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County Fair Opens Today; Will Run Through Saturday

A break in the weather came just in time for the opening of the Douglas County Fair this week.

After a period of unusual heat and dry weather, the Ava area finally received some rainfall on Sunday and Monday, and with it came slightly cooler temperatures that will make fair attendance a pleasurable experience on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Giles Amusements and Bluff City Shows will offer carnival ride wrist bands each night for $20, good on all rides from 6 to 10 p.m. On Saturday, the price will be cut in half from 1 to 4 p.m., with wrist bands offered for just $10 during those hours.

Gate admission is $5 for adults and $2 for children 12 and under each day and night of the fair. Fair officials have also announced this year that there is a ferris wheel on the midway.

Fair Board Secretary Phyllis Swofford said it’s been several years since there was a ferris wheel at the carnival.

Thursday night will kick off the fair with the Denim Gals queen pageant and toddler’s stick horse contest on the Patio Stage at 6 o’clock.

Youngsters ages 4 and under (boys and girls) will participate in the stick horse class. Girls ages 5-18 will compete for petite princess, princess and Douglas County Fair Queen.

On Friday night a truck pull will be the featured event, beginning at 7 p.m. The program will be presented by the Draggin’ Wagon Sled Team, beginning at 7 p.m.

This pulling sled is from right here in Douglas County and all the locals are invited to come join the competition.

Sign-in starts at 5:30 with the pull to begin at 7 o’clock.

As a special promotion, the hometown winner of each pull will be invited to the final pull of the season in Cabool, on Oct. 20, for the Draggin’ Wagon Hometown Championship trophy and prize money.

Hometown winners right now range from Marshfield and Niangua to Harrison, Ark.

Of course, Saturday night is reserved for the traditional Booger County Saturday Night Smash-Up Demolition Derby.

The “Smash” begins at 6 p.m. with $1,000 promised to the winners of the feature event. Prizes will be paid to the first three places.

The pre-paid entry date is July 12 (today) and entries should be mailed to Don Pinckney, PO Box 668, Ava, MO 65608.

In addition to the demolition derby, there will also be live music and square dancing on Saturday night, beginning at 7 o’clock on the Patio Stage. The Shumate Band, featuring D.J. Shumate, will provide music for the dance.

General exhibits were entered on Wednesday and will be in place throughout the fair. Kalynn Miller and Thelma Mork are in charge of the general exhibits.

The livestock judging begins on Friday, with beef cattle, sheep and meat goats to be in place by 8 p.m. today.

Friday’s livestock judging begins with the beef show at 9 a.m., followed by the meat goat show and the sheep show.

Dairy cattle and dairy goats will be in place Friday night with the dairy cattle show to begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, followed by poultry and small animals, and the dairy goat show at 12 noon or immediately following the dairy cattle, depending on entries.

Tiffany Kauffman is general superintendent of the livestock show.

Don Pinckney is superintendent of the 4-H exhibits and Brent Lakey is superintendent of the FFA department exhibits.

The Douglas County Fair is presented under the direction of the Douglas County Fair Board with Robert Elijah serving as president, Don Pinckney, vice president, and Phyllis Swofford, secretary. Heather Elijah is treasurer.

Board members (in addition to officers) include Gary Emrick, Don and Reba Nash, Tim and Laura Stillings, Joanie Jenkins, Dwayne and Teresa Nash, Tiffany Kauffman and Robert Lambert.

Junior board members are James Elijah, Austin Stillings, Ashtin Stillings and Weston Stillings.