Ogle County Fair organizers are doing their best to make this year's theme "Celebrating 160 years of family fun" a reality.
"Bring your family for the fun and the price," said fair board president Harlan Holm. "We have a lot of things people can do once they get on the grounds that don't cost anything."
Although 4-H show judging started July 27, the fair officially started Wednesday and will continue through Sunday evening.
The traditional focus on family fun offers activities for persons of all ages and free carnival rides with a paid gate admission.
“We have lots of people say they really enjoy our fair because it's a family fair, and they can just let the kids have fun,” Holm said.
The price of admission was increased this year from $6 to $8 per person this year to meet rising costs, Holm said.
"We feel it's still reasonable," he said. "Once you pay the gate admission you get unlimited rides."
The Ogle County Fairgrounds is located two miles west of Oregon off Ill. 64 on Limekiln Road.
Besides the carnival provided by Big 'H' Amusements, two free shows will be offered throughout the 5-day event — a lumberjack show and a wild animal show that features a warthog and leopard along with other animals. Livestock exhibits and a Children's Farm with a petting zoo and activities for kids are also a draw for families, Holm said.
"And there's the carnival food," Holm said. "A lot of people come for that."
He said several new vendors will be showing their wares, adding interest to the exhibits.
If weather forecasts are accurate, fair-goers may be treated to cooler than normal weather. Forecasts Tuesday called for temperatures to remain only in the high 70s throughout the fair which could mean a larger attendance.
"Cooler temperatures will definitely bring more people out," Holm said. "People don't like to come out when it's in the 90s."
Kendal Anderson, 19, Chana, was crowned Ogle County Fair Queen on July 20 and will reign throughout the event, along with her court.
Three other pageants were scheduled for Wednesday, July 31 at the Lions Shelter on the fairgrounds — the Little Miss and Mister Ogle County Fair pageant for girls and boys ages 3-6, the Young Miss pageant for girls ages 7-11 at 6:30 p.m., and the Junior Miss contest for girls ages 12-15.
Other events set for the opening night were the antique tractor parade and the Riverbend Antique Tractor Pull.
Grandstand shows will include the truck and tractors pulls on Thursday at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Big Hat Rodeo on Friday at 7 p.m.; Demolition Derby on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.; and 4x4 Overlanders Club Mudbog and Truck Drags on Sunday at 11 a.m.
The Ogle County Fairgrounds is located two miles west of Oregon off Ill. 64 on Limekiln Road. Parking will be in the area at the south end of the fairgrounds.
Signs will be posted, and volunteers will be on hand to direct traffic at the entrance.