Plans for a fun-packed fair week at the end of July are well underway.
The fair theme this year is “Riding for the Future.” “This year’s theme was chosen as our towns and our fair and rodeo are always looking toward the future and what we can do to make it better,” Sheridan County Agricultural Society President Scott Lindsey explained.
Grand Marshall for the Fair is in memory of Lois Hinton.
“We are happy to have the privilege of honoring Lois. She never missed the fair each year. Patty Faulk and Candy Goodrich, daughters of Lois, will be respectively riding in Lois’ place as Grand Marshall,” stated Lindsey.
Parade entry forms may be found on the fair website and Facebook page. Parade entries will be handed in the morning of the parade and line up is first come, first serve after the Color Guard and Grand Marshall just like years past.
Back for the third year, is the three-night PRCA Rodeo. “We welcome back our stock contractor Muddy Creek Pro Rodeo to provide us some of the very best NFR quality stock,” said Lindsay.
Slack will be at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday and Friday, and the PRCA rodeo performances will be on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday starting at 7:00 p.m. each night. Entertainment will play on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night at McGinley Arena. “We will have Robbie Hodges on Thursday night, crowd favorite Brad Morgan Band on Friday, and Logan Samford on Saturday night. Just like years past they will play right after the last bull bucks,” stated Lindsey, “Returning this year will be our announcer Jared Slagle, and our PRCA Barrelman and Clown will be Robbie Hodges.”
Kicking off a week before the fair starts is the 4-H horse show. Check-in begins at 7:00 a.m. with the show starting at 8:00 a.m. at McGinley Arena.
Officially starting fair week is the style show and music and poetry contest at the Nebraska Extension - Sheridan County Office in Rushville. Activities begin at 1:00 pm.
The Junior Rodeo will be Saturday, July 22. The same format as last year will be followed. Junior Rodeo entries will be online only again this year. Waivers and payment will be taken from 7-9 a.m. Sharp, then 10 a.m. the Jr. Rodeo will get underway.
If your child is interested in participating in any of the Junior Rodeo events this year, get them registered online by July 14. Registration information can be found on the fair website www.sheridancountyfairandrodeo.com.
“Pre-registration speeds things up and ensures a smooth and accurate rodeo. It allows parents to just have to sign waivers and provide payment,” Lindsey explained.
“4-H Animals will weigh-in on Sunday starting at 7:30 am with Swine, followed by small animal check-in, sheep/goat and beef weigh in,” stated Melissa Mracek, Sheridan County Extension Educator.
Sunday, July 23 that evening at 6:00 p.m. will be a scavenger hunt where teams will go around Gordon searching for things based on the clues given. Teams will take pictures as proof they found everything. More information to come on this event!
Monday, July 24 will begin with the static judging as well as the open class check-in. The Rabbit and Poultry shows will be held at 1:00 p.m., and the evening will end with the Family Fun Night starting at 5 p.m.
The Businessman Showmanship will be held during the Family Fun Night. “This year the business participants will show swine for the first time.We have around 40 hogs that we would love to be shown by our community members.” said Mracek. This event provides an excellent opportunity for youth to interact with community members.
On Tuesday, July 23 a new event will be held this year, unified showmanship. Unified Showing teams up current members with youth who cannot own animals of their own. “We are excited to provide this new opportunity for the youth members of Sheridan County. Not only will it allow new people to participate but also will provide leadership skills for our current members.” explained Mracek.
The Kevin Kruger Memorial Tuesday Night Ranch Event and Ranch Bronc Riding will be held Tuesday, July 25 at 7 p.m., at McGinley Arena. “This really is a great night to come out and cheer on local cowboys and cowgirls. Our Ranch event this year is six teams of four people, where they have to rope one, load one, and milk one,” explained Lindsey.
The night will start with Mutton Bustin’, and just like years past medals and buckles will be passed out right away. Then the night moves into the Kevin Kruger Memorial Ranch Event and Ranch Bronc Riding. “The night will be filled with some junior bronc riders, and mini bulls that our younger contestants will ride,” stated Lindsey.
Wednesday, July 26 will start with the Farmer’s Coop Breakfast and the Beef Shows. That evening will be the 4-H Sale in the metal building with the meal also being served there. Like years past, the buyer bonanza will be held from 4:00-5:00 p.m., then livestock, cakes, and cookie jars will sell from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, July 27 starts the day with doughnuts provided by Security First Bank followed by the PRCA Rodeo Slack and Breeding Beef, Stockers, Dairy shows. The Cat show begins at 1:00 p.m., with the Dog show to follow. That evening will be the first performance of the PRCA Rodeo. Back this year will be the Teen Dance starting at 8:00 p.m.
Back again this year will be the inflatables on the Legion baseball field. A new addition outside of the inflatables will be a virtual reality experience. Both the inflatables and the virtual reality will be open on Thursday, July 27 through Saturday, July 29 from 5pm to 10pm each day. “We are excited to bring the virtual reality experience as something for the older kids. The experience fits 20-24 players at once, has seven virtual reality stations including one virtual reality car and an aircraft simulator. There’s something for everyone,” stated Lindsey. Tickets for the inflatables are $20 per day, or $50 for a three day pass. Same goes for the virtual reality experience. If you would like to combine the two it is $30 per day, or $75 for a three day pass to go on the inflatables and virtual reality.
A new addition this year is the Sheridan County Queen and Princess contest. Robin Scherbarth and Eva Sampson are coordinating this year’s events. The Princess contest will kick off as a one day event on Saturday, July 21 at the Jr. Rodeo. “We are excited to offer the Princess contest to local and out of town girls ages 8-15”, commented Eva Sampson. Princess contestants can sign up at the Junior rodeo from 7-9 am. Later that week will be the Sheridan County Queen contest. “This is an opportunity for young women ages 16-25 to hone their horsemanship and public speaking skills while representing Sheridan County and Professional Rodeo”, stated Robin Scherbarth. Queen Contestants must submit their application by July 9th. Applications can be found on the Sheridan County Fair Website.
Friday July, 28 kicks off the day with rodeo slack starting at 9:00 am. Up on the hill also starts at 9:00 am with the clover bud parade, followed by the small and large round robins. Doors open at 5:00 pm for the inflatables and virtual reality experience. Friday also marks the second PRCA Rodeo performance. A Rodeo concert will round out the evening with the popular Brad Morgan Band in McGinley arena following the rodeo.
A full slate of events round out the 2023 fair week starting with the cowboy breakfast, the quilt show, and the parade on main street. At 10:30 am project and open class pick up begins. At 5:00 pm gates open for the inflatables and the virtual reality experience. The final performance of the PRCA Rodeo begins at 7:00 pm. Logan Samford gets rodeo goers dancing the night away following the rodeo in McGinley arena.
Also new this year to the fair include the addition of no outside coolers brought into the fairgrounds.
Sheridan County Ag Society President Scott Lindsey explains “this matter was a big decision for the board. It came down to us, as a board, getting a fine from the Liquor Commission or selling alcohol on the grounds legally. We want this to be a family event, and safety is our concern.”
There will be designated areas for beer and liquor sales, but no outside liquor will be allowed.
“We will sell beer, and mixed drinks on the grounds,” stated Lindsey.
Drinks and wristbands will be sold at the beer garden located by the concession stand on the south side of the arena.
“We are excited for this year! A lot of planning, a lot of organizing and hard work has gone into making this a great experience for everyone. We hope there’s something for everyone!” stated Lindsey.
For a full schedule of events and information about tickets or contests visit the fair website at www.sheridancountyfairandrodeo.com.