KANKAKEE, Ill. — The upcoming Kankakee County Fair is nearly as old as the county itself and that tradition continues this summer.
The first fair was held in 1856, just three years after the county was created by the Illinois Legislature and has since continued to highlight local agriculture and entertainment for all ages.
A full schedule of events kicks off Aug. 3, when the gates are open for exhibitors at 7 a.m. The day’s activities include a 4-H dairy cattle show, poultry and wildlife show, and garden tractor rodeo.
The Creative Arts/Ag Building hosts open and junior competition for floriculture, horticulture, farm crops, collections and art.
The antique tractor pulls are slated for 5 p.m. Aug. 3 with go-kart racing at 6 p.m. and Kankakee Speedway races at 7 p.m.
Daily performances also kickoff on opening day for the following features:
• Kidbucks game show is a thrilling game show where randomly selected members of the audience participate in wild and crazy games. Unlike many “trivia-based” game shows where contestants ring a bell and answer a question, Kidbucks is an “action” based game in which the contestants are competing in clever, creative, challenging and entertaining games of a physical nature. The grand champion enters the Kidbucks chamber and grabs as many “Kidbucks” as possible, as they swirl about the chamber. The bucks are tallied and redeemed for a prize based on how many bucks are collected.
• The Twin Stunts motorcycle thrill show features twin brothers Sawyer and Shannon Schmidtman. The show consists of wheelies, acrobatics, burnouts, tandem and many more advanced maneuvers while maintaining safe control of their machines.
• Illusionist Luke Paul will dazzle the crowds with his magic.
• Pompeyo’s Ranch, recent semifinalists in America’s Got Talent, will perform with their amazing rescue dogs.
4-H shows for horses and ponies, market gilts, dairy goats, beef, rabbits and sheep are on tap for Aug. 4.
The popular Extreme School Bus Figure 8 race begins at 7 p.m. Aug. 4 at the grandstand.
Open and junior shows on tap for Aug. 5 include poultry and wildlife, horse and pony, beef cattle, boer goats, rabbits, swine and barrow.
The Illinois National Barrel Horse Association horse show begins at 5 p.m. Aug. 5 at the show arena, followed by a demolition derby at 7 p.m.
The livestock shows conclude Aug. 6 with rabbit and sheep open competition, adult and junior horse and pony shows, and games and speed open horse show. The 4-H livestock auction begins at 1 p.m. in the Cattle Show Arena.
The International Professional Rodeo Association championship rodeo begins at 7 p.m. Aug. 6. IPRA has become the sports second largest professional rodeo association sanctioning nearly 300 rodeos.
The association has a membership base of over 2,400 members and currently sanctions rodeos across the United States.
A second Illinois National Barrel Horse Association horse show is on tap for 10 a.m. Aug. 7 at the arena followed at noon by the Illiana Pullers Association’s truck and tractor pulls at the grandstand.
The fair will conclude with metal on metal in Spanky’s Beater Bonanza, a demolition derby for 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder cars and trucks beginning at 7 p.m.
A full schedule of daily events is posted on the Kankakee County Fair website at www.kankakeefair.org.