LINCOLN, Ill. — As organizers of the Logan County Fair in Lincoln wrap up and finalize the details of their 2021 fair, one thing is certain — one of the best parts is an event that can’t be formally scheduled or organized. One of the best parts of this fair will be both joyous and poignant.
“Our fair has become more like a family reunion, where you see the people you haven’t seen in a while and you renew those relationships,” said Mike Maske, Logan County Fair Board secretary.
The Logan County Fair, like many rural county fairs, has pivoted in recent years to focus on being a place that offers something to do for all ages and for the whole family.
“We’ve kept our rural roots, but where 50 years ago you might have come to the fair to see the latest farm implements or the brand-new labor-saving devices for the home and farm and things like that, we’ve had to rethink that,” Maske said.
Last year, fair organizers waited as long as they could before making the difficult decision to cancel the fair. It was a double blow, for along with quarantines and social distancing, it meant that fairgoers wouldn’t be able to catch up on those friendships and renew those acquaintances.
“That’s what was so hard about losing our fair last year. We didn’t get to see a lot of our fair families for a whole year and now some of those folks won’t be back because they have passed away,” Maske said.
The 2021 Logan County Fair is scheduled for Aug. 1-8. The fair kicks off with an event that harkens back to those “old time” fairs — harness racing.
“We have three days of harness racing that opens on Sunday, Aug. 1. We have 10 races that first day. In the grandstand on Sunday, before the races start, we will have a jazz band playing. It’s a great day, it’s like an old-time county fair and it’s a free gate that day. We have hundreds of people who come and watch the racing from the grandstands,” Maske said.
On Tuesday night, the fair royalty is crowned in the Queen and Little Miss contest. That also draws a crowd as friends and family of the contestants come out to cheer on their favorite.
“During the fair we have a calf scramble, the tractor pull, a country concert on Saturday night, a rodeo and a demolition derby, in addition to the judging contests and livestock shows. It’s pretty much standard and events that go on every year, but we’ve been successful with them and people like them so we try not to change too much when it’s working,” Maske said.
He said event times and ticketing information will be posted on the fair’s Facebook page or on the fair website, www.logancountyfairil.com, or by calling the fair office at 217-732-3311.
Logan County Fair
1408 Short 11th St., Lincoln, Illinois