It's finally time for the highlight of the summer: the Prairie Home Fair! The 102nd Prairie Home Fair begins today and runs through Saturday, July 15. The evening entertainment, covered in detail in an earlier comment, includes: Wednesday at 7 p.m. – Tractor Pull; Thursday at 7:30 p.m – Horse Show; Friday at 7:30 p.m. – 4 wheeler Rodeo; Saturday at 7:15 p.m.– Variety Show, followed by That Dalton Gang at 8:30 p.m. Additionally, Archway Amusements Carnival will have armbands nightly and the Prairie Home Pool will be offering Bingo all four nights. However, the Fair is absolutely not just a nighttime event! There are many daytime activities to enjoy during your visit to the Fair.

The Art Hall, located at Prairie Home School, opens for entries at 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning. Exhibitors can enter the fruits of their labors in five departments: Field and Garden Products, Pantry Stores, Horticulture, Baked Goods & Candy, and Crafts. Exhibits for the Art Hall can be entered in the school cafeteria until 12:30 p.m. The School Department is for school aged children to exhibit their schoolwork and those entries can be made in the gym and must be entered by 12 p.m. The Art Hall and School Exhibit will remain open until 6 p.m. on Wednesday and will be open from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday so that everyone can enjoy the exhibits. Prize money will be paid and all entries must be picked up between 8 and 10 on Saturday, July 15.

The Sheep Show, followed immediately by the Goat Show, is the first livestock show of the Fair. The Sheep Show begins at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, July 12 in the livestock area on Teel Street. For more information on the Sheep and Goat Show, see page 18 of the Fair Book or contact Heather Sullard at 660-621-9636.

Thursday morning brings one of the more popular events:the Better Babies Contest. Registration is in the shelter house from 9:15-9:55 a.m. with the show beginning at 10 a.m. Categories include: most perfect baby boy under one year; most perfect baby girl under one year; prettiest baby boy, birth-under six months; prettiest baby girl, birth-under six months; prettiest baby boy, six months and under one year; prettiest baby girl, six months and under one year; prettiest baby boy,  one year and under two; prettiest baby girl one year and under two; prettiest baby boy, two years and under two; prettiest baby girl, two years and under three; prettiest twins, either sex, under two years. Winners plan to come back at 7:30 in the evening for recognition. For more information, see page 22 of the Fair Book or contact Stacey Holliday at 660-864-6559.

Thursday also brings the Junior Swine Show held at the livestock area on Teel Street. The Junior Swine Show Superintendent is Warren Graff, with assistants Heather Sullard and Pat Twenter. For more information, see page 89 of the Fair Book or contact Heather Sullard at 660-621-9636.

Friday is the Junior Cattle Show. Weigh-in is from 9-10 a.m.  with the show starting at 11 a.m. For more information, see page 79 of the Fair Book or contact Superintendent Warren Graff at 660-841-5251, or assistants Heather Sullard (660-621-9636) or Pat Twenter (660-888-3608).

Friday afternoon you can show off your tractor skills at the Tractor Rodeo that starts at 1:30 p.m. in the grandstand arena. Participants will participate in docking a four wheel wagon into a stall and driving through a pen. For more information, see page 83 of the Fair Book.

Saturday is full of activities! The day starts with the 3rd Annual A Fair Day to Run 5k Run/Walk. Registration begins at 8 a.m. with the race beginning at 8:30 a.m. In keeping with the tradition of a free fair, there is no entry fee. However, donations are gratefully accepted. For more information, email Sage Eichenburch at phfair5k@gmail.com or see page 36 of the Fair Book.

The Pedal Pull for children ages 3-12 begins at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday. The adult pedal pull, for ages 13-17 and 18 and over, begins immediately after the Youth Pedal Pull. For more information, see page 85 of the Fair Book or contact Jeff Baer at 660-433-2159 or 573-616-9185.

The Specials begin at noon or immediately after the Pedal Pull. Events include Father and Son who resemble the most;  Mother and Daughter who resemble the most; sack races for ages 2-5 and 6-12; Spoon Race for ages 2-5, 6-8 and 9-12; 50 yard dash for ages 2-12; bicycle races for ages 5-9 and 10-12; and tricycle races for ages 2-4. Page 95 of the Fair Book has more information.

There are still a few Fair Books available at businesses in Prairie Home. The Fair Book can also be accessed online at www.prairiehomefair.com. Click on the “schedule of events tab”.

In addition to all of the daytime and evening events of the Fair, the Prairie Home Lions Club will be raffling several items with the proceeds going to the eye tissue bank. Be sure and stop by their booth and purchase your chances to win one of these prizes: three $10 gift certificate to Duncan's Diner,  two breakfast/lunch at 87 Diner, haircut & style from Kacey's Kreations in Jamestown, $75 gift certificate for Isle of Capri, one night stay at the Isle of Capri, 2 coins from Connections Bank, All Day Organizer from 31 consultant Brianne-Walters Hagenhoff, Stihl Electric Weedeater from John Deere in Tipton, smoked turkey from Chris Holliday, purse from Kacey's Kreations, two haircuts from Split Ends, and a $20 gift certificate from Copies, Etc. in Boonville.

While you are at the Fair, be sure to stop by the food stand and get a famous “fair burger”. All proceeds from the food stand go back into the Fair to ensure that it will be around for 100 more years.

There truly is something for everyone at the Prairie Home Fair. Come to Prairie Home July 12-15...it really is the highlight of the summer!