Ford County Fair features something for everyone

MELVIN — This year’s Ford County Fair, running June 24-30, features concerts, action and events for family members of all ages.

The fair opens Sunday, June 24, with the western horse show at 10 a.m. The jackpot gilt show starts at 5 p.m. that day.

Monday night features the annual fair queen pageant at 7 p.m. in the dance building.

Tuesday night features the annual talent show at 6:30 p.m. in the dance building. The Little Mister and Miss Pageant starts at 5:30 p.m. in the dance building on Wednesday, followed by the C-Bar Rodeo in the grandstand at 7 p.m.

Old favorites also highlight this year’s fair. 

Truck and tractor pulls are featured in the grandstand on Thursday, June 28.

The demolition derby closes out the grandstand entertainment on Saturday, June 30. This year’s demo derby features six classes, with more than $10,000 in prize money, as well as a lawnmower demo class.

The band Off the Wall will play in the beer tent after the demo derby.

Guy Lombardo’s Royal Canadians with Al Pierson will also make a return to the fair on Saturday. The popular dance band has appeared at the fair for more than 30 years and is sponsored by Gibson Area Hospital.

The biggest event of the week is the Travis Tritt and Craig Campbell concert at 7 p.m. Friday, June 29. General-admission tickets for the concert cost $25 in advance and $30 the day of the concert.  Party pit passes cost $35.  In addition, a special ticket will be available at the gate the day of the concert only for children 10 and under. The special $10 ticket will include admission and unlimited carnival rides. 
Jordan Davis will play in the beer tent after the concert.

Concert tickets can be ordered by going to the “concert ticket” link on the fair’s website,

Concert sponsors include Bigg’s Lawn Care, Birkey’s Farm Store, Brandt Consolidated, Cargill, Crop Production Services, DeKalb/Asgrow, Dogtown Heating and Air, Eastern Illini Electric, Ford and Southern Iroquois County Pioneer Dealers, Heritage FS, Hicksgas, Mycogen Seeds and Rhino Ag.

Special events for kids are also scheduled throughout the week at the fair. Kids will want to be sure to visit the petting zoo housed in the commercial building. The zoo again offers pony rides and will be open Monday through Saturday. Sally the Clown will also be in the commercial building on Wednesday, June 27, with free face painting from 3 to 9 p.m. Boden Amusements open their rides on the midway at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 26, with a $10 arm band special for the first 250 people. 

A wide variety of livestock shows are also on the schedule during fair week.

For more information about the fair, people can visit or email


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