July 15, 2024

Bulls, boot scooting and basketball bring country fun to Lee County Fair

The registration deadline for Lee County Fair junior and open shows — available online at https://leecountyfairgrounds.com — is July 1.

Lee County Fair and 4-H Show

July 25-28

1196 Franklin Road

Amboy, Illinois

AMBOY, Ill. — When the Lee County Fair board of directors made a decision, after their 2021 fair, to discontinue having a carnival on the midway, they took a leap of faith.

That leap has paid off in a fair that resonates with family-friendly activities and entertainment that recall country fairs of years gone by.

The 2024 Lee County 4-H Fair and Junior and Open Shows opens on July 25 and runs through July 28 at the Lee County Fairgrounds in rural Amboy.

“We are excited to bring the old-fashioned county fair feel to our fair,” said Katie Pratt, secretary of the Lee County Fair board of directors.

This year, Saturday at the fair bring an afternoon and evening filled with country-style entertainment.

New this year, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the show barn, the fair will host a country line dance.

“Line dancing is back in a big way, it seems. We’ve been hosting dances out here at the fairgrounds and the group that does that wanted to have a dance during the fair,” Pratt said.

The country dance will be the lead-in to the grandstand main event, a rodeo, sponsored by T&A Bucking Bulls.

The Lee County Farm Bureau Young Leaders will be serving steak sandwiches from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday night.

Motorsports have always been a big draw for the grandstand, and this year Back Road Pullers, a truck and tractor pulling group based in west-central Illinois, will make its debut at the Lee County Fair.

“They are a new pulling group for us. They sponsor Sublette’s Pulling in the Park event. We will have some new classes and new opportunities for people to pull on Thursday night,” Pratt said, noting those truck and tractor pulls will start at 6 p.m.

One popular event that returns is free watermelon slices, sponsored by Wyffels Hybrids, starting at 5 p.m. Thursday on the patio at the fairgrounds.

On Friday night, more horsepower returns with truck and tractor pulls sponsored by Illini State Pullers, starting at 6:30 p.m. on the track.

The fair’s midway will feature a variety of entertainment and activities for all ages.

“It’s all those things that fill up the day. We have our county fair speedway, the remote-control car racing, that will be back,” Pratt said.

“Our barrel train will be running and we’ve got the petting zoo and pony rides. We have axe throwing and a dunk tank.

“Our kids’ corner will be going on every day, where we do a craft with kids twice a day. We are working with Farmhouse Bounce this year, who will be bringing a bounce house to the fair.”

The big finale for the fair this year will be something new — donkey basketball.

“We’ll be doing that to cap off the fair in a fun way. That will start at 1 p.m. on Sunday in the show barn,” the fair secretary said.

Pratt said fair organizers want to get at least two teams, with a minimum of four people each, signed up before the fair.

“It seems like once people are here on the grounds, they think more about it, so our goal is to get two teams sign up, then fill up with others,” she said.

For more information on the Lee County Fair and 4-H Show, call 815-857-2603 or go to www.leecountyfairgrounds.com.

Jeannine Otto

Jeannine Otto

Field Editor