County Fair, July 27-31, 2011
County Fair, July 26-31, 2011
Winnebago County Fair, Aug.
#mce_temp_url#Take your city kids to
the farm with a trip to a county fair this summer and show them a
whole different way of life. Our country cousins are more than
eager to teach kids about their life and introduce them to some of
their friends-the cows, pigs and bunnies that they bring to the
fair for competitions.
Each year the more than 100 counties in Illinois hold fairs, and
the state of Illinois holds two fairs of its own. Most of the fairs
feature similar activities: livestock competitions, hands-on areas
for young kids to learn about agriculture in Illinois and, of
course, plenty of food and carnival rides.
Before you head out to the fair, check online for a schedule of
activities. In addition to mainstage shows every evening, most
fairs also offer kids' stages with family friendly magic shows or
music. Best of all for young kids, the fair also means lots of
visits with the animals-it's like a giant petting zoo.
To meet the tweens and teens who are showing their animals is a
chance for Chicago kids to connect with others in the state who
lead an entirely different lifestyle. The country cousins are
friendly and willing to talk about their animals and their life on
the farm. From blacksmiths demonstrating their trade to vendors
selling fossils and rocks, most people at the fair enjoy time
talking to the young visitors about their area of expertise.
Concerts and entertainment at the fairs can range from wildly
popular musicians to rodeos to smash 'em up Demolition Derbies that
have everyone in the audience screaming and cheering on their
favorite clunker. Some entertainment is included in the price of
admission, but things like the demolition derby can cost as much as
$7 extra per person.
One word of advice before visiting any county or state fair-be
ready to dole out the dollars. Carnival ride bracelets can easily
cost $20 each, admission can be anywhere from a couple dollars for
younger kids to $10 per adult. And like festivals everywhere, food
and drink prices are sky-high so eat before you go if possible.
Make sure to bring bug spray, sun screen, hats and plenty of
water-there's little relief from the sun at most fairs.
Liz DeCarlo is the former senior editor at Chicago Parent.
See more of Liz's stories here.
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