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Washington County offers ‘mini state fair’ experience

posted: July 09. 2018 08:11a CST
by / Brooke Bechen, Regional Editor |

WEST BEND — Attendees to the first Washington County Fair 160 years ago traveled to West Bend’s Courthouse Square in ox carts, some choosing to participate in a variety of events such as a plowing match between farmers. Today, attendees come to the Washington County Fair, now held at Washington County Fair Park, for a number of reasons, including its biggest draw — three nights of hits from well-known musical entertainment acts.

“This fair has always been a favorite for me,” said Kellie Boone, Washington County Fair executive director. “It’s a mini version of the state fair — it’s really got everything.”

“You’d be surprised what we have to offer,” she said.

This year’s 160th Washington County Fair will kick off Tuesday morning, July 24, with entry day for numerous animal exhibitors. Various events that evening, including a 4-H theater arts performance, the carnival opening and musical entertainment, all lead up to a fireworks display at the main stage of the fairground at dusk.

Wednesday, July 25, is Military Day, where military veterans and their families will be recognized in a special ceremony at 9 a.m. in the Ziegler Family Expo Building. Military Day activities will continue through 9 p.m. at the expo building and include flag folding, a canine demo, Stars and Stripes program, interviews with veterans and the flag retirement at the conclusion of the day.

Also on Tuesday, attendees can take in a number of horse-related events, including a Meet and Greet with Pleasure Horses at 4 p.m. and a horse pull at 7 p.m.; both events are held in the Equestrian Complex.

The junior and open-class beef and Washington County Junior Livestock Auction events will take place earlier on Thursday at 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. in the Farm Progress Arena. The Washington County Junior Livestock Auction Social will be held at 4:30 p.m., just before the auction.

On Friday, July 27, the junior and open-class dairy events will also be held at 8:30 a.m. in the Farm Progress Arena. The Small Animal Barn will be feature rabbit judging that day, and there will also be a Rooster Crowing Contest at 10 a.m. and the “Fairest of Hares” begins at noon.

Attendees are invited to the fairground from 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 28, for Breakfast at the Fair, an annual event held in the American Legion Building. Llamas are one of the focuses for Saturday as llama activities are held in the Farm Progress Arena beginning at 8 a.m. The Dairy Futurity Show will commence at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday in the same location.

Sunday, July 29, the last day of the fair, will feature truck and tractor shows, another big draw to the fair. The Farm Tractor/​Truck Pull, featuring local trucks and participants, will begin at noon at the pull track; the Smoke and Noise Pull will begin at 3 p.m., also on the pull track.

If you go

What: 160th Washington County Fair.

When: Tuesday through Sunday, July 24-29, gates open at 8 a.m. each day.

Where: Washington County Fair Park, 3000 Pleasant Valley Road (Highway PV), West Bend.


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