Linn County Fair hopes to recapture crowds in 2021

Improvements to Linn County Fair facilities prior to the 2021 fair include a new announcers stand and a new Linn County Fair & Rodeo sign at the arena. The announcers stand features an additional 120 square feet of floor space over the 1970s erected “crows nest”. Construction was completed by Barkers Welding, La Cygne (Brian Barker and Tim Heider).

Flyover Customs LLC sign company, La Cygne, designed the new arena sign complete with new aluminum backing. It replaces the 20-plus year old faded sign. (Submitted photo by John Teagarden)

MOUND CITY – Plans to celebrate the sesquicentennial (150th) anniversary of the Linn County Fair and Rodeo were short-circuited last year.

Concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic forced the fair board to cancel the big-ticket night events such as the demolition derby, tractor pull and rodeo. The fair was able to safely hold the 4-H events and livestock shows.

This spring with the number of reported cases falling and the return to normal living, the Linn County Fair Board planned to make it the kind of event Linn County residents have known for generations.

And so far, that plan is still on track.

Obviously, a milestone like 151 years is something to celebrate, and that is exactly what is planned when the 2021 fair kicks off August 6-14 at the Linn County fairgrounds. The first Linn County Fair took place in 1870 and has continued to this day.

First, all nightly events are back on. Two nights of demolition derby will kick off the fair beginning Friday, Aug. 6. The first night will be the premier of team demolition derby where two drivers will work together to knock out the competition.

The crowning of the 2021 Linn County Fair queen will take place on Saturday evening, Aug. 7, before the demolition derby that night – this time individual drivers will vie for the prize money.

The following evening, Aug. 7, the Outlaw Truck and Tractor Pull will come roaring into the arena.

Some of the 4-H activities began the weekend before the fair officially opened, but the 4-H dog show starts Sunday morning to kick off fair week. In addition to 4-H activities, livestock shows and vendors, there will be an exhibit of memorabilia from past fairs.

And during each nightly event, an engraved Henry “Big Boy” rifle commemorating 150 years of the fair will be raffled off. Raffle tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20.

On Friday evening, Aug. 13, the Rutlader Cowboy Church Band will perform at the Blair Building beginning at 6 p.m., followed by Friday’s edition of the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association’s rodeo at the arena at 8 p.m.

The fair board plans to honor all past fair queens and has sent out invitations to all of them to attend. The first girl to receive the crown was Kathryn Newman in 1952.

Fair queens and queen candidates are an important part of the Linn County Fair, because it is through their efforts to sell tickets that the fair is able to continue year after year. More information on that ceremony will be forthcoming.

The fair will close out the week on Saturday, Aug. 14, with a second night of rodeo, which will start at 8 p.m.

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