Though it may look like just a hug around the neck, Bode Fust is careful to hold his chicken properly as he hoists it onto the judging table for the tiny tot rabbit and poultry show July 25. It was just one of many “Bushels of Fun” events at the 2019 Phillips County Fair. Coverage of other fair activities can be found throughout this week’s edition of the Enterprise, and awards will be printed in a special keepsake edition to be inserted in the Aug. 15 edition. — The Holyoke Enterprise | Johnson Publications
Phillips County loves fair a bushel and a peck
Folks sure didn’t waste any time getting out to the Phillips County Fair this year. From Wednesday through Saturday, July 24-27, there was a constant bustle at the fairgrounds, as 4-H members showed their livestock and projects, locals entered open class and special themes contests, and large crowds enjoyed fair food and nightly entertainment.
Fair board president Kayla Kafka said that prior to the fair, there had been worries about weather and harvest impacting turnout. As it was, neither factor ended up being a big issue and the board views the 2019 fair as a definite success.
On Wednesday evening, the Thrashers softball team hosted a Rocky Mountain oyster dinner and cornhole tournament. In the arena, local cowboys joined in with those from out of town in the ranch rodeo, which featured bronc riding and doctoring and trailer loading as well as mutton bustin’ and goat dressing for the kids.
Though barrel racing didn’t draw much of a crowd Thursday night, the competition was fierce. The event began with peewee racers still learning the ins and outs of the sport followed by youth before the open and senior competitions took off.
Friday night’s feature was the Heartland Pulling tractor and truck pull, which was received with enthusiasm by local fairgoers.
Interocean Avenue was lined with spectators Saturday morning for the fair parade, which had a good number of entries. That night’s main event was Bulls Gone Wild! People of all ages filled arena-side bleachers and picnic tables for an up-close view of the bull riding and American bullfighting. The grandstands were also quite full for the occasion.
Strong gusts of wind kicked up a dust storm before rain began to fall near the end of the event, but the show went on with muddy mutton bustin’ and the remainder of the bull riding and fighting.
Throughout the week, people enjoyed looking at exhibits, attending livestock shows and the sale, and playing horseshoes. The kids in particular had fun on the American Ninja Warrior course, trampolines and inflatables, as well as at the kids games and the petting zoo.
As always, it took countless people to plan and execute the Phillips County Fair, and Kafka was pleased to see everyone do their part to pull the week together and make sure it ran smoothly.