Wednesday saw the beginning of the annual Prairie Home Fair. The 97-year-old event continues its tradition of not charging an admission fee by way of collecting donations from Boonville, Jamestown, California, Tipton and a small number from Columbia. Individual event prize money, as well as trophies, also come by way of donor-gifts. Likewise, event participants are not charged an entry fee.
Everett Kuester, Fair Board Treasurer, explains that the mutli-day event, which ends on Saturday, has one source of revenue that the entire operation is dependent on – their food stand.
"Jerry Sells, who has run the stand for close to 40 years, has done a tremendous job for us. Without his know-how, I don't know where we'd be. We don't collect money from ticket sales, so our stand is much more important to us as a fair than most other fairs you'll go to. We depend on it," said Kuester.
The sheep and goat show, organized and run by Heather Graff-Sullard, Fair Board Secretary, took place yesterday morning. It was followed by an evening antique tractor pull, organized by Randy Kendrick. Graff-Sullard is also responsible for the cattle show, to be held today. The prettiest baby show will also take place today.
"It's important that I mention everyone involved in this thing, because everyone is so important to being able to make this a success. Jason Dick has been key in taking care of our advertising and getting the word out," said Kuester.
Joe Zey runs the Art Hall which is open every day during the fair and takes place at the Prairie Home School.
"Archway Amusements have done a fantastic job trucking in carnival-type rides for us this year," said Kuester. The company is based out of Imperial, Missouri.
A western horse show is scheduled for this evening.
"In the past, the horse show has lasted until 3:00 or 4:00 a.m.," Kuester said.
Prairie Home's festivities are family friendly and alcohol is not sold or allowed on the fairgrounds. Several hundred people have attended nightly.
Friday's biggest event, manned and organized by Jeff Baer, will be a three- and four-wheel rodeo, due to take place in the evening. Children's events will take place all day on Saturday, as will a draft and mule show.
For more information on the Prairie Home Fair, please call 660-841-5660.