The 2011 Barry County Fair, which will be held at Gizmo's Event Center in Wheaton June 23 through June 25, will feature over 300 livestock and agriculture entries.
"We hope to see community members come out and support the kids of Barry County," said Ernest Ray, Barry County Fair Board president. "For some of these kids, this will be the only show they go to. It is a big deal for them."
The fair will begin at 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 23. Dairy cattle and rabbits will be shown at 6 p.m. On Friday, June 24, the fair will offer a dairy goat show and breeding poultry show at 6 p.m.
On June 25, the fair will offer a full day of livestock shows and other events beginning with a blue ribbon breakfast at 6 a.m. Shows scheduled for the day include: beef cattle, 8 a.m.; hogs, 9:30 a.m.; meat goats, 10 a.m.; sheep, 1 p.m.; and broilers, 2 p.m.
The annual Barry County Fair dinner will be held from 5:45 to 7 p.m. on Saturday. A premium sale will follow the dinner.
"The kids who take part in the fair learn a lot," said Ray. "Responsibility is a big thing they learn, but they learn a lot of other things too. They learn that you don't always win, and they learn that a lot of hard work goes into showing animals."
Livestock must be in place one hour before show time. Exhibitors are responsible for providing their own bedding.
In addition to the livestock shows, this year's fair will offer a variety of indoor youth exhibits. Entries will range from leather crafts and woodcarving to floriculture, gardening and home arts.
"The indoor exhibits are for students who don't have livestock entries," said Ray. "They might have flowers that they have grown or a feeder they have made. This opens the fair up to a lot more kids and gives them an opportunity to show off their talents."
Over two dozen students have already signed up to participate in the indoor exhibits, which will open at 5 p.m. June 23 through June 25. The following indoor exhibit categories will be offered: fine arts; floriculture; food; garden; crafts; home arts; industrial arts; and photography.
The entry fee for the indoor youth exhibits is $1.50. Premiums will be paid to participants. Classes will be divided into two age groups.
Individuals interested in learning more about the indoor youth exhibits should call Jeremy Elliott-Engel, department superintendent, at 417-455-9500.
Gizmo's Event Center will host rodeo events at 8 p.m. after the fair on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. A ranch rodeo will be held on June 23, and Donnie Gaye's Bull Buck Out will be offered on June 24 and 25.
The event center is located on Highway 86 in Wheaton. Fair attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.
The 2011 Barry County Fair Board includes: Ray; Tina and Tom Autrey, vice presidents; Sherri Sanders, secretary; Kelly Mills, treasurer; Janet DeShazer, reporter; and Bobbie Jo Meeks, Dave Harris, Suzan Harris, Keith Parker, Mark Moller, Randy Steward, Chad Yarnall and Kor Catlett, members.
For more information, call 417-489-7893.