Bigger, better than ever at the fair

New music, carnival, increased vendors make for a whole new Webster County Fair

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter
Fair Board President Cory Krug talks about the work done on remodeling the kitchen at the Webster County Fairgrounds over the last year. All new stovetops, countertops, refrigerators, cabinets and flooring have been installed to bring the kitchen up to date.

Visitors to the Webster County Fair this week will immediately notice the remodeled arena, with all new paint and lighting indoors, and an updated kitchen and dining area.

Pick up the schedule, and they’ll find the decor is far from the only thing that’s new at the fair this year.

“This year we have a free stage coming to the fair. We have bands coming every night,” said Cory Krug, fair board president. “We’ve got Salty View Thursday night, Kris Karr Friday night, the Blue Ribbon Ramblers are coming in during the sweet corn feed on Saturday. We have a young band out of Kansas City called State Line Drive coming in Saturday night.”

Thanks to more volunteers giving their time, this year the schedule will be packed, Krug said.

“We are probably triple or quadruple what we had last year,” Krug said, walking along the lane behind the auditorium, which will be closed to traffic this year. “This will have more of a midway feel.

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter
Cory Krug explains the workings of the new Gaga pit, created by one of the 4-H groups, at the Webster County Fairgrounds. Games will be held in the pit at next week's fair.

“You could truly make a day of it now.”

An expanded Kids Zone will feature human foosball, a new quick and fun event called a ga-ga pit, water wars, and a giant pool “table” where kids will kick a cue ball instead of using a cue.

“The carnival’s coming back to the fair this year. That will be starting on Thursday, running all the way through Sunday,” Krug said. “I don’t think we’ve had a carnival there for 10 years.”

Amusement Associates will provide the carnival, Krug said, and tickets are on sale online now. Both carnival and grandstand tickets will be discounted if purchased before the fair.

An open truck pull will be at the grandstand Saturday night, and the Figure 8 races will be Friday night this year.

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter
Thanks to a number of donors, including the Rifle and Pistol Club, this room in the auditorium at the Webster County Fairgrounds has been remodeled with new lights, fans, and paint along the walls, Cory Krug said. 4-H displays will be here next week during the Webster County Fair.

Other new additions this year will be martial arts classes by Faiferlick, magic shows and a hypnotist on the free stage. Thursday night, firefighters, police and EMTs from the surrounding area will be on hand to meet the kids. There’s also a petting zoo coming in Saturday.

“Then we have lots of new equipment vendors, other general vendors, and some new food vendors this year. We’ll have fried Oreos, deep-fried cupcakes, and then the classic foot-long corn dogs, funnel cakes, fresh-squeezed lemonade,” Krug said.

The remodeled kitchen is one of the fair board’s big accomplishments. It’s got all new stoves, refrigerators, counters and cabinets.

With the help of NEW Co-op and the Rifle and Pistol Club of Fort Dodge, the auditorium has been completely repainted, Krug said. There are also new LED lights in several areas.

“There’s a fresh new look in that building. That’s just the start of what we’re going to do,” Krug said. “We’re trying to put in a new learning center building in the next few years.”

This will be a place for all sorts of educational displays during the fair, and available for rent during the year, he said.

This year the learning center will be at the existing A-frame building.

“We’re trying to have chickens lined up to be hatched in the learning center, beef producers and pork producers will be doing some work there. Iowa State’s going to come in on Saturday to bring in a water rock display,” he said. “They have traveling educational trailers they bring around. … It’s just a thing for kids to interact with, it talks about soil and water conservation, erosion, things like that.”

This influx of events has been possible because of the volunteers, Krug reiterated.

“We’ve got some new board members. This year what’s new for us is we formed a fair planning committee,” Krug said.

“We were able to take a larger group of volunteers, and spread out some of this work in dialing in those bands and lining up this entertainment. It was the support of more volunteers this year that’s allowed us, and the businesses that have given sponsorships for us.

“There’s a lot of great stuff we’re pretty proud of.”