The Winnebago County Fair Kicks Off It's 96th Season

New shows and events aren't just about entertainment

WINNEBAGO COUNTY - Rides, funnel cakes, and livestock are what many people expect to see when going to a county fair.
At the Winnebago County Fair however, there were a few new tricks up their sleeve, like the 'Lumberjack Enterprises' crew.

"We are doing events involving chainsaws, axes, cross-cut saws, water events, and we've also got some camps for the kids," said 'Lumberjack Enterprises' owner Jamie Fischer. Fischer and his crew travels the country showing off skills that he believes are important for people to see.

"These are the skills that developed in the 1800's that lumberjacks actually had to do to build towns across  the U.S.," Fischer said. "Now everything is mechanized but it's a lot of fun to see the old time skills and we bring those skills into an entertainment format and have a lot of fun with it," he added.

Fairs are also a chance for local farmers to show off their hard work. Several skills were shown at the grounds' 4H tent. "A lot of people think it's only agricultural, but it's not just agriculture, it can be arts and crafts," said Pecatonica resident Heather Roush.

Roush's two sons won prizes for their work. Gavin showed the effect of carbon dioxide on bread, while her other son Quinten created a chicken tractor. "They're important things that need to keep going and this is all part of our heritage especially here in Illinois," said Rock Valley College history professor Martin Quirk.

While many come for the food, rides, and animals, Quirk says another big reason for fairs is to show city folk the importance of agriculture."Fairs were founded to expose city dwellers the importance of agriculture and to promote the value of a rural lifestyle," he added.

The Winnebago County fair will continue throughout the weekend ending on Sunday.

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