Madison County Fair: From tractor pulls to lawnmower demolition

News-DemocratJuly 17, 2013 

Why would someone want to take a perfectly good riding lawnmower to the Madison County Fair for the sole purpose of wrecking it?

"It's actually pretty fun," said Dale Bohnenstiehl, 23, of Grantfork, who's in charge of the fair's lawnmower demolition derby.

This is the third year for the zany competition, which will be combined with the car demolition derby on July 26 at Lindendale Park in Highland.

About 25 people, mostly teenagers and young adults, competed last year.

"We make sure they have leg protection," Bohnenstiehl said. "And if the gas tank is in the rear, I make them cover it up so people can't pop it."

The event also includes a Show and Shine lawnmower-decorating contest.

"They have to go back in the pit and take (off all the decorations) before the derby," Bohnenstiehl said.

The fair kicks off Tuesday and runs through July 28 with livestock shows, 4-H exhibits, carnival rides, live music, arena events, pageants, a classic-car cruise, bingo, food, drinks and other activities.

"The main purpose of the Madison County Fair is to bring agricultural awareness to the community," said president Amy Rogier, 36, of Hamel. "A lot of people don't know where the chicken in their chicken nuggets come from."

Daily arena events will include a tractor and truck pull, Sprint Series racing, a combine demolition derby, stock-car racing and, new this year, motorcycle and all-terrain-vehicle racing.

"My favorite thing is the tractor pull," Rogier said. "It's just a passion for my family.

"Some people love to play cards. Some people love sports, going to Cardinals games. And my family loves tractor pulling."

Fair admission is free, with a $12 charge for most arena events. Children 10 and younger are free.

"So a family of four can go for $24," Rogier said. "You can't go to the movies for that."

This year for the first time, the fair will include a model-train show, ping-pong drops for daily prizes and a three-on-three basketball tournament with a chance to win $10,000 for a successful half-court shot.

The Fair Olympics will be back for the second year by popular demand with a bucket brigade, egg toss, wheelbarrow racing and other competitions.

"It's similar to the Farm Follies that we do for the kids, but it's more adult-based," Rogier said.

Mosaic Church will lead an interdenominational church service again this year on Sunday morning.

"You don't think about having church at the fairgrounds, but it's really neat," Rogier said. "You can hear all the animals in the background."

At a glance

What: Madison County Fair

When: Tuesday through July 28

Where: Lindendale Park in Highland

Admission: Free

Parking: $4 per day or $15 for the week

Arena events: All cost $12, except for Sprint Series racing is $15 (free for children 10 and younger)

Camping: $20 a day or $75 for the week

Information: Visit www.madcofair.com or call 618-654-6656

TUESDAY

Senior Citizen Day

8 a.m. -- Rabbit judging in poultry barn

10 a.m. -- Opening ceremonies

10 a.m. -- 4-H dairy show in show barn

10 a.m. to 9 p.m. -- Expo hall and 4-H exhibits open

2 p.m. -- Senior Day bingo in the dance hall

5 to 11 p.m. -- Carnival rides open

6 p.m. -- ITPA tractor-truck pull in arena

7 p.m. -- 4-H dog show in the show barn

8 p.m. -- Music by Train Wreck in the main pavilion

WEDNESDAY

Disability Awareness Day

8 a.m. -- Pigeon judging in the poultry barn

9 a.m. -- Dairy cattle judging in the show barn

9 a.m. -- Poultry judging in the poultry barn

10 a.m. to 9 p.m. -- Expo hall and 4-H exhibits open

10 a.m. -- Disability Day activities begin

5 to 11 p.m. -- Carnival rides open (armbands)

6 p.m. -- 4-H rabbit show in the 4-H barn

6:30 p.m. -- MOWA Spirit Series racing in the arena

7 p.m. -- 4-H fashion revue in the pavilion

8 p.m. -- Music by Head Game in the main pavilion

THURSDAY

Public Safety Awareness Day

10 a.m. to 9 p.m. -- Expo hall and 4-H exhibits open

1:30 p.m. -- 4-H poultry show in the 4-H barn

5 to 11 p.m. -- Carnival rides open (armbands)

7 p.m. -- 4-H goat show in the sheep barn

7:30 p.m. -- Combine demolition derby in the arena

8 p.m. -- Music by Whiskey River in the main pavilion

FRIDAY

Agricultural Awareness Day

8 a.m. -- 4-H swine show in the swine barn

9 a.m. -- 4-H beef show in the show barn

10 a.m. to 9 p.m. -- Expo hall and 4-H exhibits open

11 a.m. -- Pork producers barbecue

1 p.m. -- 4-H super showmanship contest in the show barn

5 to 11 p.m. -- Carnival rides open (armbands)

7 p.m. -- Car and lawn mower demolition derby in the arena

7:30 p.m. -- 4-H livestock auction in the swine barn

8 p.m. -- Music by Krank Kase in the main pavilion

SATURDAY

Military Appreciation Day

8 a.m. -- 4-H sheep show in the sheep barn

9 a.m. -- Open beef steer show in the show barn

9 a.m. -- Open sheep show in the sheep barn

10 a.m. to 9 p.m. -- Expo Hall and 4-H exhibits open

12:30 p.m. -- 4-H cat show in the 4-H barn

2 p.m. -- Farm follies with Madison County Young Farmers

2 to 11:30 p.m. -- Carnival rides open (armbands)

2 p.m. -- Madison County Fair Queen and Little Miss pageants in the Highland Elementary auditorium

2 to 6 p.m. -- Fair Olympics

6:30 p.m. -- UMP County Vs. County Challenge stock-car race in the arena

8 p.m. -- Music by the Last Resort in the main pavilion

SUNDAY

Family Day

8 a.m. -- Open breeding beef stock show

8:30 a.m. -- Open swine show in the swine barn

10 a.m. -- Expo hall and 4-H exhibits open

10:30 a.m. -- Church service in the main pavilion

Noon -- Diaper dash in the dance hall

1 p.m. -- Miss Pigtail contest

1 to 6 p.m. -- Carnival rides open (armbands)

1:30 p.m. -- Pedal tractor pull

2 p.m. -- Motorcycle and ATV race in the arena

3 p.m. -- Music by the Country Club Band

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