The 87th annual Leavenworth County Fair kicked off Tuesday, beginning a week of events at the county fairgrounds, 22618 McLouth Road in Tonganoxie.
The annual celebration of agricultural and educational achievement runs from Tuesday through Saturday, with displays and judging during the day and entertainment throughout each night.
Mike Kissinger, the vice president of the Leavenworth County Fair Board, said the emphasis remains on the 4-H clubs and the variety of events, from bucket calves to photography, rabbit rearing to fashion design, in which they compete for ribbons.
“It's for the community and the 4-H clubs and the rest of the kids who participate,” he said.
Those who do participate will be vying for ribbons for the top entries in each of the more than 100 categories. Kissinger said he did not know exactly how many entries there were, but that there were about 167 hogs alone scheduled to be judged.
However, he said the event is for more than just those with agricultural interests.
“There's a broad range of activities,” Kissinger said.
Participants showcased the fair in the annual parade, with the theme “dust off your boots, get back to your country roots,” on Tuesday night.
At 7 p.m. tonight, the fair hosts a hot rod tractor pull in the grandstand, while the Silas Doogan Band will perform at 8 p.m. in the Big Top Tent.
National Barrel Horse Association racing will take the center stage at 7 p.m. Thursday in the grandstand while the Fairmounters will provide musical entertainment at 8 p.m. in the Big Top Tent. Thursday will also be armband night from 6 to 10 p.m. at the fair's carnival.
The first event of the fair, aside from the carnival, to require tickets will be Friday's entertainment. New this year, according to Kissinger, admission to the ATV flat track races that begin at 6:30 p.m. at the grandstand costs $10 for adults, $5 for those between 6 and 12 years old and free for those younger than 6 years old. Blues Band Southern Band will perform a free concert at 8 p.m. in the Big Top. The 48th annual 4-H livestock auction is also scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday, in the livestock show arena.
Saturday will feature a number of events, including the “Ag Olympics” and a dog agility show, both of which begin at 10 a.m.; the turtle races that begin at 1 p.m.; a kids' tractor pull at 3 p.m.; and the demolition derby at 6:30 at the grandstand, with admission $10 for adults, $5 for those between the ages of 6 and 12 years old and free for those younger than 6 years old.
Because the fair itself requires no tickets, Kissinger said fair officials had no idea exactly how many people would pass through the gates during the events, but he estimated attendance would be in the thousands.