By Pat Maurer
Hunter Hayes is the headliner this year, for the 130th annual event, and together with Mandy Alexander will perform in the grandstand on the official opening day, July 29th at 7:30 p.m.
Hayes, the nineteen-year-old singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist, was born in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana in 1991, Hunter has been making music since about the time he learned to walk and wrote his first song at age six. As he recounts in his website bio, “By the time I was almost two, I was picking up everything and making an instrument out of it. My grandmother gave me a toy accordion for my second birthday and I immediately began picking up Cajun songs by ear from the radio.”
Mandy Alexander, a Traverse City native who currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee, carries a soulful country voice and lights up a room since moving to country music city. Her website says Alexander has performed throughout music row planting her performing seeds and packing it tight and she’s more than excited to share her music with country music and the fans.
Although this year’s fair is officially scheduled from July 29 through August 3, the fun really begins on Sunday afternoon when the Dog Care and Obedience Show and Sportsmanship is scheduled at 4 p.m.
The fair’s entertainment will also begin on Sunday, July 29th when at 7:30 p.m. opening night at the fair will feature Michigan’s First Family of Gospel Music, The Thurstons of Holt. The Thurstons have traveled thousands of miles sharing the good news of the gospel through song and testimony. They unite together on the platform to make a powerful impact on the lives of families all across this land.
There’s entertainment every single day in the grandstand.
The USA Figure 8 Demolition Derby is scheduled Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.;
The Truck and Tractor Pull will be held Wednesday at 7 p.m.;
SJO Productions Motocross is on the agenda Thursday at 7 p.m.;
The Concerned Racers Mud Bog will be held Friday at 7 p.m.;
And the week will wind up with the Super Kicker Rodeo “Bulls ‘n Barrels on Saturday at 7 p.m. August 3rd. Events to be featured at the rodeo include bull riding, saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, girls’ barrel racing, team roping, tie-down roping and mutton busting. Paris, Michigan is home to Super Kicker Rodeo Productions, a fourth generation rodeo company committed to providing quality family entertainment which celebrates our country’s western traditions.
This year’s Harness Racing is tentatively scheduled in the grandstand on Wednesday and Thursday beginning at noon.
The Midway opens at 4 p.m. Monday, and will be in full swing through August 3rd, featuring rides and games by Skerbeck Carnival.
Monday, Wednesday and Friday special ride tickets will be available, sponsored by area businesses and the Fair Board of Directors. Monday is Witbeck’s Day, Tuesday and Thursday will each be Kid’s Day; Wednesday is Spartan Day, and Friday is Kleen Gene’s Laundromat Day.
Saturday will be Farm Youth Day with ride specials for youth exhibitors.
Bicycles will be given way, two on Tuesday at 6 p.m. sponsored by Witbeck’s Family Foods and two on Thursday at 5 p.m., sponsored by Stephenson-Wyman Funeral Home.
There will also be free shows twice daily Monday through Saturday – return performances by Circus Pages including their special feature, Earhart’s Globe of Death.
There will be displays of the best in arts, crafts and produce and once again the Homemaker of the Year will be named.
Judging events begin Monday morning with judging for Youth and Open Rabbit and Cavy Classes and Showmanship and judging of the Youth Swine Market Classes starting at 9 a.m. and the Draft Horse Halter Classes at 10 a.m. Youth Sheep Classes judging is set for Monday at 1 p.m. and Youth Cat Classes judging is at 7 p.m.
Tuesday judging will be held for: Youth and Open Poultry Classes and Showmanship and Youth Saddle Horses, both at 9 a.m. Youth Dairy Feeder and Market Classes and Showmanship is scheduled at 10 a.m.; Youth Beef Market Classes and Showmanship is at 11 a.m.; and Judging of Youth and Open Dairy Classes and Showmanship is at 6 p.m.
Wednesday judging for Youth Swine Showmanship, Youth Saddle Horses and Youth and Open Dairy and Meat Goat Classes and Showmanship are all scheduled at 9 a.m. Wednesday afternoon judging for Youth Sheep Showmanship and Youth Sheep Lead Class is at 1 p.m., Draft Horse Hitch Classes – all breeds will be held at 3 p.m. following the Harness Racing; and judging of Open Class Swine, Sheep, Beef and Dairy Feeders will be held at 5 p.m.
Thursday morning at 9 will be judging of Youth Saddle Horses.
The Small Animal Auction is set for noon on Thursday and the Youth Livestock Auction will take place at 5 p.m. Both will be held in the Livestock Arena.
Friday events include the Overall Large Animal Showmanship Contest and the Overall Small Animal Showmanship Contest, both at 9 a.m. Presentation of Horse Trophies and Prizes will be held in the Horse Arena at 1 p.m. and Small Animal Awards is at 5 p.m.
Livestock will be released on Saturday at 10 p.m.