The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

June 22, 2013

Fair ready for annual run

DANVILLE — Acrobatics, magic and canine tricks — this year’s Vermilion County Fair and Expo offers a lot of free entertainment options for visitors.

Gates open Tuesday at the Vermilion County Fairgrounds, just north of U.S. Route 150 west of Danville.

Vermilion County Fair President Rick White has been on the fair board for roughly 40 years. During that time, fair attendance has resembled a rollercoaster ride, rising as high as 20,000 and, at one turn, dipping to as low as 3,000, White said.

“I don’t think we catered to the public’s needs, quite honestly,” White said. He said after fair-goers entered the gates, they would automatically turn around and have to spend more money for entertainment in addition to costs for food and carnival rides.

“Two or three years ago we started changing our direction.”

That new direction means when fair-goers step foot on the fairgrounds this year, they will have the opportunity to take advantage of at least $12,500 worth of entertainment, essentially for free.

White said due to the economic challenges of the area, the fair board wanted to give members of the public something reasonable after they paid their $3 to enter the fairgrounds.

“We want people to feel they got their money’s worth if they don’t spend another dime.”

The two free shows include a high-flying acrobatics act as well as a canine variety show. Each show will run twice nightly and on Saturday as well.

The High-Flying Pages Aerial and Animal Show will feature a flying trapeze act, hula hoops, the Russian Swing and a ballerina on horseback.

White said in his four decades on the fair board, he doesn’t remember the fair ever featuring an acrobatics show.

The second major act includes the playful antics of dogs that have actually been rescued from shelters. Johnny Peers’ Muttville Comix will feature a mix of comic timing and choreography by man and man’s best friends.

“(Johnny Peers) goes to the Humane Society and trains dogs from there,” White said. He added that the canine act was something “we felt would be real appealing to smaller children.”

In addition to the big shows, White said a local talent, David Boothe, will offer a bit of “razzle dazzle” to the atmosphere.

White said families eating at picnic tables might find themselves enjoying an impromptu card trick as Boothe, a Danville magician, roams the fairgrounds.

“He’s pretty fantastic,” White said. He added that Boothe will perform tricks for about three hours each night. And Boothe might also work the crowds at the grandstand events. He will also offer giveaways to fair-goers from local businesses.

Another business-sponsored “act,” will include the freelance microphone stylings of Dan Wright, emcee for the fairgrounds.

“You put him in front of a microphone, and he’ll entertain,” White said.

White said last year’s fair attendance reached 15,000 people. He wants those that saw the fair decline previously to give them another chance.

“It’s not the same fair that it was five years ago.”

A younger crowd

White said the fair’s main focus is to offer something for the youth attending.

His nephew Asa Ray, 9, said he’s been going to the Vermilion County Fair probably since he was 2 or 3.

“It’s pretty cool,” Asa said. “There’s lots of rides and games and stuff to do.”

The Rossville youngster has harvested some fun memories during the years. His most memorable fair food: the stand that has really good french fries. His favorite game: “Probably the game where you shoot the water in the target and the thing goes up and the winner gets a big prize.” His favorite ride: the Tilt-A-Whirl. Why? “It goes really fast.”

“If a child can come out there and have a nice time for the evening, I feel we’ve done our job,” White said.

He added the fair will give away at least five bicycles a night. The bikes will be for youth, but anyone can be entered into the giveaway by taking advantage of the carnival rides.

“You buy a ride ticket, you get a bike ticket,” White said.

Another thing White encourages young people to do is to participate in a 4-H project, which allows children to create something and come away with the “hey, I did that!” feeling.

“It teaches them not only responsibility but the rewards that are out there for seeing something through to the end.”

White said it’s awfully easy to stray away from the basics.

“Kids need to realize there’s more to life than computers and television sets.”

White said the children participating in 4-H also get another dose of responsibility when they have to take their turn waiting on the public in the food building. He said he’s watched kids during the years participate in 4-H and then go on to become parents.

“You see those kids grow up, and now their kids are doing it,” White said. “It makes you feel like it’s worthwhile when you see those things happen.”

While the fair will offer plenty of action for the kids, it also will provide something for the grown-ups. White said this year the fair is reinstating its racing program.

“The track has been idle for the past two years,” White said. American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) flat track racing will take place at 7 p.m. Friday night in the grandstand.

Also, drivers in a demolition derby will start wrecking things at 6 p.m. Saturday.

Another major Saturday night event will be the Southern Fried Fest, a live blues, rock and country music concert starting at 7 p.m. The $10 concert will feature The James Jones Trio, Renegade, The Matt Poss Band and national recording artist Jason Charles Miller.

White said while the grandstand events do cost extra there is still plenty people can do that won’t cost them a thing. Besides the big shows, another free event for spectators includes a ranch rodeo Friday night said Matt Woelber, third vice president for the fair board.

Text Only
Local News
  • Police, Fire Reports

    July 28, 2014

  • Artists can sell artwork

    July 27, 2014

  • Children’s show auditions set

    July 27, 2014

  • Upward Bound still opens path to college Nervous but determined, the 15-year-old boy walked into a conference room in Columbus, Ohio, for a fateful interview. If it went well, perhaps he’d have a chance to be the first member of his impoverished family to attend college.That was 34 years ag

    July 27, 2014

  • Tilton Redneck Games Today9:30 a.m. — Church services, Stage10:30 a.m. — Mud Bog Registration opens11:30 a.m. — Mud Volleyball, Beer Tent, Vendors and Kidz Zone opensNoon — Toilet seat pitching contestNoon — Tug of War grudge match, Mud Bogs start1:30 p.m. — Hotdog eatin

    July 27, 2014

  • Monical's to rebuild Tilton restaurant TILTON — Local residents could be enjoying Monical’s pizza in Tilton by the end of this year.Monical’s corporate officials issued a press release Friday outlining the rebuilding of the restaurant that was damaged by fire on April 24.According to the

    July 27, 2014

  • Dr kakarla.jpg On the mend

    OAKWOOD — As a mechanic, Charles “Chip” McArty thought he could fix anything … until he was diagnosed with cancer.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • Police Report Incidents reported to police include:DanvilleThursdayBattery in the 1000 block of Walnut Street.FridayTheft of a cell phone in a box case valued at $400 taken from the Days Hotel, 77 N. Gilbert St.Danville female arrested in connection with retail th

    July 27, 2014

  • APTOPIX Mideast Israe_Morr.jpg Israel extends truce with Hamas BEIT HANOUN, Gaza Strip — Israel on Saturday extend a 12-hour humanitarian truce in the Gaza war by four hours, the longest lull in 19 days of Israel-Hamas fighting, as a Gaza health official said the overall number of Palestinians killed surpassed 1

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fire Calls Firefighters responded to the following calls:Friday, 4:51-4:58 p.m. – Medical call in the unit block of East Main Street.Friday, 6:07-6:15 p.m. – Medical call in the 1200 block of Cleveland Street.Friday, 8:59-9:11 p.m. – Medical call in the 100 blo

    July 27, 2014

E-edition
Spring 2014 Photos


Buy these photos and more via Smugmug

AP Video
Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground
NDN Video
GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1" Trailer is Here! Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years
Must Read