Central Iowa Fair to bring new events

Pig races, mud volleyball, farmer’s market added to event schedule

T-R FILE PHOTO - Area youth will showcase their livestock during the Central Iowa Fair this week, from feathered critters to hoofed animals. The fair will offer free entertainment, food vendors, kids activities and more.

From bull riding and a truck pull to a mud volleyball tournament and races — of both cars and pigs — the 2018 Central Iowa Fair will have much to offer this week.

“There’s something for everyone,” said Central Iowa Fair Office Manager and Planning Chairwoman Shannon Espenscheid. “It’s something that we can offer in Marshalltown as a quality of life-type of event.”

Most of the events at the fair are free and there will be no charge for entry or parking.

The fair kicks off Tuesday with non-livestock judging, working exhibits and open judging. However, the events begin in ernest on Wednesday, dubbed “Entry Day,” with livestock weigh-ins, the 4-H/Future Farmers of America Dog Show and an awards presentation beginning at 5:30 p.m.

The ceremony will include Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame additions, the awarding of the Youth Ambassador Scholarship and Central Iowa Fair Scholarship, the crowning of the Central Iowa Fair Queen and Little Miss Princess, and more.

Thursday is “Senior Citizens/Veterans Day” at the fair and will feature several livestock shows, a youth rodeo, beer tent and truck pull. There will be a free meal for veterans provided at 4:30 p.m. in the Marshalltown Convention and Visitors Bureau Activity Building.

Friday is “Agriculture Day” and will feature presentations by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, the Blank Park Zoo and 4-H/FFA horse games. Friday night races will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Grandstand.

Saturday is “Family Day” and will feature several kids activities, including the Evening Kiwanis Kiddie Tractor Pull, Mr. Car Raceway races, Small Animal Supreme Showmanship Contest and more. Bull riding and a live musical performance by Jason Pritchett will wrap up the evening.

Along with many annual favorites, the fair will feature some new events.

“We’re bringing pig races to the fair and those will happen on Wednesday and Thursday,” Espenscheid said. “New this year for Friday evening, we’re going to have a farmer’s market. All day on Saturday we’re having a mud volleyball tournament.”

Central Iowa Fair Board President Tyler Wollam said there will be a lot of free entertainment for guests.

“There are things that you can see at the fair that you’re not going to be able to see anywhere else any other time of year,” he said. “The bull riding is going to be exciting; we’ve had the youth rodeo every year, and that is just a great event as well.”

Fair board member Jeanne Wiley said she’s looking forward to the new events.

“I’m excited for the mud volleyball and the pig races,” she said. Wiley said the fair offers a chance for youth to show their hard work with livestock and projects.

She also said no agriculture experience is needed to come to or enjoy the fair.

“I think it’s just a great learning experience for people who aren’t ag kids or farm kids,” Wiley said.

Some events that include a charge of $10 include the truck pull on Thursday and bull riding on Saturday for audience members over 10 years old.

Parking will be available on the west side of the fairgrounds.

Fair-goers can expect mostly sunny weather and upper-80s for temperatures early this week with chances of rain beginning Thursday and Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

For more event information and the full fair schedule, visit centraliowafairgrounds.net or the event’s Facebook page.

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Contact Adam Sodders at

(641) 753-6611 or asodders@timesrepublican.com