Vinland celebrates a century
Celebrating a century of good old-fashioned family fun is the aim this week as the Vinland Fair turns 100 years old.
"We're excited and it's going to be great," said Julie Craig, who along with her husband Mike are presidents of the fair. "We've got some new things, such as the antique car show.
"It's not the same old fair, but in other ways it is the same old fair," said Craig.
There are numerous special events for the centennial, including the car show and hot air balloon lift offs. But, the fair remains centered on what's kept it around for that century -- the simple country life of family fun and great food.
"Oh, my, yes," said Mary Gensler, long-time fair board member. "It's been a big picnic from the start. We've not had any commercialism with it."
She also points to the chicken and noodles served on Friday as a fair staple.
"They are very much so," said Gensler. "The line will go almost down to the east gate. A lot of time by the time they get there, it's sold out. You can only make so much. We don't want it to get any bigger. I'm going to get mine (chicken and noodles) at noon."
Chicken and noodles are just one tradition. Homemade pies are, too, and are available throughout the fair, not just on one day.
There is no carnival or other trappings of what's become standard county fairs. This is the way it was 100 years ago. There's a homemade ice cream social, tug of war, sack races, horseshoe pitching -- even a watermelon seed spitting contest.
"It's stepping back in time," said Jean Moore, another long-time organizer. "We try to keep it like it was in the beginning. It's a big community get-together."
Gensler -- who started attending the fair in the 1950s -- likes the no carnival, no frills. It's just old-time fun.
"Nope, we make our own activities," she said. "The kids with the bike races, the tug of war. You just don't have that with other fairs. That's lost."
People like Mike Craig grew up with the Vinland Fair. Now, the Craig's children have. It's gone on like that for a century.
"That's right," said J. Craig. "Mike especially. He and his friends talk about it all the time, like when they used to play softball. They just wouldn't miss it. Amy (their daughter) is all upset because she has to go back to school and is missing it."
Along with all the old standbys, there are new items for this year's fair, such as the antique car show and hot air balloons taking off at dawn both Saturday and Sunday and on Saturday evening.
There are other features to commemorate the 100th year, such as an historical display throughout the fair in the gym at Vinland Elementary School. A centennial commemoration program is set for 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
"The long-time residents are better talking about that," Craig said of the history of the fair. "We're going to be honoring some of those people Saturday at 6:30. We'll have some dignitaries there, too, Roger Pine, Tom Holland and Anthony Brown."
It's all just one well-fed get together at Vinland, just north of Baldwin City.
"Well, we're just excited to get the community together to celebrate this," said Craig. "A lot of people have worked hard on it. The historical display is great (See related story)."
It's going to be hot, too, like most Vinland Fairs. Forecasters say it will be 100 degrees for daytime highs through the weekend for the 100 years of the fair.
"Hopefully, it won't keep people away," said Craig. "After the sun goes down, it's not so bad and there's plenty of shade."
Vinland Fair Schedule
All day -- Build a scarecrow show, antique and special quilt show
2 p.m. to 7 p.m. -- All departments open to receive entries, except livestock
2 p.m. -- Old-time farm skills contest
5:45 p.m. -- Baldwin High School band
6 p.m. -- Talent show, Matt Kirby supervisor
6:30 p.m. -- Rabbit show and poultry show entries must be in place
7 p.m. -- All entries except livestock must be in place
7 p.m. -- Rabbit and poultry show
7:30 p.m. -- Alferd Packer Memorial String Band
8:30 p.m. -- Flower judging
9 a.m. to 7 p.m. -- Historical exhibit and antique quilt show in Vinland Elementary School gymnasium
10 a.m. -- Stock bicycle races
Noon -- Races, sack races and tug of war
4 p.m. -- Antique tractor pull weigh-in begins. Ends at 6:30 p.m.
7 p.m. -- Antique tractor pull
7:30 p.m. -- Ready Brothers Band
Dawn -- Hot air balloon fest and flyaway
9 a.m. to 7 p.m. -- Antique tractor and equipment show, farm equipment demonstration, historical exhibit and antique quilt show
9 a.m. -- Horseshoe pitching contest
10 a.m. -- Registration for pet parade and box turtle race
11 a.m. -- Beef, dairy, sheep, swine and goat entries must be in place. Released at 4 p.m.
11 a.m. -- Box turtle race and pet parade
1 p.m. -- Pedal tractor pull official weigh-in
1 p.m. -- Livestock judging begins. Livestock released at 4 p.m.
1:30 p.m. -- Pedal tractor pull
5 p.m. -- Homemade ice cream freezing begins
6:30 p.m. -- Centennial commemoration program
7 p.m. -- Homemade ice cream making contest judging and serving
7:30 p.m. -- Cubby Lane and the Secrets Band
Evening -- Hot air balloon fest and flyaway
Dawn -- Hot air balloon fest and flyaway
8:30 a.m. -- Breakfast is served
9 a.m. to 2 p.m. -- Antique car show for 1907 to 1957 models
9 a.m. to 2 p.m. -- Historical exhibit and antique quilt show in VES
10 a.m. -- Multi-denominational church services
Noon -- Witness Band
Afternoon -- Dunk tank fun
1 p.m. -- Watermelon seed spitting contest
1 p.m. -- Release of exhibits in exhibition building
2 p.m. -- Release of historical exhibits in VES
Thursday lunch and dinner -- Vinland Parent-Teacher Organization
Friday lunch and dinner -- Vinland Fair volunteers with chicken noodle and barbecue beef dinners
Saturday lunch and dinner -- Vinland Fair volunteers, beef brisket and barbecued beef dinners
Homemade fruit pies all three days
Sunday breakfast and lunch -- Baldwin High School football team parents