JEFFERSON – On the skyline of Jefferson, the familiar tents and carnival attractions have begun to take shape in preparation for the 2022 Jefferson County Fair, which will run Wednesday through Sunday, July 13-17.
With a variety of entertainment, competitive displays, kids’ shows and headliners, the fair has something for everyone, said Amy Listle, fair park director.
This marks the 169th annual Jefferson County Fair, including 2020’s virtual fair. Everything is back to normal this year, though, with live exhibits, animals, shows, fair food and all of the traditional favorites.
This year’s theme is “Year of the Sheep.” Reigning over the fair in a ceremonial capacity is 2022 Fairest of the Fair Maddi Besch of Jefferson.
Ticket prices run $10 per day for adults or $35 for a family fun-pack of five tickets. These are available at the fair park office or at PremierBank.
Kids age 12 and under can get in for $5 a day, as can senior citizens age 65 and older. Friday’s Kids Day marks free admission for children 12 and under from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. On the same day, Mr. Ed’s Magical Midways carnival will offer a kids’ wristband special covering all rides from noon to 4 p.m. for a cost of $20.
The action will start around 8 a.m. most days and run through close to midnight, with free family entertainment at various times each day. There’s almost always some competitive show or judging event going on, and of course the evenings bring the big grandstand entertainment.
Besides the carnival rides, the only events requiring an additional fee are the big grandstand concerts Friday and Saturday night, which cost $25-$45.
On Friday, July 15, starting at 8 p.m., country artist Kip Moore will headline the main stage with special guest Nora Collins. Saturday, July 16’s evening entertainment will be another country artist, Diamond Rio, who will headline the main stage with special guest Alex Miller. This concert will also start at 8 p.m.
For these special events, the Jefferson County Fair will offer paid reserved seating in the grandstand as well as party pit tickets for the standing-only area in front of the stage. Tickets can be purchased online at JcFairPark.com or at the fair office.
Wednesday’s, Thursday’s and Sunday’s grandstand events will be free. Wednesday will bring the Jefferson County Tractor Pull and the Badger State Tractor Pull. Thursday will bring the Badger Truck Pull, and Sunday will be the International Demolition Derby.
Throughout the fair, special family-friendly entertainers will be putting on several shows a day.
The Pig and Duck Races will return by popular demand, along with two new highlights, Pier Pups’ Dock Diving Show and the “Wolves of the World” presentation. The family entertainment is free with fair admission.
There will also be regular free entertainment in the Miller Lite tent, featuring a mix of country and pop music performers.
Wednesday, “The Baker’s Union” will perform at 5:30 p.m., with DJ music at 8 p.m.
Thursday, “Silverback” will play at 5:30 p.m., with Roxtar taking the stage at 9 p.m.
Friday, “Floyd and Associates” will play at 5:30 p.m., followed by “Madison County” at 10:30 p.m.
Saturday, the Knapton Music Garage Band will perform at 2 p.m. The “Dirt Road Rebelz” will appear in the Miller Lite tent at 10:30 p.m.
Starting at noon Sunday, La Movida Entertainment will provide music and entertainment aimed at the Hispanic crowd and those who appreciate Hispanic music, culture and food.
Meanwhile, youth and open class entrants will be showing off their competitive entries throughout the fair.
The Fair Park Activity Center will be full of displays throughout the fair which people can check out at their leisure.
Major animal shows are all open to the public.
On Wednesday, the beef, rabbit and horse and pony shows will start at 9 a.m. and the sheep show at 2 p.m.
On Thursday, the swine, goat and horse/pony shows will start at 9 a.m., the poultry show at 11 a.m., and the cat show at 2 p.m.
On Friday, the dairy show will take place in the indoor arena at 9 a.m. while the poultry breed show will occupy the poultry barn. The draft horse halter show will start at 10 a.m. in the west arena. The draft horse cart show starts in the same place at 4:30 p.m.
Saturday morning will bring more horse competition, with the riding classes in the north arena. The Meat Animal Project animal auctions and youth celebrations will start at 11 a.m. and the draft horse hitch show will start at 5:30 p.m in the west arena.
Sunday, horse and pony competition will enter its final day at 9 a.m. The master show person contest will take place at 10 a.m in the MAP building, and herdsmanship awards will take place in the MAP building at 4 p.m., rounding out the competition for the year.
In addition, people can check out the rocketry launch starting at 9 a.m. Thursday near the grandstand, and all day Thursday, music and drama youth competitors will be performing on the Activity Center Stage. This new stage is being sponsored by Generac, Listle said.
Meanwhile, fair visitors can check out a large collection of vendors and business/community exhibitors who will be providing food, information, and giveaways, located all around the fairgrounds.
“The biggest change in our layout this year will be with the outside vendors,” Listle said. “We’ll have more space and wider aisles for better crowd management and more places for people to sit down and eat the delicious fair food.”
Some businesses and groups will be giving presentations on the Activity Center stage as well, including area 4-H and FFA organizations, the Jefferson County Area Tourism Council, the Jefferson County Emergency Management and Jefferson County Veteran’s Services offices and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department K-9 program.
“We’re also going to have some 4-H members talk about the effort they put into their projects all year round and what it means to them to come to fair,” Listle said.
There are still slots available for more presentations. If anyone is interested, they can contact the fair office at 920-674-7148.
Parking is free in the fair’s north lot or premium parking spots are available at $10 per day in the lot across from the south gate.
For more information and updates on the fair, people can check out its website at JcFairPark.com.
The Fort Atkinson Police Department will purchase new portable radios using state funding as the department tries to stay compliant with Jefferson County’s communications transition.
The police department was awarded $33,866.92 in funds under the Tribal and Local Law Enforcement Agency Initiative Program, and Chief Adrian Bump said the department would like to use nearly $30,000 of those funds to supply officers with 16 new portable radios.
Jefferson County recently upgraded its communications platform, which has forced the FAPD and its dispatch center to update radios. Bump said the portable radios are the last part of FAPD’s communications platform not aligned with the upgrades, leaving officers only able to communicate with one another and not with dispatchers or other jurisdictions when on foot.
The new radios will solve that problem.
“We rely on everybody through mutual aid,” Bump said. “We help the county; the county helps us. We help Jefferson and Lake Mills. We all work together at times during emergencies or large-scale events, and the old radios put officers on foot on an island.”
The department already bought new mobile radios for squad cars and upgraded its dispatch center communications to stay compliant with the county’s transition last year.
The remaining funds from the state grant, which must be used by June 30, 2023, will be used in other qualifying areas over the next year.
Since the department had already included funding for new radios in its 2022 budget, the funds designated for the radios can instead be used for other department-related costs, although it is unclear what these costs will be.
The vendor of the portable radios, General Communications, is currently under contract with the city to maintain and service all aspects of the communications platform and is also the main contractor used to upgrade the county’s communications.