Food, music to highlight 97th Vinland Fair
For the 97th consecutive year, it's that time again. The Vinland Fair opens Thursday and will run through Saturday at the fairgrounds just east of the quaint southern Douglas County town.
As the fair continues its steady path towards a century of providing good, old-fashioned family fun, two of its biggest attendance draws remain the same.
"The obvious reasons to come are the live music and the food," said Julie Craig, who is co-chair of the Vinland Fair board, along with her husband, Mike. "And the music is free. The food is just awesome."
The widely acclaimed food offerings feature home-made fruit pies all three days. On Thursday, the Vinland Parent-Teacher Organization members will serve Mexican dinners. The Vinland Fair board members and community volunteers will serve homemade chicken and noodle dinners on Friday and barbecued beef and beef brisket dinners on Saturday.
As for the music, there are three scheduled bands, plus a new addition to the fair this year. The Witness Band starts off the slate Thursday at 8 p.m., following the talent show scheduled for 6:30 p.m. The Ready Brothers Band plays at 7:30 p.m. Friday, as does the Prairie Aces Band for the fair's conclusion on Saturday.
The addition this year to the music lineup is a 6:15 p.m. performance Thursday by the Baldwin High School band, just prior to the talent show.
"Thursday night the high school band is going to be there after they get done with camp," said Craig.
BHS band camp has been going on all week and Thursday's brief performance at the fair will give the 40 or so band members in Will Cooper's camp a chance to show what they've learned.
That won't be the only new item for the grand old fair, though. There are two other new features. Late Friday evening following the antique tractor pull, several stock and modified stock diesel trucks will participate in an exhibition pull.
The second new feature, "Historical Moment," will be presented during the talent show Thursday. The audience will hear a brief history of the fair's large exhibition building which recently was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
"We're going to have the Historical Moment with the announcement of the exhibition building being placed on the historic places list," she said. "We're going to have the Historical Moment every year."
Although it's not an addition to the program, there will be another new item for fair goers this year. A tent has been put up in the center of the main fairgrounds, just south of the exhibition building, east of the food booth.
"We want to build a permanent shelter with picnic tables, but it's going to cost quite a bit, so we're going to try the tent and see how it works," said Craig. "We know they used tents in the fair originally."
But, whether it's the new items or the traditional attractions that fair goers want, for the 97th time, the Vinland Fair is again the place to be this week.
"Yes, it definitely is," she said.