This weekend, area community members will have the opportunity to support local agriculture students by attending the 2012 Barry County Fair at Rockin' P Ranch Rodeo Arena on Highway W in Wheaton. Over 90 participants have registered over 240 entries for this year's fair.
The annual livestock show will kick-off with the dairy cattle and fancy poultry shows at 6 p.m. on Friday night. Dairy goats and rabbits will be shown at 7 p.m.
On Saturday, community members are invited to enjoy a Blue Ribbon Breakfast at the fair grounds. Volunteers will begin serving eggs, biscuits and gravy, coffee and juice at 6 a.m. Meals will cost $3.
The livestock shows will begin with the beef cattle show at 9 a.m. Hogs will be shown at 9:30 a.m., and meat goats will take centerstage at 10:30 a.m.
Volunteers from area FFA and 4-H clubs will provide concessions throughout the fair. Community members are invited to enjoy a lunch of hamburgers, hotdogs, drinks, chips and snacks at the concession stand on Saturday. Proceeds from concessions will be used for fair premiums.
The final livestock show, which will feature broilers, will be held at 2 p.m.
Fair attendees are encouraged to stay for the annual Barry County Fair Premium Dinner, which will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Meals will include pulled pork, baked beans, cheesy potatoes, peach crisp and a drink and will cost $5.
The annual premium sale will follow the dinner. During the sale, community members will have the opportunity to support youth taking part in the fair by bidding on livestock. Winning bidders receive a photo of the youth with their animal.
"Melvin and Terri Priest, who own Rockin' P Ranch Rodeo, will offer a ranch rodeo at the end of the fair on Saturday night," said Ray. "The rodeo will begin at 8 p.m."
The Barry County Fair will also offer a vendor area. Booth space is available for $25. Vendors who have already signed up will offer jewelry, yard ornaments and items for women.
"We are open to politicians, and we would welcome them to come out and offer booths during the event," said Ray. "We would prefer individuals pre-register, but they can also just show up on Friday or Saturday."
Livestock show entries will also be accepted on Friday and Saturday. Entry fees are double due to late registration.
"We are rebuilding this year," said Ernest Ray, Barry County Fair Board president. "We hope to see the community come out to support the kids. They work so hard all year long to get ready for these events."
A limited amount of bleacher seating will be available at the fair. Attendees are invited to bring their own lawn chairs.
Area community members and businesses are also invited to support the Barry County Fair by donating funds to the premium sale. Ray is available to pick up donations upon request.
For more information on the Barry County Fair or to make a donation, call Ray at 417-489-7893.
In addition to Ray, the Barry County Fair Board includes: Suzan Harris, Tina Autrey, Janet DeShazer and Sherri Sanders.