Forget lazy summer days — imagine a day full of action and excitement! Mutton Bustin’ competitions. Kiddie tractor pulls. Old West comedy shows. Best-in-class livestock. All capped off with a spectacular fireworks display in the evening.

Did we mention it’s all FREE?

The 2019 Rock Island County Fair is kicking off its 150th celebration on Tuesday, July 16, with Free Family Day! All fairgoers will receive free gate admission on opening day, and the first 1,000 kids will get a free Frisbee. Activities throughout the day are geared toward kids and families, including a brand new Mutton Bustin’ competition. This entertaining event will take place in the Hamerlinck Show Arena, and features young cowboys and cowgirls riding sheep rodeo-style! Riders must weigh 70 pounds or less, and can register for free before each event at 3:30, 5:30 and 7 p.m.

“We are so excited to celebrate the Rock Island County Fair’s 150th anniversary with the community this year,” said Gin Wray, fair manager. “In addition to our action-packed Free Family Day, we have new carnival and food offerings, an amazing lineup of motorsports events in our Grandstand, plus our traditional livestock shows. There’s truly something for everyone to enjoy!”

Whirling, twirling fun on The Midway starts at 2 p.m. each day, with unlimited carnival ride wristbands available for purchase after 5 p.m. Concessions include tasty fair favorites along with specialty menus from local restaurants.

And no summertime fair is complete without livestock! In its continual efforts to promote animal interaction and general fair excitement, the Rock Island County Fair opened its new Calf Corner Birthing Center last season, and hosted a contest to name the fair’s first-born baby calf. The fun continues this year.

“Our Name the Baby Calf contest was such a spur-of-the-moment promotion last year that ended up being wildly popular with our Facebook followers,” Wray said. “We decided to bring it back again this year during fair week, and can’t wait to see all the fun, crazy and creative name submissions from the community again this year! The winner will score free carnival ride bracelets and a meet-and-greet with the baby calf.”

For announcements and start dates for the Name the Baby Calf contest and other fair contests and giveaways, follow the Rock Island County Fair on Facebook @ricofair.

The 2019 Rock Island County Fair runs July 16-20. Visit www.rockislandfair.org for the full fair schedule and details.

 

About the Rock Island County Fair

The 2019 Rock Island County Fair will take place July 16-20. This year’s 150th celebration is “A Family Af-FAIR!,” featuring fireworks, Grandstand motorsports events, livestock shows, food vendors, arts & crafts, carnival rides and more fun for the whole family. Gate admission costs $2 for ages 13 and older, $1 for ages 6-12 and is free for children 5 and younger. Get all the details at www.RockIslandFair.org, or connect with @ricofair on Facebook.

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Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.