Sedgwick County Fair is here

By Travis Mounts

The Sedgwick County Fair kicks off on Wednesday night with the annual Fair parade, which begins at 6:30 p.m. The parade starts on Main Street at Sixth Avenue, near the Cheney School District office. It then proceeds south on Main Street to Santa Fe.

4-H events play a big role, and the first event of the Fair is the 4-H Horse Show, which will be at 8:15 a.m. Wednesday at the Fairgrounds Arena. Judging for other 4-H events runs 5-9 p.m. Wednesday before continuing on Thursday.

Commercial and food booths also will be open Wednesday, beginning at 5 p.m.

The Pride of Texas Carnival will not be operating on Wednesday. Every few years, the calendar puts the fair and the Fourth of July close together – just two days apart this year. That’s too small of a window for the carnival to tear down, travel to Cheney and set up again, said Sedgwick County Fair Association president Bret Albers.

“We run into this problem every once in awhile depending on how the Fourth falls,” he said. “They do a fantastic job and we would like to keep them.”

The carnival will be open 6-11 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday next week. Times-Sentinel Newspapers is sponsoring a bracelet night on Thursday. You can ride all the rides for just $20, a $5 savings. No coupon is needed.

Wednesday’s lineup also includes the home run derby at 7 p.m. on the softball field and the Shawn Reida Magic Show at 8 p.m. at the Open Air Arena.

The next three nights of the Fair will feature big entertainment events. The Monster Truck Racing League returns for a second year on Thursday, starting at 7 p.m. Country music icon Neal McCoy performs on Friday night. Local singer Adam Capps is the opening act. Capps, a former teacher at Eisenhower Middle School in Goddard, is now a full-time performer. That show beings at 8 p.m. Saturday’s demolition derby is always a standing-room only event. It begins at 7 p.m.

Tickets for all shows are available online at the official Fair website, Tickets also are available during the Fair at the fair office, located just north of the food booths, and at the fairgrounds arena before each show.

The weather should be good this week. The monsoon-like rains of the past month appear to have moved on. After a high of 98 on Thursday, Friday and Saturday are expected to be a little better, with a high of 93 degrees both days, according to the National Weather Service. There is a slight chance of thunderstorms each night, but the heavy rains and flooding that came with the start of Fourth of July weekend should not return.

Albers said Tuesday that everything appears ready for the fair. He said early ticket sales show Neal McCoy is a popular choice to perform.

“They’ve been selling pretty well,” he said. Ticket sales for the demolition derby and monster truck show started picking up on Monday, too.

“Everybody is seeing that nice weather is coming and making plans to come out,” he said.