Showcasing agriculture

Central Iowa Fair to bring new, traditional events next week

T-R FILE PHOTO Among the many attractions during last year’s Central Iowa Fair was a pony ride, giving small children a chance to pet and ride horses just their size. The 2017 Central Iowa Fair will get under way July 12-16.

“We’ve added a couple things and changed things up, and we’re very hopeful that people will enjoy.”

2017 Fair Planning Committee Chairwoman Karen Nablo said this year’s Central iowa Fair, running July 12-16 at 1308 E. Olive St., will bring plenty of fun events for all ages.

Festivities begin Wednesday, July 12 with the crowning of the Central Iowa Fair Queen at 5:45 p.m.

“[Queen candidates] go through an application process and an interview process,” Nablo said. “Those two items have already occurred.”

All queen candidates will line up on stage that evening ahead of the announcement of a winner and first runner-up.

Also beginning Wednesday are lineups for livestock showing, the 4-H/Future Farmers of America (FFA) Dog Show at 5 p.m., Central Iowa Fair Hall of Fame Award, and the CIF/Wright Rodeo Night in the outdoor arena starting at 7 p.m.

Veterans will be the focus of Thursday’s proceedings.

“We are having a complimentary lunch to all veterans, followed by a veterans program,” Nablo said, adding lunch begins at 11:30 a.m. and the program at 1 p.m. “The Heart of Iowa Chorus will do a presentation, and SkyDive Iowa will parachute in the west parking lot with a large flag.”

BINGO and a YMCA-YWCA bags tournament will take place in the afternoon Thursday, along with the CIF Youth Rodeo at 6 p.m. An ice cream social and movie night will see out the day.

With Friday will come the Oreo Cookie stacking contest, Home Rental Kid Land, a barbecue hosted by Marshall County Cattlemen and a visit from Blank Park Zoo animals.

“There’s a possibility of a fox or a hedgehog,” Nablo said, adding smaller animals like tarantulas and lizards are commonly brought as part of the exhibit.

Friday evening will see A Night at the Races at the grandstand starting at 6:30 p.m., followed by a performance by the JJ Ace Band.

Saturday will be the final full day of the fair, and it will have a “family day” theme.

“We have a couple new items this year on Saturday the 15th,” Nablo said.

One such item is a crash simulation in the west lot of the fairgrounds sometime between 1:30 and 4 p.m.

The simulation will be hosted by the Marshalltown Police Department, Marshalltown Fire Department, Marshalltown Area Paramedic Service and the Unity Point Health Life Flight from Des Moines.

“The reason for the inexact time is … it depends on Life Flight,” Nablo said, adding the exhibit will definitely happen. She also said either Marshalltown Police Chief Mike Tupper or MPD Capt. Brian Batterson will be at the microphone during the event.

“Following that, around 4 p.m., we’re going to have a fire fighter water fight on East Olive Street,” Nablo said.

A truck pull will follow at 6 p.m., and country music sibling duo Presley and Taylor will perform at 9 p.m., and a 50/50 raffle winner will be drawn in support of the Central Iowa Fair Scholarship Fund, which awards college scholarships to FFA and 4-H members.

Nablo said the fair is an opportunity for kids in ag-focused programs to show their knowledge and for those not involved in agriculture to learn more.

“There will be learning opportunities,” she said. “It’s a good way to showcase agriculture and to show non-farmers where these items that we buy at the store come from.”

For more information on the Central Iowa Fair, visit


Contact Adam Sodders at (641) 753-6611 or