Vinland Fair returns Aug. 11 with new offerings
Visitors to the 104th annual Vinland Fair on Aug. 11, 12 and 13 will notice a few changes.
A major change is that the Exhibition Building, which houses the exhibits will be air conditioned for the three-day event. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.
“We just thought people should have some place to go to cool off in these high temperatures,” Larry Craig, a fair board member said. “Of course we will also again have the big tent in the center of the fairgrounds between the food stand and the stage. We hope these additions will encourage more people to come and stay longer.”
Visitors will notice that the stage has a new focal point. On the back wall is a large mural depicting the village of Vinland in the 1920s at the time of its peak population. Painted by Missy McCoy of Lawrence for the Vinland Grade School, the mural was given to the fair association when the school closed this spring.
“Several of us had worked to educate the Vinland students about the early history of the area,” Melvin Verhaeghe said. “When the school closed, we decided to give the mural to the fair association so that it could be displayed and viewed by the public.”
The Thursday afternoon program at the fair will include a new feature – horseshoe pitching training. Kenneth Martin who manages the horseshoe pitching contest on Saturday morning at the fair will teach the sport to all ages beginning at 2 p.m. Thursday. Other Thursday afternoon events include the old-time farm skills competition, such as nail driving and hand sawing of lumber. Entries in the floral, agricultural, 4-H and youth, sewing and crafts will be received from 2 until 7 p.m. Thursday.
Thursday evening's schedule is crowded with the poultry show at 6:30 p.m., the rabbit show at 7 p.m., music by the Baldwin High School band at 7 p.m., and the Talent Show at 6:30 p.m. Thursday's events conclude with a performance by the Alferd Packer Memorial Band at 7:30 p.m.
Friday's schedule starts at 10 a.m. with the stock bicycle races for all ages followed by the foot races, sack races and tug of war at noon. The evening program is highlighted by the antique tractor pull and a performance by the Wood Valley Pickers Band.
The horseshoe pitching contest opens the Saturday program at 9 a.m. Followed by the box turtle race and pet parade at 11 a.m. The afternoon is busy with the livestock judging beginning at 1 p.m, the pedal tractor pull at 2:30 p.m. and the watermelon seed-spitting contest for all ages at 3 p.m.
All entries will be released between 3:30 and 5 p.m. Saturday. At 5 p.m. the Lawn and Garden Tractor Driving Skills competition begins followed by the homemade ice cream making contest judging and serving at 7 p.m. The Witness Band will play at 7:30 p.m. to conclude the fair program.
Admission and parking are free and open to the public. Profits from the food and concession stands, which are operated by volunteers, are used by the fair association to finance the fair and provide maintenance for the fairgrounds and buildings.