Vinland Fair begins 94th year in August
For the 94th year, the annual three-day Vinland Fair on August 9, 10 and 11 with offer free entertainment for the entire family.
The fairgrounds are located about ten miles southeast of Lawrence and five miles north of Baldwin. The fair opened in 1907 as a one-day fair sponsored by the Vinland Grange. In the 1970s, the Grange incorporated the event as a community non-profit organization with board members elected by the community.
Community volunteers operate the fair and do most of the maintenance work. For instance, the members of the Vinland Valley 4-H Club painted the bleachers this year.
Highlights of this year's fair include exhibits for prizes, an antique tractor pull and a pedal tractor pull, a pet parade and turtle race, an ice-cream making contest, live bands each night and competitions for all ages as well as homemade food are the highlights.
The schedule for Thursday, August 9 begins with all departments except the livestock department, accepting entries from 2 to 7 p.m. At the same time entries will be accepted for the scarecrow building exhibits and the antiques and special quilt show. Also at 2 p.m. the old-time competitions for such skills as nail driving and log sawing with hand saws will challenge the young and old competitors.
Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m. the Talent Show will begin on the outdoor stage, while registration for the poultry and rabbit shows begins in the livestock barn. Opening time is 7 p.m. for both.
Thursday's activities close out with a performance by "Calhoun County Band" on the main stage at 8 p.m.
Friday will be a full day and evening of fair activities beginning with the 9 a.m. stock bicycle races in the west arena of the fairgrounds and judging of the exhibits in the home economics, agricultural products and 4-H and youth departments. At noon the schedule includes sack races, foot races, baseball throws, the bale toss and the popular tug-of-war.
Registration for the antique tractor pull begins at 4 p.m. More than a hundred tractors from a wide area are expected to register for the competition which begins at 7 p.m. The Witness Band will perform at 8 p.m. on the stage.
Saturday's schedule is jam-packed beginning with the 9 a.m. horse shoe pitching contest, followed by registration at 10 a.m. for the pet parade and box turtle race.
By 11 a.m. Saturday, entries must be in place for the sheep, dairy, beef and goat shows, which begin at 1 p.m. in the new arena outside the livestock barn.
In the late morning at 11 a.m. the annual box turtle race and pet parade will take place on the stage. Youngsters will show off their pets and exhibit their dolls, decorated doll carriages, wagons, bicycles and tricycles. A new category this year is a competition for the best decorated sunglasses.
The weigh-in for the 1:30 p.m. pedal tractor pull begins one-half hour before the competition.
The late afternoon activities include the release of all exhibits at 4 p.m. followed at 4:30 p.m. by registration for the lawn and garden tractor driving skills competition which begins at 5 p.m.
One of the highlights of Saturday evening is the judging and serving of the entries in the home-made ice cream competition at 7 p.m. Contestants in the contest can begin freezing the ice cream as early as 5 p.m.
The closing event of the fair is an 8 p.m. performance of the "Crow Canyon Band."
The food stand menu will feature home-made food all three days with fruit pies made by community residents. The Vinland P.T.O. which will operate the food stand on Thursday will serve spaghetti dinners.
Vinland Fair volunteers will operate the stand on Friday and Saturday. The menu on Friday will feature home-made chicken and noodle dinners made by the Vinland F.C.E. Saturday's specialty is old-fashioned fried chicken dinners.
Mike and Julie Craig hold the office of president of the fair.