For 48 years, the Smithton Town and County Fair has provided an opportunity for the youth of Pettis County to showcase their agricultural and livestock talents and the tradition will continue July 7-9 as the Fair is hosted at Smithton High School.
The three-day event will see many of their most popular events return including pig dressing, the tractor pull, ice cream and pie competition, and the crowning of Miss Pettis County.
The fair officially begins at 9 a.m. July 7, with the Flower Show and Art and Home Econimics show in the multi-purpose room at the school.
“We always wanted the fair to be a way for the students to have the chance to showcase all their talents,” R.D. Kahrs, treasurer of the Fair Board said. “A lot of the kids show their work in the home economics show and we have a whole lot who will show their livestock Friday and Saturday morning.
“We want the event to be a way for people to come out and have a good time as a family,” Kahrs added. “All of the events are free to attend with the exception of the tractor pull so we hope people come out and have a fun, safe time and enjoy themselves.”
Thursday night, Washington Street will be the starting point for the annual fair parade which will wind it’s way down to Saffrass Avenue and the school grounds.
Immediately following that event will be the Miss Pettis County Queen Competition.
This year three young women are competing for the title according to Anne Townsend, pageant director.
“Two of the girls are new to pageant competition,” Towsend said. “I can remember how they feel because it was 20 years ago that I won the title of Miss Pettis County on the very stage they will be competing at.
“It was a tie, the first ever in the history of the pageant,” she added. “The pageant provides an excellent opportunity for these young ladies to receive scholarships to help further their education.”
Mariah Turner is a senior at Smith-Cotton who plans to attend Iowa University where she will major in veterinarian science.
Chelsea Schroeder is a senior in Sweet Springs who currently resides in La Monte. Schroder plans to attend MU after graduation and will pursue a degree in the pharmacy field.
Whitney Fisher, a 2016 graduate of Smithton will attend Missouri Valley College in the fall. She is a nursing major and a member of their track and field team.
The queen contestants are not the only students who benefit from scholarships provided by the fair.
For the last four years, The Fair Board of Directors has awarded $5,000 in scholarships to Smithton students who attend State Fair Community College.
“Each year for the last several we’ve been able to give ten, $500 scholarships to our students,” Kahrs commented. “We are very grateful that we can do that but it’s because of the support of our sponsors and all the community members who come every year.
“A lot of the scholarship money comes from the pie auction we have each year,” Kahrs added. “After the pies are judged and auctioned we give away free pie and home-made ice cream to anyone who would like a sample,”
The pie and ice cream auction begins at 7 p.m. Saturday night.
Another find raiser for the fair is the auctioneer’s bid contest at 8 p.m. Thursday night.
Kahrs said this year’s contest features many nice and unique items that would appeal to all fair goers, including several items for landscaping including loads of dirt and gravel to gift cards, entertainment passes, gift baskets and an autographed football from Tim Barnes.
Friday will see both the Children’s Pedal Pull and the Tractor Pull. Both events begin at 7 p.m.
“The tractor pull is the only event we charge admission for,” Kahrs said. “This year it’s $2 for children six to 12 and $5 for adults.”
Those in attendance are reminded that no alcoholic beverages, tobacco, or coolers are allowed on any school property during the three day event.
The final day of the Fair begins at 7 a.m with the barbecue competition in the city park.
The skid loader rodeo is hosted at 5 p.m. and the super farmer competition begins at 8 p.m.
“We’ll end the Fair with the pig dressing competition which is one of our biggest draws,” Kahrs said. “Everyone really seems to enjoy that.
“We’ll have a lot of games and activities for children though out the fair and we really just hope to see a lot of people attend,” Kahrs added. “We have a lot of great events for people to came out and enjoy.”
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484