Marinette County Fair Starts Thursday, Aug. 22 Issue Date: August 22, 2019
The Marinette County Fair Grounds in Wausaukee will spring to life for its big annual 4-day event on Thursday, Aug. 22. Each year the Fair draws about 30,000 visitors to Wausaukee, and runs through Aug. 25.
Buildings open at 9 a.m. daily and remain open until 10 p.m. Carnival rides will start at 2 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and noon on Saturday and Sunday. They are to run until 10 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 4 p.m. on Sunday. Carnival wristbands will be available and used between 2-5 p.m. or 6-10 p.m on Friday and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Fair Royalty will be crowned at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday. This year there are three candidates running for the 2019 Marinette County 4-H Royalty Contest. They are Sydney Dunkes of Niagara, Alexandria Broderick of Pound, and Sierra O'Mary of Wausaukee.
Other highlights on Thursday include Granpa Cratchet at 5:30. 6:30 and 8 p.m. DJ at 7 and 11 p.m.
On Friday are judging of rabbit, swine/beef, poultry and sheep, horse pleasure show, flag presentation in the Horse Arena, Fantastick Patrick, Sami Dare Hypnosis, Granpa Cratchet, youth livestock auction, and farm tractor pull in the grandstand.
Saturday has judging of dairy and goats, Dave Malmberg ventriloquist, horse speed show, Sami Dar, Demolition Derby at the Grandstand, Granpa Cratchet, Cookies with the Queens, Fantastick Patrick, livestock costume contest, 4-H YAK auction, and supermodified truck and tractor pull at the Grandstand.
On Sunday is Horse Funday, horse pull at the Grandstand, Kiddie Pedal Tractor Pull, mini rod and modified tractor pulls at the Grandstand, Paw Patrol meet and greet, Granpa Cratchet, Fantastick Patrick, Dave Malmberg, Fair raffle drawing,4-H raffle drawing, trophies and awards in the show barn.
Live music, food and beverage stands, contests and demonstrations for children and adults will be going on through all four days of the Fair.
The Marinette County Fair in Wausaukee was started in 1928, at about the time the first County Extension agent, Charles Drewry, was hired. It had been held in conjunction with the Dickinson County Fair in Iron Mountain, Mich. for the two years prior to that. Wausaukee was selected as the site of the fair because of its central location in Marinette County.
The existing fairgrounds at one time had been a farm owned by Emile Jicha. Prominent Wausaukee businessman H.G. Laun was the first Fair Association president. He had donated a large property to Marinette County to help make the fair possible. Other early officers were Lew Holmes, vice president, Drewry, secretary, and Knute Anderson, treasurer. Other directors were Alex Cretton of Niagara, H.B. Sanderson, Loomis; C.A. Webster, Wausaukee; George D. Amour, Goodman; and August Meshop, Coleman. Other, including Chris Patterson of Niagara,Julie Ramsay of Harmony, and Fred Forst of Wausaukee were long time workers for the fair.
There were no buildings for livestock in the first year, only a few pens and tents for animals. For the first fair, E.E Mitchell of Wausaukee had to go all the way to Madison for tents. The Wausaukee Recreation Building, where Evergreen Plaza is today, was used to exhibit vegetables, foods, clothing and handicraft. Bowling alleys in the Rec Center were planked over for additional space.
Old records indicate in 1931 the adult exhibit entries were very large, but during more recent years 4-H and youth exhibits have dominated.
There was some doubt if the 1940 fair should be held due to concern over the polio epidemic. It was recommended that no one under age 16 should attend.
However, in 1940 the main building and a couple of food booths were constructed, as well as a historical building and the 4-H building.
Victor Quick became county agent after Drewry. During his 10 year tenure, Quick was able to get the Fair operating in the black. Harold King replaced him in 1960 and remained Fair Association secretary for many years.
In 1962 the Fair switched from a three day event to four days, which provided more time to get livestock to the Fair and showing them.
Over the years other improvements were made in the Fair grounds and the buildings on it, including the large grandstand, pavilion, modern rest rooms, paved walkways, and a new cattle barn. Marinette County continues to provide minimal economic support for the Fair, and aids in maintenance of Fair property.
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