aug. 2 with the annual livestock sale, where 4-Hers – sometimes with a few tears – say goodbye to their animals and earn a return on all their hard work.
There will be a livestock buyers social at 4:30 p.m. with the sale scheduled to start at 6 p.m.
Also that night is a dance sponsored by the in the Vetter Building from the conclusion of the sale until 11:30 p.m.
Gate admission to all of the evening entertainment except the gymkhana is $8 per person, though attendees can purchase a four-day wrist-band for $20 for some savings.